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DIOCESE OF TRENTON

POLICY STATEMENT ON PRO-ABORTION POLITICIANS

Most Rev. John M. Smith, J.C.D.

Bishop of Trenton

July 24, 1990

Reaffirmed July, 2001

"Some Catholic elected officials have adopted the argument that, while they personally oppose evils like abortion, they cannot force their religious views on a wider society. This is seriously mistaken on several key counts: First, regarding abortion, the point when human like begins is not a religious belief, but a scientific fact. Second, the sanctity of human life is not merely Catholic doctrine but part of humanity's global ethnic heritage, and our nations' founding principle. Finally, democracy is not served by silence…Real pluralism depends on people of conviction struggling vigorously to advance their beliefs by every ethical and legal means at their disposal." --Living the Gospel of Life, U.S. Catholic Bishops

 

POLICY STATEMENT ON PRO-ABORTION POLITICIANS

It would be misleading to assist pro-choice politicians with a platform to promote their views for fear that others would falsely conclude that the Church at least tolerates their position.

Therefore:

1. Public honors of any type should not be bestowed on such persons, by any parish or diocesan institution;

2. Invitations are not to be offered to such persons to be speakers at public events or in educational programs, nor given recognition or approval by parishes or diocesan institutions;

3. Such persons should not be proposed to exercise any ministry, or hold any office in the Church or in any parish, even as an honorary chairperson.

It is incumbent upon us as moral guides and pastors to make certain that the Church's teaching is proclaimed clearly, and is explained by presenting the theological and rational arguments against abortion.

Rising above other issues is our moral responsibility to respect and sustain human life from conception to natural death. In this context, we know that support and promotion of abortion is always wrong and can never be justified. The Church's teaching about the sacredness of human life must be a priority for all Catholics.

Most Reverend John M. Smith

Bishop of Trenton

 

Life and Dignity of the Human Person

"Every human person is created in the image and likeness of God. The conviction that human life is sacred and that each person has inherent dignity that must be respected in society lies at the heart of Catholic social teaching. Calls to advance human rights are illusions if the right to life itself is subject to attack. We believe that every human life is sacred from conception to natural death: that people are more important than things: and that the measure of every institution is whether or not it enhances the life and dignity of the human person."

-- Faithful Citizenship, National Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

"Now the word of the Lord came to me saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I consecrated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you."

-- Jeremiah 1:5

 

"We urge those Catholic officials who choose to depart from Church teaching on the inviolability of human life in their public life to consider the consequences for their own spiritual well being, as well as the scandal they risk by leading others into serious sin. We call on them to reflect the grave contradiction of assuming public roles and presenting themselves as credible Catholics when their actions on fundamental issues of human life are not in agreement with Church teaching. No public official, especially one claiming to be a faithful and serious Catholic, can responsibly advocate for or actively support direct attacks on innocent human life…No appeal to policy, procedure, majority will or pluralism ever excuses a public official from defending life to the greatest extent possible."

-- Living the Gospel of Life, U.S. Catholic Bishops

 

OFFICE OF FAMILY LIFE/RESPECT LIFE

Diocese of Trenton

701 Lawrenceville Road

Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
609-406-7400, Ext. 5592

Reverend Jeffrey E. Lee, Director

Reverend Michael Manning, M.D., Coordinator, Respect Life Ministries
E-mail: mmanni@dioceseoftrenton.org

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org