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Statements of Various US Bishops on the Centrality of the Abortion Issue in the Elections

We are unconditionally pro-life, since respect for the right to life is necessary for a human being to be able to exercise any other human right. -- Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, Chairman, Pro-life Committee of the US Catholic Bishops, Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, Bishop of Galveston-Houston, President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U.S. Catholic Conference

We, the Four Bishops of Massachusetts, … wish to underscore the absolute centrality of the first issue, the protection of human life. Support and promotion of abortion by any candidate is always wrong and can never be justified. We will never cease to denounce abortion and euthanasia and teach all Catholics that to support those positions is to support death over life. - +His Eminence, Bernard Cardinal Law, Archbishop of Boston, +Most Reverend Thomas Dupre, Bishop of Springfield, +Most Reverend Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap, Bishop of Fall River, +Most Reverend Daniel Reilly, Bishop of Worcester, October 2000

[Abortion is] a defining issue not only personally but also socially. Poverty can be addressed incrementally, but the death of a child is quite final. -- Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, October 2000

It is impossible to advance human dignity by being "right" on issues like poverty and immigration, but wrong about the most fundamental issue of all -- the right to life." Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Denver, American and Catholic: thoughts on responsible citizenship, October 11, 2000

The thousands of innocent pre-born babies killed every year by abortion constitute a greater evil than the execution of a few convicted felons by the state not only because of sheer number of deaths, but because of the gravity of the act itself. Therefore opposition to abortion must be a priority for Catholics who support the Church's teaching about the sacredness of all human life. -- Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss, Archbishop of Omaha, September 2000

Many Catholic leaders both clerical and lay have urged that citizens not vote for anyone who does not have a strong pro-life position. I do not see how a disciple of the Lord could ignore the fundamental importance of public policy protecting human life…To support candidates who would continue or even expand the possibilities for more people to die by human choice is seriously wrong. -- Bishop John Myers, Bishop of Peoria, October 17, 2000

Abortion is the issue this year and every year in every campaign. …The taking of innocent human life is so heinous, so horribly evil, and so absolutely opposite to the law of Almighty God that abortion must take precedence over every other issue. I repeat. It is the single most important issue confronting not only Catholics, but also the entire electorate.-- Bishop James C. Timlin, D.D., Bishop of Scranton, "The Ballot and the Right to Life" Fall 2000

I fail to understand how any Catholic can support a candidate who is outspokenly and unambiguously "pro-choice", who supports the idea that the child in the womb is the property of the mother to be disposed of at will, and will make appointments to the Supreme Court that will reinforce the tremendous error of Roe v. Wade.-- Bishop William Murphy, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston

There is a multitude of serious issues facing voters this year. Many of those issues are described in a document from the U.S. Bishops entitled Faithful Citizenship… But there is one issue that rises above the others. When you vote on November 7, I hope and pray that you will not forget the most disenfranchised citizens in this land - the unborn. -- Cardinal James Hickey, Archbishop of Washington, October 26, 2000

In two weeks all of us will have an opportunity to choose leaders for our nation, our state and our local communities who share our commitment to fundamental rights for the unborn, those advanced in age, the sick and the needy. As you cast your ballot, I prayerfully urge you to take a stand worthy of the Community of Faith of which you are a member. -- Archbishop Edward Egan, Archbishop of New York, October 29, 2000

Some may be discouraged by the particular candidates available; others feel that none adequately represents all of our concerns, especially our commitment to the right to life from the moment of conception until natural death. However, by not voting, we cede control of our nation to those who lack or oppose our moral commitments. Recall the traditional Catholic principle of choosing the lesser evil; when faced with two options, neither of which is entirely good, one may choose the lesser evil. This enables us to give morality a voice and to vote for whoever will best promote our Christian concerns. -- Bishop Vincent De Paul Breen, Bishop of Metuchen, October 18, 2000

The protection of life in all its stages, unfortunately, has been threatened by a culture of death. The most notable attack on life itself in our country is the terrible horror of legalized abortion…[P]ray for a greater respect for human life in our country and in particular for the overturning of misguided interpretations of our Constitution which allow abortion and even partial birth abortion. -- Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Camden, October 6, 2000

Catholic citizens especially should affirm a personal stance that respects and sustains human life and makes it unmistakably clear to all candidates and officials that this will be a determining factor in their choice of candidates. -- Bishop James T. McHugh, Bishop of Rockville Centre, NY ("Voting the Gospel of Life," Columbia Magazine, September 2000).

We must support candidates who uphold the Gospel of Life…This presidential election and the related Senate elections are most crucial because the next president will probably appoint up to three justices to the Supreme Court. -- Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, August 5, 2000

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