All Priests Invited to Sign the Common Statement Below

On February 28, 2006, 55 members of the US House of Representatives signed a “Catholic Statement of Principles.” They claim to be “committed to…protecting the most vulnerable among us.” Yet most of the signers oppose a ban on partial-birth abortion. Click here to see the voting records. In response, the bishops have issued a statement. Priests for Life responded by asking priests to sign the appeal below.  A strong showing of priests behind this appeal made it clear to “pro-choice” legislators that they cannot continue use their ‘Catholicism’ to make their abortion positions more acceptable. The statement was delivered to the legislators and the media.


An Appeal to our Public Officials

The Catholic Church, and we as Catholic priests, are pro-life in the most comprehensive sense of the term. We proclaim and call our people to work for a just society that safeguards human life and dignity at every stage and in every circumstance. All life issues are interconnected, and one cannot claim to respect life at one stage but throw it away at another.

That is why Pope John Paul II, in Christifideles Laici, declared, ‘Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination’ (n. 38). That is also why the United States Bishops wrote in 1998: “The failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the 'rightness' of positions in other matters” (Living the Gospel of Life , n.23).

To all Catholics in public office who want to be committed to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we appeal today: Take to heart the words of the bishops and the Holy Father, and do not exclude unborn children from the vulnerable people you want to protect! As priests committed to a consistent ethic of life, we applaud every effort to advance human dignity. But we likewise oppose the attempt of some in public office to soften the contradiction between being Catholic and being “pro-choice” on abortion. Tolerance of abortion not only contradicts the Catholic Faith; it also contradicts the American way, which is one of equality for every human being, and likewise contradicts human decency, which stands against all forms of violence. There is simply no excuse for a public official to fail to call for the protection of the lives of the youngest infants.

Fr. Frank's Column on the Separation of Church and State

Priests for Life
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