Washington, DC Newsroom, July 16, 2022 / 3:00 a.m. (CNA).
A bishop emeritus of Texas is calling on fellow Catholic bishops — and all pro-life Americans — to take action against pro-abortion politics in favor of pro-life measures that support women and unborn children.
“Our own president is considering declaring abortion a public health emergency,” Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer, Bishop Emeritus of San Angelo, wrote in a July pastoral statement. “The Speaker of the House is trying to enshrine abortion on demand into federal law.”
He urged, “We bishops and all pro-lifers must send an unequivocal message to these pro-abortion leaders that we will never allow these horrific death plans to be enacted.”
After signing a decree to protect abortion, President Joe Biden revealed on July 10 that he was debating whether to declare abortion access a “public health emergency.” At the same time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., worked to advance radical pro-abortion legislation such as the Women’s Health Protection Act.
Biden and Pelosi are Catholic and support abortion, contrary to the position of the Catholic Church that human life has inherent dignity and value from the moment of conception.
“As shepherds of our people in the United States, we are deeply troubled that our President has chosen to use his power as the nation’s leader to promote, facilitate and even codify abortion in our country. “, wrote Pfeifer. “We pray and encourage our president and his supporters to increase support for mother and baby care rather than seeking to facilitate [the] destruction of defenseless and voiceless human beings”.
Pfeifer, who served as bishop of San Angelo from 1985 to 2013, has largely responded to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, who legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, in his latest statement. The ruling leaves abortion policy up to individual states.
“We rejoice with gratitude to God that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and, in doing so, has implicitly recognized that unborn children are persons,” he wrote. “We are currently experiencing a truly historic victory for human life.”
He pointed to the Roe tragedy, which he identified as “unjust law.”
“This policy has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of unborn children who have even been denied the right to be born,” he said. “We Bishops mourn the loss of these precious little ones whose lives have been taken since 1973 by brutal abortion while expressing our closeness to every woman and man who has suffered grievously from abortion.”
Following Roe, Pfeifer outlined three lines of action for fellow Catholic bishops and priests: supporting their flock in pro-life advocacy, holding politicians accountable for abortion, and supporting pregnant women in need.
“I encourage all my brother bishops to speak out more clearly and more strongly to guide our people, … encouraging them to pray more frequently and become more actively involved in resolving the issue of abortion, especially in states that approve of abortion,” he said. NAC says.
He added that he particularly encouraged his brother bishops to reach out to Biden, Pelosi and other elected officials to urge them “not to enact any law or policy that would promote abortion.”
At the same time, he stressed the need to accompany and support pregnant women in difficult situations.
“I encourage all of our priests at the parish level to provide assistance to women who are pregnant and in particular who are considering abortion,” he said, “such as offering them financial assistance, especially asking mothers to return visiting these women, praying with them, offering to help them with their many domestic needs and by providing resources within their community.
In his pastoral statement, Pfeifer called on pro-lifers in general to speak out in defense of the character of the unborn. The pro-life movement, starting with the bishops, he added, should also be more concerned about women struggling with pregnancy.
“The personality of the unborn child is the fundamental issue with the true meaning of motherhood as the abortion discussion continues,” he said.
He also called on dioceses to unite in pro-life advocacy.
“Each diocese should bring our people together at the parish level, to serve God’s great plan of love for everyone unborn and unborn,” he wrote. “And, for families and to build a society and economy that supports marriages and families where every woman has the support and resources she needs to lovingly bring her child into the world.”
In particular, he called on pro-lifers to support pregnancy resource centers that help both mothers and children in need and to get involved politically.
“All pro-lifers must work with governors and elected officials in every state to enact legislation that will provide financial, social and human support to all women during pregnancy, covering hospital costs and providing medical assistance , financial and educational needs for every newborn throughout childhood,” he added.
He pointed to Texas, which passed a “heartbeat” abortion ban while, at the same time, provided millions of dollars in aid to mothers and children in need.
Pfeifer emphasized that science supports Catholic teaching on human life.
“That God’s precious unborn children are truly human beings, persons, has been our Catholic belief for centuries, and recently scientific technology has repeatedly confirmed our belief that a new human being begins at the design,” Pfeifer wrote.
The unborn child in the womb has its own unique DNA – and an eternal soul, he wrote.
“This little one cries out, ‘I am terribly, wonderfully made,'” he said, quoting Psalm 139.
“May we commit ourselves to Christ and his mother through urgent prayer, fasting, dialogue and pastoral action so that our country and every state upholds the dignity of every unborn child,” he concluded. , before adding in capital letters: “THE CHILD TO BE BORN COUNT ON US.
Read the full text of the Bishop Emeritus’ pastoral letter below.