|Bishop Joseph E. Strickland|
A full page ad placed in the San Antonio Express-News, the Houston Chronicle and the Dallas Morning News on Monday, September 12, by so-called “Catholics for Choice” attempted to mislead the public by claiming that they are a legitimate voice of the Catholic Church. I applaud my brother bishops in those dioceses who quickly and clearly disavowed this group and made it crystal clear that they do not speak for Catholics in any legitimate way.
Although I am thankful that this group did not deem the Tyler market to be one that was worth their effort, I still felt I should speak out.
The teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the sanctity of life in the womb is ancient and clear. Certainly not every Catholic embraces this truth as fully as I would hope. But it is truly absurd and diabolical for a group which embraces the pro-choice, pro-death agenda, and denies life to countless human beings simply because they haven’t yet been born, to attempt to co-opt the term Catholic. As a Catholic Bishop, I often find myself ranting at the television in response to the latest statement of a politician, actor or other public figure, but I must remind myself that ranting at the television does no good.
As the November election approaches, let us all reflect deeply on the ills of our society and how we can find our way back to the truth. I believe we must start with the basics. When we choose a candidate for whatever level of public office, we MUST inquire as to their stand with regard to the life of the unborn. Of course it is not the only question, but the questions don’t get more basic than that. Our vote is very often the only voice we have and we MUST VOTE NO to abortion, to the selling of the body parts of aborted children, to the further erosion of the moral teachings that flow from the Gospel and to all the threats to the Sanctity of Life that our society faces.
I am well aware that very often we are unable to find a candidate who upholds the Sanctity of Life in all of its dimensions, but I believe we must begin with the most basic issues. If a candidate for whatever office callously demands the slaughter of unborn children as a so-called right and vigorously supports organizations that profit from the multi-billion dollar abortion industry, then how can any other human right they may champion be truly meaningful?
Our beautiful Catholic faith, guided by the Holy Spirit teaches the world that human life begins at conception. In order to re-build our fractured human family, we must return to that precious beginning and stand tall for the Sanctity of Life. Let us pray that we may re-learn the beautiful truth that the conception of a child through the sexual union of a man and woman in Holy Matrimony is our most wondrous human act and that the child conceived is God’s most precious gift to the world.