On the morning of Monday, September 12, 2016, many Illinoisans, particularly Catholics, were outraged when they opened up the newspaper. A full-page ad, paid for by an organization called “Catholics for Choice,” was published in the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. With the words, “Abortion in Good Faith,” bolded across the top, the ad advocated for government funded abortions, encouraging Catholics to sign a pledge, and flaunting the fallacious claim that Catholic’s support abortion, saying,
“Public funding for abortion is a Catholic social justice value.”
According to their website, this ad was one among several others published by “Catholics for Choice” on Monday in more than 20 national and local print publications, including Politico, The Nation, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Dallas Morning News, and La Opinion. The group says it’s a part of phase one of their multiyear Abortion in Good Faith campaign to garner Catholic support for public funded abortions on demand.
However, the Catholic Church has been and continues to be one of the most outspoken and compassionate leaders in the country in protecting the unborn child from abortion and providing loving care for mothers. As a matter of fact, most Christian denominations oppose abortion.
Many of our Catholic members were upset and enraged by the ad published in our city newspapers. Therefore, in response to the ad, we reached out to our Catholic members to get their input on the matter, asking them to tell us why they are Catholic and pro-life.
The feedback we received was tremendous. Here’s what some of you had to say:
“I’m Catholic and pro-life because Catholic doctrine says those whose reject children reject God… ‘Children are a gift from the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward.’ Psalm 127:3.” – Mike C., Skokie, IL
“I am pro-life because my Catholic faith teaches me that every human life, no matter how conceived, is a gift of unconditional love to this world, created by God, in His image.” – Peter G., Schaumburg, IL
“I am Catholic and pro-life, and because I chose the gift of life 37 years ago, now after 37 years of marriage, 5 children, all adults, I have realized that Gods mercy is never ending and through prayer, humility, and trust in Jesus I have been truly blessed and can’t give up!” – Chris F.
“…because God created each person with a soul at the moment of conception, and He loves that soul so much that ‘He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish but may have life everlasting.’” – Bill and Leslie S., North Barrington, IL
“I’m pro-life because God is pro-life and every child is precious to Him.” – Rosemary S., Eagleville, PA
“I am Catholic and pro-life because, as Executive Director of a crisis pregnancy center, I see the devastating emotional and physical effects of abortion every day!” – Kelly G., Naperville, IL
“I’m Catholic, 17 years old and I’m pro-life because all persons, born and unborn alike, have inviolable dignity and a right to live with which no other person can interfere.” – Danielle B., Highland, IL
“I am Catholic and pro-life because I am not God. God is the ruler of life and it is only according to His will that life begins or ends.” – Tom and Annette M., Mokena, IL
“I’m Pro-life because God is pro-life. I was born from a rape, and God has always been my savior.” – Alma P., Huntley, IL
“I am Catholic and Pro-life because babies are such a miracle and a gift from God!” – Kris M., Princeton, IL
“I’m prolife because I had a still born baby during my first pregnancy and knew that it was a
Child. Before losing my baby I felt it move and know it was alive for a few months.” – Kathy B. Glenview, IL
Some of our Facebook and Twitter followers replied as well:
“Catholic and pro-life, both words mean the same to me.” – Anne S.
“Because God created all of us and doesn’t make mistakes. Because my son had a strong heart beat at 7 weeks gestation. Because God loves all his little children.” – Samantha M.
“Because children are a gift, enhance my life and are the only thing I can take to heaven.” – Karen D.
“I’m Catholic and pro-life because life begins at conception and I believe in the sanctity of the unborn.” – Maggie G.
“I am Catholic and Pro-life because all lives matters; especially from conception until natural death!” – Virginia Z.
“I’m Catholic and pro-life from birth to natural death because God made us wonderful and individual! And He loves us all.” – Katie W.
Catholic leaders have been outspoken on the subject as well. The Catholic Conference of Illinois responded to the ad campaign, stating,
“The teaching of the Catholic Church on abortion is the same as it always has been: The Church respects the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death.”
“The Catholic Church has a long history of serving and caring for women of all income-levels who are dealing with an unexpected pregnancy through pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes and adoption. These efforts are rightly labeled as social justice values…
We state the obvious: Abortion is not health care. And public funding for abortion is not a Catholic social justice issue.”
The Catholic Conference also published a statement that was issued by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, on September 14, 2016. In this, he writes,
“The organization [Catholics for Choice] rejects and distorts Catholic social teaching — and actually attacks its foundation. As Pope Francis said this summer to leaders in Poland . . . ‘Life must always be welcomed and protected…from conception to natural death. All of us are called to respect life and care for it’…
The CFC pits the needs of pregnant women against those of their unborn children. This is a false choice. Catholics and all people of good will are called to love them both. Consider supporting local pregnancy help centers, which do incredible work caring for mothers and children alike in a manner consistent with true social justice and mercy.”
In addition, after the ad was published in the San Antonio Express-News, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M.Sp.S., of San Antonio, TX responded with a statement in which he says,
“It is our hope that one day Catholics for Choice will take the time to acquaint themselves with basic Catholic teachings, and acknowledge the truth of the Catholic faith, and not choose to misrepresent her teachings with false and inaccurate information and ads that only work to confuse and mislead the public. Upholding the sacred dignity of all human life is the duty of every member of society and this duty must be taken seriously in order to ensure that we are a part of a culture that affirms the right to life for all, especially the most vulnerable among us.”
We also reached out to each of the dioceses in Illinois, asking for a comment or statement from their bishops on the ad. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki from the Diocese of Springfield released a statement, saying:
“The full-page ad placed in newspapers across the country by the organization, ‘Catholics for Choice’ (CFC) is deceptive not only in its mission of abortion activism but in the name of the organization itself. CFC is not associated with the Catholic Church in any way, nor does CFC speak for the Catholic Church. Using the word “choice” in its title is also deceiving in that it denies the unborn child the choice of a God-given life. The Catholic Church believes and upholds the truth that the sanctity of life begins from conception to natural death. The only real caring choice is to choose life.”
We are waiting for more responses and will be updating this blog as they are received.
It seems to be pretty clear…
Catholics and abortion don’t mix.