Today all the diocese of the United States the Church are observing “A Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”, commemorating the fateful Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in 1973 that legalized abortion throughout our country. It is a sad and somber day that should provoke deep soul-searching in all believers and people of goodwill regarding the direction of our country.
Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, celebrated the launch of Respect Life Month with a statement. Archbishop Naumann encouraged Catholics discouraged by attacks on human life to “hold fast to Christ, our Hope.”
The recent passage of disturbing new abortion laws in New York State and public comments from Virginia political leaders has properly raised the public debate on abortion and the rights of the unborn and now born.
The following is a statement in response to these events by Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of the Bridgeport Diocese, Bishop Michael R. Cote of the Norwich Diocese and the Most Reverend Paul P. Chomnycky, OSBM, Ukrainian Eparchy of Stamford.
February 7, 2019
Dear Friends in Christ:
On January 22, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York signed into law the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), a tragic abortion expansion bill which allows for the killing of an unborn child until birth as a “fundamental” right. Safeguards that previously protected those infants accidentally born alive during an abortion have also been repealed under this new law. Other provisions of this unjust law also place the lives of women in jeopardy by allowing abortions to be performed by non-physicians at the discretion of the abortionist and prevent prosecution for an attack on an unborn child through criminal acts of violence or coerced abortion.
Other states such as Rhode Island, Virginia, and New Mexico are now trying to pass similar legislation.
We, the Catholic Bishops of Connecticut, unequivocally denounce such legislation and all legislation that allows the direct taking of human life at any stage of development, especially in the womb. We uphold the Church’s unchanging teaching that affirms every human life to be unique, precious, and a gift from God. It is a basic human right that every life be protected from the moment of conception to natural death.
At a time when we should be working together to better safeguard all lives and find common ground in our increasingly polarized society the New York law makes lateterm abortion more available by adopting an absolutist “pro-choice” position that is unacceptable and should speak to the conscience of all those who value life.
As a community of faith, we must continue to take a stand for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters in the womb and their mothers, who are often coerced and pressured into making choices against the life they carry. They need our prayers, support and accompaniment to help them choose life, especially when they face any difficulties during pregnancy.
For those who have undergone an abortion, the church stands ready to assist with healing and reconciliation through a variety of means, including Project Rachel, a program which manifests the forgiveness and mercy of God.
As we continue this struggle, we can remain confident that everything is. in the hands of God, who sees all, who judges justly, and from whose hand no one can be snatched away—especially an innocent unborn child.
Committed to prayer, education, advocacy and acts of reparation for the millions of lives already lost through abortion, we invite you to join us to serve as witnesses of the truth and defenders of human life in our society.
With every best wish and prayer, we remain,
As World Youth Day celebrations continue here in Panama, I was deeply saddened to learn about the recent law passed in my former home state that has liberalized the state’s already permissive laws for abortion. The fact that these new sets of regulations were signed into law on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade is itself a travesty. However, to consider that countless more unborn children will be robbed of their God-given right to enjoy the gift of life- a gift that only God can give and only God can take away- must become a moment of real decision for all Christian believers and every reasonable person of good will.
How disturbing is the state of our contemporary American society that chooses to blatantly disregard human life, both unborn life and life that is vulnerable at any age. It is an undeniable fact that no past society has prospered if it did not at the same time value, protect and nurture the sacredness of every human life. What path are we forging for ourselves as a society when politicians, claiming to refrain from following their own conscience in favor of reflecting the “will” of their constituents, allow laws that attack life in the womb? Is not government designed in part to protect the vulnerable in our midst?
Do not these same government and societal leaders claim to be inclusive of all people? If so, why do they close the door on the unborn and not welcome these children into our midst? Do they not claim to be tolerant and seek to create a “large tent” in which everyone can be accepted? If so, why are the unborn not given a place in that “tent”?
As Christians, we must stand with our children by rejecting without exception the sin of abortion. We must remain steadfast in our commitment to protect unborn life, as well as support every human life at any age. We must lead by the personal witness of our own lives. We must find new and effective ways to provide material and spiritual support for those mothers who wish to bring their children into the world. And we must pray for the conversion of our society, which claims to be tolerant and welcoming, that it may do so precisely for the unborn in our midst.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos.