Abortion is a ‘horrible sign’ of what society has forgotten, says the Catholic archbishop

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As Christian leaders continue to celebrate the overturn of Roe v. Wade last June, they recognize that there is still work to be done to empower and support pregnant women and the babies they bring into the world.

New head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Michael Burbidge, said the pro-life movement will have to adjust its strategies in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.

On the second day of the USCCB’s Fall 2022 General Assembly last week in Baltimore, Maryland, Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia noted that there are “so many ministries” within the Catholic Church that are “helping our brothers and sisters at every stage “. of life who ask for support and help.”

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Burbidge was clear that the work is not done in the wake of the Dobbs decision.

“I think we need to keep teaching,” he said at the conference.

“We must continue advocacy and witness. But service is at the heart of what being pro-life is — and we do that at every stage, from moms in crisis pregnancies [to] mothers in need [and] protect the unborn.”

“Service is central to what being pro-life is, and we do that at every stage, from mothers in crisis pregnancies [to] mothers in need [and] protect the unborn,” said Bishop Burbidge of Arlington.
(iStock)

As individual states now grapple with the abortion issue, Burbidge said he faces a unique challenge compared to past chairmen of the pro-life committee.

States such as New York, Michigan and California guarantee access to abortion in their state laws. Other states have moved or are moving to limit the procedure.

“Here are some resources that will help you connect with elected officials and inspire your neighbors and your relatives…”

Burbidge said he believes his role is to “provide resources to people who are in the field,” including his brother bishops, local-level pro-life directors and ordinary lay people.

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“And that’s our job [to say]”Hey, listen, let’s make sure you know what’s at stake right now in your local state, and here are some resources that will help you connect with elected officials and inspire your neighbors and your family members to be part of this cause.'”

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, wants to shift focus to providing resources and advocacy to those at the local level.

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, wants to shift focus to providing resources and advocacy to those at the local level.
(Paul Tomas/Diocese of Raleigh, NC, via TBEN)

Kat Talalas, associate director of pro-life communications at USCCB, told TBEN News Digital that Dobbs’ decision was “a great moral and spiritual victory of our time” — and that “we praise God for the fruit of the prayers and sacrifices of millions staunch pro-lifers.”

She added: “The Catholic Church will continue to advocate for the protection of human life at the federal and state levels, and expand education [about] the extreme brutality of pro-abortion legislation and proclaim the value of every human life.”

“Abortion destroys innocent human life, and it also weakens the fabric of society.”

The church, she explained, is the “largest non-government provider of social services” and is “ready to support women in need all over the United States.”

In addition to religious orders such as the Sisters of Life, Catholic hospitals and Church-affiliated pregnancy centers, the USCCB sponsors parish work called “Walking with Moms in Need,” Talalas said.

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“The Church also continues to extend the grace of Christ to men and women who have been injured by abortion through the confidential and compassionate assistance of Project Rachel Ministry,” she said, referring to the Catholic church ministry that assists those who have been involved in abortion .

Pro-life protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in late June. "The Catholic Church will continue to advocate for the protection of human life at the federal and state levels, and expand education [about] the extreme cruelty of pro-abortion legislation and proclaim the value of every human life," said Kat Talalas of the USCCB.

Pro-life protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in late June. “The Catholic Church will continue to advocate for the protection of human life at the federal and state levels, and expand education [about] the extreme brutality of pro-abortion legislation and proclaim the value of every human life,” said Kat Talalas of the USCCB.
(Photo by Joshua Comins/TBEN News)

Burbidge was elected chairman on Wednesday, November 16, after Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore resigned.

Lori was also elected vice president of the USCCB last week. In a presentation to the meeting, he spoke candidly about the reality of abortion, calling it a “horrifying sign that we’ve forgotten we belong together.”

While the overturn of Roe v. Wade was a “great victory,” it would be a “Pyrrhic victory” if hearts and minds don’t change on the abortion front, Lori said.

“We are bound to these women and their unborn children by bonds of common humanity, by bonds of radical solidarity,” he said.

“Abortion destroys innocent human life and also weakens the fabric of society,” said Lori. “It weakens the sense that we are all brothers and sisters.”

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Lori said that while the overturn of Roe v. Wade was a “great victory,” it would be a “Pyrrhic victory” if hearts and minds are not changed on the abortion front.

The Church will win hearts and minds by sharing and honoring "the innate dignity of both mother and child and our radical solidarity with each other," said Archbishop Lori.

The Church will win hearts and minds by sharing and honoring “the innate dignity of both mother and child and our radical solidarity with each other,” Archbishop Lori said.
(iStock/TBEN)

“Our Catholic schools are doing heroic work in educating the poor, our Catholic charities are doing heroic work in helping the poor. Our conference and our Catholic state conferences are voices for justice and peace,” he said.

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Still, “we have more work to do” in sharing Church teachings on abortion — and in particular on educating Catholics who consider themselves pro-choice.

“We should not hesitate to involve our fellow Catholics and encourage them to be closer to the spirit and heart of the Church,” he said.

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Lori said the church will win hearts and minds “by opening its heart and soul” — and by sharing and honoring “the innate dignity of both mother and child and our radical solidarity with one another.”

The Church needs to do more to assist mothers after the birth of their children, Catholic Church Archbishop William Lori suggested.

The Church needs to do more to assist mothers after the birth of their children, Catholic Church Archbishop William Lori suggested.
(iStock)

Essentially, he said the church needs to do more to help mothers, not just during pregnancy and birth, but beyond — and to help meet their and their child’s needs.

This, Lori explained, would allow the church to “speak credibly in a polarized society” on the issue of life.

“We must continue our hard work to reduce or even eliminate the division between our life advocacy on the one hand and our ministries of charity and justice on the other,” he said.

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He also said the church cannot ignore the issues that force women to have abortions, Lori said.

He said that “radical solidarity with mothers and their unborn children calls us to move beyond stale debates and damaging divisions within our own ministries.”

“Now is the time to move forward and bear strong and united testimony to the truth, beauty and inviolable dignity of human life at every stage,” he said.

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“Our commitment to the sanctity of life from the moment of conception is fully consistent with our commitment to serving the poor, welcoming the stranger, working for juvenile justice reform or ending the death penalty,” he also said. .