Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

June 24 marked the one-year anniversary of the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade and rightly returned to the states the authority to pass legislation regarding abortion. Remarking on this anniversary, President Joseph Biden issued a statement that day criticizing the Dobbs decision for “denying women across the nation the right to choose” abortion.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said, “It is now up to Congress to protect” access to abortion “from the results of this disastrous ruling.” Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth said that she was “dedicated to doing everything [she] can at the federal level to protect and expand affordable access to” abortion. Of course, Biden, Durbin, and Duckworth avoid using the word “abortion” and instead use the euphemism “reproductive health.” This evasive terminology hides the harsh reality that there is nothing healthy about abortion, which in fact destroys human reproduction.

Taking the pro-abortion rhetoric down to an even lower level of deception and dishonesty,  31 Catholic Democrats in the United States House of Representatives signed a letter on June 24 claiming that the “fundamental tenets of our Catholic faith — social justice, conscience, and religious freedom — compel us to defend a woman’s right to access abortion.” They even had the audacity to make the false assertion that the writings of St. John Paul II — a staunch defender of human life from conception to natural death — somehow supported their pro-abortion stance.

Thankfully, the leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on June 28 publicly rebuked these Catholic politicians for misrepresenting the teachings of the Catholic Church. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, president of the USCCB; Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee of Pro-Life Activities; and Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, jointly issued a correction of these Catholic politicians, saying, “Members of Congress who recently invoked teachings of the Catholic faith itself as justifying abortion or supporting a supposed right to abortion grievously distort the faith. It is wrong and incoherent to claim that the taking of innocent human life at its most vulnerable stage can ever be consistent with the values of supporting the dignity and well-being of those in need.”

Commenting on the authentic teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that says, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception,” the bishops added, “Abortion violates this with respect to preborn children and brings untold suffering to countless women.”

The bishops concluded by saying, “We once again implore and pray for Congress to join us in working toward the true common good by prioritizing authentic, uplifting support for the vulnerable and marginalized, including mothers and families in need.”

I fully support and agree with this correction issued by the leadership of the USCCB and I join them in praying for the conversion of those who obstinately persist in promoting the grave sin of abortion. This call to conversion is especially urgent here in the State of Illinois, where the pro-abortion politicians continue their aggressive assault on unborn human life. We must be steadfast in our prayers for a change of heart on the part of these misguided and mistaken politicians and the voters who share in their culpability by voting to elect them. We cannot relax our efforts to reverse the culture of death that pervades our state and promote a true culture of life where all human life is respected from conception to natural death.

May God give us this grace. Amen.