.- Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis has called on all of the faithful in his diocese to pray the rosary on All Souls’ Day, Nov. 2, “for the safeguarding of embryonic human life.”
In an Oct. 20 pastoral letter, titled “Safeguarding Embryonic Human Life through Prayer,” the archbishop said Catholics must be thoroughly informed about the proposed constitutional amendment, which would allow for human cloning. Catholics must also courageously speak the truth to others about cloning and pray, Burke said.
In the most controversial form of stem-cell research, embryos are cloned; their stem cells are removed and the embryos are killed in the process.
Missourians will head to the polls next month to vote on Amendment 2, which would allow for this type of cloning. The Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, headed by Donn Rubin, is responsible for putting the initiative on the ballot. The ballot measure would guarantee that any stem-cell research that is legal under federal law could be performed in Missouri.
“Somatic cell nuclear transfer, that is, human cloning, is the prideful attempt of man to generate human life by himself, without God and in defiance of God’s plan for us,” Archbishop Burke wrote.
The bishop stopped short of telling Catholics in his archdiocese how to vote. However, he laid out the consequences of the vote in very frank, stark terms.
“We recognize that the vote of each of us on Amendment 2 will be either a vote for the protection of the right to life of our tiniest brothers and sisters, or a vote to subject them to destruction through scientific experimentation,” he said.
It “will also be either a vote for the protection of the integrity of human procreation or a vote to permit the artificial generation of human life,” he added.
The proponents of cloning have many financial resources to promote their cause and have cast opposition to cloning “as a form of heartless religious dogmatism and extremism,” the archbishop said.
“What is more, the officials of our government have permitted them to write the proposed amendment in language geared to deceive the voter,” wrote the archbishop, who said he would address this issue in a future letter.
In May, Archbishop Burke inaugurated an archdiocesan-wide “Rosary Crusade,” asking the faithful to pray the rosary daily for the safeguarding of embryonic human life.
“The praying of the rosary has been a most powerful spiritual instrument of the Church in seeking God’s help in times of great crisis,” he explained.
On All Souls Day, the students in the archdiocese’s Catholic schools will pray the rosary. Archbishop Burke will lead the rosary at DuBourg High School that morning. It will be broadcast on WRYT (AM-1080) and (KHOJ (AM-1460) Catholic radio.
“The challenge of defeating the proposed Amendment 2, the challenge of safeguarding embryonic human life and the integrity of human procreation, is great. But the victory belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ,” said the archbishop in his letter.