Catholics must share their pro-life convictions and be serious about helping those who are considering abortion, Bishop James D. Conley of Denver said ahead of the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
“Each of us is called to witness to the dignity of all human life. As uncomfortable as it might be, we are called to share our pro-life convictions with our neighbors, friends and families,” Bishop Conley said in his Jan. 18 Denver Catholic Register column.
“We need not be combative or polemical—but to be serious Christians, we need to be honest. And honesty means telling the truth, in love, about abortion.”
“Make no mistake about it,” he wrote. “Abortion is the killing of tiny human beings in the womb. But for nearly 40 years in the United States, abortion has been a legally protected right by the Supreme Court.”
Bishop Conley, who is apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Denver, encouraged Catholics to engage in charitable work to end abortion, either through Catholic Church programs or by opening their lives to women and families in crisis.
“If we are serious about ending abortion, we should also be serious about helping those who might consider this tragic choice,” he said.
The bishop also stressed the need to pray “at all times,” reminding local Catholics that a pro-life Mass will be celebrated at Denver’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21.
He also considered the distortions abortion has introduced into American society.
“Perversely, abortion is increasingly understood as a safeguard to preserving freedom,” he said.
Bishop Conley cited President Barack Obama’s Jan. 23, 2011 statement in which he said that the Roe v. Wade decision helps ensure that “our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”
This is a “tragically confused perspective,” Bishop Conley said.
“In order to protect the rights of our sons and daughters, President Obama, and many more, believe that we must deny the most fundamental, inalienable and God-given right—the right to life.”
Relativism, he said, has made it possible for people to believe abortion is a fundamental right but that life itself is not.
However, Bishop Conley saw reasons for hope in the work of pro-life young people and in the growth of crowds at the annual March for Life in D.C.
The ongoing presence of abortion in America witnesses to our “deeply troubled times,” he concluded.
“But we do not live alone—we live in Christ. And in Christ, each of us can work together to end ‘the dictatorship of relativism.’ Together, we can hope, we can work and we can pray, for the flowering of a culture of life.”