Kansas archbishop: Catholics should counter pro-abortion ‘bullying’ with truth

Naumann Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann from the Archdiocese of Kansas City appeared on EWTN's Pro-Life Weekly. | Credit: Pro-Life Weekly

Over the last month, the nation has seen a historic wave of change following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, with the political debate over abortion now shifting to the states. Currently, the Kansas Legislature is debating the “Value Them Both” amendment, which would potentially regulate access to abortion within the state.

Prudence Robertson of EWTN’s Pro-Life Weekly recently spoke with Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City about his support for the proposed amendment. They also discussed the reaction to the overturning of Roe v. Wade among local pro-life advocates and Naumann’s thoughts on the role that Catholics have in defending the unborn.

“I think for many of us, it’s been like the Berlin Wall coming down,” Naumann said as he described what it felt like for pro-life Kansans following the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe. “But of course, there are others that have become convinced … that we can’t survive as a society without the ability to kill our own children.”

On Aug. 2, Kansans will vote on the pro-life Value Them Both Amendment. If approved, it would enable state lawmakers to pass legislation to regulate abortion. Currently, lawmakers are generally prohibited from restricting abortion following a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that the state’s constitution protects abortion.

One of the unfortunate side effects of the overturning of Roe has been the vandalization of Catholic churches and pro-life pregnancy centers across the nation as a form of protest — something that Naumann has seen occur within his state.

“It’s really tragic to see the viciousness and, unfortunately, we’ve had at least one episode of vandalism at one of our churches here,” Naumann said. “A lot of other stealing of signs and defacing of our signs and kind of organized efforts and what I would call almost bullying by the opponents of the amendment here in Kansas.”

Ahead of the vote, parish buildings and a statue of the Blessed Mother at the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park, Kan., were “extensively defaced” with red spray paint in an “overt act of hatred and incivility,” Naumann’s archdiocese previously confirmed.

On EWTN’s Pro-Life Weekly, Naumann said that the final decision regarding the Value Them Both Amendment ultimately comes down to voter turnout on Aug. 2.

Naumann also touched on the role that Catholics and the Church itself have in advocating for passage of the amendment — as well as the broader role of defending the unborn. You can watch the interview with Naumann in the video below.

“Our approach … is comprehensive and part of it is advocacy,” Naumann described. “Since [the U.S. Church’s] very inception, Archbishop [John] Carroll thought it was not appropriate for us to endorse candidates, politicians, or parties. And so the Church has chosen never to do that. I think that was a wise decision, that we don’t want to stake the Church’s reputation to any particular politician or party. But it’s not a vote on a politician. It’s a vote on an issue.”

For any Catholic who is looking for ways to participate in this ongoing movement, Naumann stressed the importance of an approach that highlights the dignity of human life, including that of the unborn.

“I think we've got to reach minds and change hearts by [education]. Not the way that our opponents try to do things with violence and with bullying, but by simply presenting people with the truth … And so I think we don’t have enemies. We just have pro-lifers who haven’t yet been converted. And I think we have to work on that.”

For upcoming news on pro-life developments, stay tuned to Catholic News Agency and EWTN’s Pro-Life Weekly.

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