Chicago, Ill., Aug 6, 2015 / 15:41 pm
In an opinion column for the Chicago Tribune, Archbishop Blase Cupich denounced abortion after the recently released undercover Planned Parenthood videos, saying they should remind Catholics of their obligation to fight social ills from joblessness to a broken immigration system.
"While commerce in the remains of defenseless children is particularly repulsive, we should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want; who pay the price of violence in gun-saturated neighborhoods; or who are executed by the state in the name of justice."
The archbishop in his Aug. 3 column referenced a series of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials describing the harvesting of body parts from aborted babies at their clinics.
In the videos, Planned Parenthood officials casually discuss prices for various body parts and how abortion procedures may be altered to ensure intact organs. One video shows a medical assistant looking through body parts from an aborted baby before proclaiming, "Another boy!"
Planned Parenthood has maintained that its actions are legal. However, the videos have prompted widespread outrage, nationwide rallies, congressional investigations and calls to defund the organization, which receives more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer money annually.
Archbishop Cupich said the revulsion over the tapes stems from the culture's muting of the unborn child's humanity, to the point that "some consider it quite acceptable to speak freely of crushing a child's skull to preserve valuable body parts and to have that discussion over lunch."
The videos offer "the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment as a nation to a consistent ethic of life," the Chicago archbishop said, calling for "a framework for decision-making that is biased toward life, supportive of families and fair to people of all circumstances."
"The nation's children, families, poor, workers and senior citizens deserve more than lip service. They deserve more than outrage. They deserve real support, protection and solid action."
Amid the outrage expressed at the videos, Archbishop Cupich said he does see cause for hope. The strong reactions, he said, are "evidence that American hearts have not been irreparably hardened by the steady devaluing of human dignity in our society."
"This awakening of our conscience gives hope that deep within the hearts and souls of Americans there still resides the truth that an unborn child manifestly is a human being, entitled to rights and respect."
Americans' openness and generosity "has the capacity to astonish and push boundaries," the archbishop said. "We crowdfund, sign petitions, dump buckets of ice on ourselves and embrace new ways of relating to our environment. Can we use our shared outrage at all these affronts to human dignity to unite us and begin a national dialogue on the worth of human life?"