He said that "Recently, there has been some objection to this language that 'abortion remains our preeminent priority,' arguing that it places too much emphasis on this one particular issue. My response to this objection is this: While Catholics debate where abortion should be ranked in the hierarchy of issues, there is NO dispute among those who oppose God's design for marriage and family life. Abortion is THE preeminent non-negotiable issue for those in this country who are attacking traditional family values. If you do not think it should be the Church's preeminent priority, watch what proponents of abortion on demand will do to ensure that this evil never goes away!"
The legalization of abortion is "an unspeakable offense against the 'Lord and giver of life,' yet we have grown numb to the magnitude of this evil," Bishop Hanefeldt lamented.
He added that "abortion is so essential to the agenda of those who oppose traditional family values that they force taxpayers to pay for this evil act, which is an affront to their religious liberty. This is anything but the just ordering of society!"
The bishop affirmed that "Our world is suffering from so many evils. Our salvation is in Jesus Christ and not in politics, yet as citizens we must participate in the political process."
"Forces in opposition to traditional family values have one unrelenting goal that will not be compromised. Legalized abortion is bringing about the fall of this nation! Far from being 'one nation under God,' we have become a nation in chaos. In this time of chastisement, let us live the gospel of life by entering into fasting and prayer, doing penance for God's mercy upon this land!"
Bishop Hanefeldt concluded: "If you are tired of the abortion debate, its supporters are not! Evil triumphs while we argue about moral exigency."
"Turn off the blogs, the social media, the news and Twitter," he exhorted. "Instead, as a Church and as a nation, let us get on our knees and pray for God's mercy to save our souls, guilty of the tragic disregard for his sovereignty and the sanctity of human life, made in his image and likeness!"
Bishop Hanefeldt has company among the US bishops in emphasizing the preeminence of the right to life in recent weeks.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chair of the US bishops' pro-life committee, made the same observation last month, and Bishop Alfred Schlert of Allentown wrote in a Sept. 9 pastoral letter that "a Catholic voter is to approach the ballot box with the defense of innocent human life uppermost in his/her mind and conscience," and that Catholic voters should consider whether their vote would constitute cooperation "with a candidate's promotion of the grave sins of abortion and euthanasia."