Abortion is a human rights issue, not only religious, says Archbishop

Abortion is a human rights issue, not only religious, says Archbishop


Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, in an op-ed piece published in today’s New York Times, blasted the notion that moral and religious positions should be kept out of the public square, and emphatically affirmed that the right to life is a fundamental human right, regardless of religious teaching, and that silence and neutrality in the face of abortion “are evils almost as  grave as abortion itself.”

In his piece entitled “Faith and Patriotism,” the Archbishop says that the notion that Catholics must not  "impose their beliefs on society" or warnings about the need for "the separation of church and state" are two of the emptiest slogans in current American politics, intended to discourage serious debate.” He explains that “the founders sought to prevent the establishment of an official state Church…but the Constitution does not, nor was it ever intended to, prohibit people or communities of faith from playing an active role in public life.”

He argues that democratic pluralism always involves lawmakers imposing a certain moral view on everyone else, that democracy depends upon people making their voices heard; those who support permissive abortion laws have had no qualms about imposing their views on a society that is generally against them. The rules of engagement should not be any different for those who oppose those laws, says Archbishop Chaput.

“Catholics…see abortion as a matter of civil rights and human dignity, not simply as a matter of religious teaching,” he said. “We are doubly unfaithful - both to our religious convictions and to our democratic responsibilities - if we fail to support the right to life of the unborn child.”

“Our duties to social justice by no means end there. But they do always begin there, because the right to life is foundational,” affirms Msgr. Chaput. “If we believe in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, we need to prove that by our actions, including our political choices.”

"Faith without works is dead," said Archbishop Chaput, referring to James 2:17 – a passage mentioned in the last presidential debate. “People,” he concludes, “should act on what they claim to believe. Otherwise they are violating their own conscience, and lying to themselves and the rest of us.”

Read the full editorial here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/document.php?n=48

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