The right to life and Easter

The most fundamental of all human rights is the right to life. All other imperatives of justice and mercy are derivative of the great truth that human beings are made in the image and likeness of God and that all human life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death. Any cooperation with the grave sin of abortion is intrinsically evil and would certainly imperil one’s eternal salvation.

Although the clear majority of Americans oppose “abortion on demand” and especially the horrific act of murdering a child in the very process of being born, there is renewed effort today at the very highest levels of government to more widely enable and more generously fund the abortion of innocent human life in America and throughout the world. A dehumanized utilitarianism is now promoted as the only standard of scientific research. There are also serious legislative proposals to remove the rights of conscience for Catholic medical personnel and even to require Roman Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.

I am certain that the priests, deacons, religious and faithful of our Diocese are determined to vigorously oppose these efforts, even to the point of civil disobedience if that should ever become necessary. For practicing Catholics, loyalty to Jesus Christ must always supersede all other loyalties, including our ties to political parties, elected officials, schools, other institutions and organizations, even families and friends. In this Easter season as we celebrate the Lord’s victory over death, I wish to strongly reassert our Faith’s unshakable commitment to the Gospel of Life. As an ancient hymn of the Roman Church proclaims: Christ wins! Christ reigns! Christ commands! — Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of Peoria

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