Philly Archbishop: Abortion Is ‘Violence with Bitter Public Consequences’

DENVER, CO - JULY 20: Catholic Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput answers questions at a news conference on July 20, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Chaput was announced Tuesday as the Archbishop-designate for the dioces of Philadelphia, one of the country’s largest dioceses in the United States. The church in Philadelphia …
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Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has once again lent his strong voice to the abortion debate, reminding Americans that abortion is “a uniquely intimate form of violence – but violence with bitter public consequences.”

Killing an unborn child “is never a private matter,” Chaput wrote in LifeNews this week, a fact recalled by the massive January “March for Life” commemorating the iniquitous 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that imposed abortion on demand on the United States.

In his essay, Chaput promised to join the hundreds of thousands of marchers in Washington, calling the occasion “an opportunity to prove the strength of our convictions” and “to show to the world what we really believe about the sanctity of human life.”

The archbishop addressed the common criticism that Christians just want to “impose their beliefs” on everybody else by outlawing abortion, pointing out that all laws impose somebody’s belief system, since that’s the way a legal system works. Theft, murder, and arson would not be illegal unless enough people believed they should be.

“All law involves the imposition of somebody’s beliefs about the nature of truth, charity and justice on everyone else,” Chaput said. “That’s the reason we have marches, debates, elections and Congress — to peacefully turn the struggle of ideas and moral convictions into laws that guide our common life.”

Catholics believe that God “creates every human being with innate dignity and rights, including above all the right to life,” Chaput wrote, and those rights must be defended by society.

Beliefs must be translated into action, or they remain empty and ineffective. That’s why “beliefs about the sanctity of the human person” must be translated into law, or injustice will continue to triumph.

The archbishop challenged Christians, asking whether we are “troubled enough about what’s wrong with the world,” and specifically “the killing of millions of unborn children through abortion” to do something about it.

Archbishop Chaput is not the only high-ranking prelate to speak out forcefully on the evil of abortion this week.

Last week, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez held up abortion as the number one social justice issue in America today.

Despite constant media attention on issues such as immigration, global warming and economic disparity, the fact remains that abortion outweighs them all as the greatest moral evil of our age, or “the fundamental injustice in American society,” Archbishop Gomez said in a tweet.

“If a child has no right to develop in the womb and be brought into this world — then there is no foundation for any human rights in society,” the Archbishop announced in a tweet Friday.

Even Pope Francis has weighed in on the question just prior to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

“Every life counts: from the beginning to the end, from conception to natural death,” the pontiff tweeted Friday.

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