ROME — The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) declared this weekend Catholic politicians must not promote laws against the life of the unborn.
Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia said Saturday it is “a great error” for Catholic legislators “to promote legislation favoring abortion and euthanasia,” noting that the teaching of the Catholic Church “is very clear in this regard.”
Archbishop Paglia was speaking in a virtual meeting of the Pan American Network for the Right to Life, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the encyclical letter on the Gospel of Life, Evangelium Vitae, issued by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1995.
For this reason, Catholic politicians “must stop promoting anti-life laws,” Paglia said. “There is no doubt about this!”
The job of Christian politicians is to “support and help the lives of all, especially the weakest. There is no doubt about this,” he said.
The archbishop also urged Catholics to work to correct politicians who are in error, seeking both to condemn their errors and to “convert the one who errs, to help save him.”
“The Church has a great responsibility to help its members, first of all, to convert to the Gospel of life, to the beauty of life,” he said. “It is important that we avoid the dirty work of death and carry out the beautiful work of life.”
Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden has come under fire for presenting himself as a Catholic while flouting the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of human life.
In late August, Tennessee Bishop Rick Stika called into question Joe Biden’s standing as a Catholic, given Biden’s public stance in favor of abortion on demand.
“Don’t understand how Mr. Biden can claim to be a good and faithful Catholic as he denies so much of Church teaching especially on the absolute child abuse and human rights violations of the most innocent, the not yet born,” Bishop Stika wrote.
The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is a grievous moral evil equivalent to murder, as it involves the intentional killing of an innocent unborn child. Being in full communion with the Catholic Church entails embracing its core teachings on faith and morals, something the bishop questions in Biden’s case.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”
Abortion “is gravely contrary to the moral law,” the Catechism declares, and, therefore, a person who procures an abortion incurs excommunication from the Church “by the very commission of the offense.”
Mr. Biden has reiterated his support for abortion on demand and has promised to work to repeal the Hyde and Helms Amendments that protect taxpayers from having to fund abortions.
In the United States bishops’ letter on the political responsibility of Catholics, Faithful Citizenship, the issue of abortion is presented as the preeminent moral question in play.
“The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed,” the bishops declare.
Last Friday, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila noted there is only one truly Catholic position on abortion since the Catholic Church is unapologetically pro-life.
“Catholic public persons & every Catholic has the responsibility to be faithful to the Gospel of Life,” he said.