The USCCB has some notable quotes from the meeting going on now in Baltimore. Hat tip to Whispers in the Loggia
Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Chicago:Take a moment to sign the petition protesting FOCA. I know that it seems like an exercise in futility against something that seems like a done deal. But be on the record defending life. Speak up for the little ones who have no voice. Someday, we all have to face Our Lord and Judge. We will have to make an account of how we let this bloodshed continue and what did we do to fight it. Our task is to be faithful. God will bring the victory. Do not lose heart. Fight hard. Get your parish pro-life committee to go and pray at an abortuary. Even if it's just you. I have prayed in front of our nearest abortuary alone before. Not the smartest thing, but God and his angels and saints were there praying with me."[FOCA] could mean discontinuing obstetrics in our hospitals, and we may need to consider taking the drastic step of closing our catholic hospitals entirely," the bishop said. "It would not be sufficient to withdraw our sponsorship or to sell them to someone who would perform abortions. That would be a morally unacceptable cooperation in evil.Cardinal George:
"I do not think I'm being alarmist in suggesting the need to take such drastic steps," Paprocki added, noting that the bishops "need to be prepared to respond in the face of increasingly militant threats to unborn life."FOCA would have an equally destructive effect on the freedom of conscience of doctors, nurses and health care workers whose personal convictions do not permit them to cooperate in the private killing of unborn children. It would threaten Catholic health care institutions and Catholic Charities. It would be an evil law that would further divide our country, and the Church should be intent on opposing evil.
On this issue, the legal protection of the unborn, the bishops are of one mind with Catholics and others of good will. They are also pastors who have listened to women whose lives have been diminished because they believed they had no choice but to abort a baby. Abortion is a medical procedure that kills, and the psychological and spiritual consequences are written in the sorrow and depression of many women and men. The bishops are single-minded because they are, first of all, single-hearted.
The recent election was principally decided out of concern for the economy, for the loss of jobs and homes and financial security for families, here and around the world. If the election is misinterpreted ideologically as a referendum on abortion, the unity desired by President-elect Obama and all Americans at this moment of crisis will be impossible to achieve. Abortion kills not only unborn children; it destroys constitutional order and the common good, which is assured only when the life of every human being is legally protected. Aggressively pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion.
Prayer brings about miraculous things. From experience, be sure that you've gone to confession beforehand. Satan will attack you. But if you are open and transparent to the Lord, he will use you in ways that you cannot imagine. Prayer is the ultimate weapon against this Goliath. And even if you can see little changes where you are, prayers are never wasted. God listens to them.
Be faithful where you are. Don't give in to hand-wringing. Spend time in Adoration praying through the wonderful mysteries of the Life of Christ. Get involved with local programs that assist women who turn away from abortion. They will need your care and love. In your parish, get involved with teaching about the sanctity of marriage, about the holiness of our bodies. Don't let another generation of young people grow up thinking that they have the ultimate control over their bodies.
Take heart, Christ makes all things new. We are victorious through the Cross and Resurrection. Our Lord is the Lord of Life.