Concerns are growing about some Catholic Church leaders’ commitment to protecting unborn babies and their mothers from abortion.
The Catholic Church has been one of the leading advocates for the rights of unborn babies in the world. It teaches that all human lives are valuable, from conception to natural death, and deserving of protection.
However, recent events have left a number of Catholics questioning some church leaders’ decisions related to the issue.
The Catholic news site Church Militant reports the Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles is renting one of its building complexes to a conference featuring two Planned Parenthood abortion business leaders.
The keynote speakers at the conference are Susan Dunlap, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, and Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.
Here’s more from the report:
Church Militant confirmed with Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) that the event, Uncertain Times: Charting the Path Forward for Women’s Health, sponsored by the Policy Cafe Breakfast, will be held Friday at the Center at Cathedral Plaza, on the grounds of the Los Angeles Cathedral, and that the event will focus on how to continue with pro-abortion activism without getting “burned out.”
… The CCALAC is an organization that claims its members share a mission of “expanding access to quality comprehensive health care for every individual” — code word for abortion and contraception access. The website houses a support page for abortion activists and features training on how to provide medical care for LGBT patients.
The news outlet reports it contacted the archdiocese for comment, and a spokesman said he is “looking into” the matter.
UPDATE 6/21 12:14 PM ET: The Archdiocese has issued a statement and moved the event:
“Dear Friends of Life,
“Thank you for bringing the Uncertain Times: Charting a Path Forward for Women’s Health event to our attention at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The information was acted upon immediately, and the event has been moved.
“The topic for the event, as well as the occupations of both speakers listed in the promotional material, stands in direct contradiction to Catholic moral doctrine and violates our policy for the use of our facilities in the ADLA handbook, which states, ‘speakers should not contradict the mission and principles of the Catholic Church, especially in the area of objective Catholic moral teaching.’
“The Office of Life, Justice and Peace, under the leadership of Archbishop Gomez, are committed to the dignity of every human life and the protection of the right to life for all. We ask that you join us in prayer today and every day for an end to the tragedy of abortion and a commitment to supporting women and families in need.
“God is our Father and he calls us to take responsibility for our brothers and sisters, to promote and protect human life, beginning with the most defenseless members of our human family.” Archbishop Gomez, For Greater Things You Were Born
“The Archdiocese of Los Angeles official statement:
“This was not a Cathedral or Archdiocesan event. The Archdiocese became aware of the matter yesterday evening. The event will not be taking place at the Center on the Cathedral Plaza.”
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The archdiocese regularly rents parts of its Center at Cathedral Plaza for events. It advertises a conference center, meeting rooms, catering and other services for groups hosting events.
The news is surprising given that Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez has been a strong advocate against abortion and assisted suicide in California.
Gomez repeatedly and strongly has urged California lawmakers to protect the vulnerable by rejecting a bill legalizing doctor-prescribed suicide.
“There is no denying that in California and nationwide we face a public health crisis in the way we treat patients who are terminally ill and at the end of life,” Gomez said in 2015. “But the answer to fear and a broken system is to fix the system and address the fears. It is not to kill the one who is afraid and suffering.”
Last year, Gomez told a Hispanic pro-life conference that violence in society is rooted in abortion and euthanasia.
“So in everything we need to be clear that the root violence in our society is the violence against those who are not yet born and those who are at the end of their lives,” Gomez said. “If the child in the womb has no right to be born, if the sick and the old have no right to be taken care of – then there is no solid foundation to defend anyone’s human rights.”
He also was a keynote speaker at a large pro-life rally organized by the diocese in January. The annual pro-life event is a peaceful, prayerful celebration of every human life and a means for encouraging Catholics and others to become more involved in pro-life efforts.
But concerns remain.
Late last week, many also questioned Pope Francis’s decision to appoint abortion supporter Nigel Biggar to the Catholic Church’s Pontifical Academy for Life.
Responding to concerns Saturday, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia said the Vatican remains committed to protecting unborn babies from abortion, the AP reports. Paglia said Biggar will not participate in debates about abortion in his role at the academy.
Biggar’s opposition to legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia appear to be the reasons for his appointment. He told the AP that he and the Catholic Church have reached the same conclusions about euthanasia and assisted suicide. Biggar also said the Vatican asked him to clarify his position on abortion after the controversy arose. He previously said he supports abortion up to 18 weeks of pregnancy.
Pope Francis has opposed abortion consistently in his words, writings and actions. He clearly stated that the Catholic Church will not compromise its pro-life position.
In 2013, the Vatican released the text of Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”), an Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis that specifically addresses pro-life and pro-family issues. The text of the message makes it clear that the Catholic Church cannot and will not compromise on its pro-life teachings on abortion.