Catholic Bishop David Zubik urged voters to consider how the “right to be born” is the most fundamental of all human rights when they vote in November.
Zubik, who serves the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, wrote about the upcoming election in a letter to Catholics on Sept. 22, the Catholic News Agency reports.
“I recognize that many of you feel such deep distress about this election, perhaps the most contentious in the course of our lifetime,” Zubik wrote.
He said there are problems with both major political parties and their presidential candidates, and church leaders will not endorse anyone. However, he urged Catholics to weigh some issues more strongly than others when they vote.
Here’s more from the report:
Among the major problems facing the country right now are life issues, which “include the serious threats to human life and dignity, some of which are racism, the environmental crisis, human trafficking, unemployment, underemployement, appropriate medical coverage, the death penalty, religious freedom, the plight of immigrants, and poverty among others. In each and all of these, the Gospel calls for our attention.”
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Zubik said while that list is but a “partial litany” of life issues, there is a “hierarchy of these issues that needs to be recognized.”
“At the forefront of ‘life issues’ is the right to be born as the right upon which all other ‘life issues’ rest,” he said.
In the United States alone, about 62 million unborn babies have been killed in elective abortions since 1973. Though abortion rates are dropping, abortions still kill more human beings than any other cause every year.
Zubik’s words echo those of many other Catholic leaders, including Pope Francis who recently prayed that lawmakers’ consciences would be “awakened” to the value of unborn babies.
Wisconsin Catholic Bishop Donald Hying also recently asked Catholics to consider the tragedy of abortion when they vote.
In a Sept. 23 column for the Diocese of Madison’s newspaper, he pointed out how abortions harm more than just unborn babies, according to CNA.
“Although I have always been pro-life, my commitment and understanding deepened when, as a young priest, I listened to and learned from the emotional, psychological, and spiritual pain of so many women and men who have been profoundly wounded by the violence of abortion,” Hying wrote.
He praised Catholics for supporting pregnant and parenting families by providing “health care, education and social services” as well as “hope and healing to women and men grieving in the aftermath of abortion.” He said it is clear that pro-lifers care about born and unborn lives.
Hying also asked voters to consider what it means when a candidate supports the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
“If a candidate is fundamentally wrong on such a basic and preeminent human rights issue of grave consequence to the most innocent in our society and to our own future, how can I trust the candidate to make moral and prudent decisions on many other important social justice issues pertaining to the common good?” he wrote.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is encouraging Catholics to prioritize protections for unborn babies when they vote in November.
“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,” their voter’s guide states.