Supporting the evil of abortion has “spiritual consequences,” Bishop Robert F. Vasa of the Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa warned.
In a statement May 4, the California bishop joined a growing chorus of church leaders in urging Catholic politicians who support abortion to repent and “open their hearts to God’s converting grace.”
Vasa issued the statement in support of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone who published a strong pro-life pastoral letter, “Before I Formed You in the Womb I Knew You,” earlier this month.
“I commend the Archbishop for offering encouragement to Catholics in public life who advocate for life,” Vasa said. “I join him in asking that those who participate in or support this grotesque industry to actually look at the evil that is being done and open their hearts to God converting grace.”
Addressing Catholic politicians specifically, the bishop said nothing can justify the killing of an unborn child in an abortion.
“I, too, call upon those in public life, especially Catholics, to recognize that the killing involved in an abortion is not in any way justifiable or defensible,” Vasa said. “They cannot support such evil and expect no spiritual consequences.”
He mourned the complacency that so many Americans display regarding abortion today, continuing: “We have lived with abortion in our country for nearly 50 years. Perhaps our hearts have grown calloused to the moral and physical evil of this denial of humanity.”
Vasa also encouraged pro-lifers to persevere in affirming the value of every human life, born and unborn, and reminded women and others involved in abortion that there is healing and forgiveness in Christ.
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He urged people to read Cordileone’s pastoral letter, which emphasizes the importance of protecting unborn babies from abortion.
One section of Cordileone’s letter specifically addressed the problem of Catholic public figures who promote the killing of unborn babies in abortions. First, he said these public figures should be confronted privately, corrected and urged to repent; but those who stubbornly persist in evil may be denied Communion.
“When other avenues are exhausted, the only recourse a pastor has left is the public medicine of temporary exclusion from the Lord’s Table,” Cordileone wrote. “This is a bitter medicine, but the gravity of the evil of abortion can sometimes warrant it.”
Quoting Ezekiel 33:8, the archbishop said Catholic leaders have a duty to call out wickedness or else be held responsible along with those who persist in sinning.
“I tremble that if I do not forthrightly challenge Catholics under my pastoral care who advocate for abortion, both they and I will have to answer to God for innocent blood,” Cordileone continued.
He said everyone sins, but “there is a great difference between struggling to live according to the teachings of the Church and rejecting those teachings.”
A number of Catholic leaders have been speaking out against prominent Catholic politicians like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden because of their support for the killing of unborn babies.
At their June meeting, the U.S. bishops plan to vote on a document from their Committee on Doctrine “with the aim of clarifying the church’s stance” on pro-abortion politicians and Communion, the Associated Press reports.
Though Biden professes to be a devout Catholic, he openly defies church teachings about the sanctity of human life. After just 100 days in office, he already surpassed President Barack Obama as the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history by ending safety regulations that protect mothers and unborn babies from abortion and forcing taxpayers to fund the billion-dollar abortion industry.