My Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Faith requires us to recognize life as a gift from our Creator. Faith also requires that we support and defend life. Today, the Church celebrates Respect Life Sunday. It is a celebration because we affirm that God is the Author and Creator of all Life (Ps. 95).
Most ardently as a Catholic community, we defend the life of every child in the womb of its mother at the moment of conception. There is nothing that can substitute for this teaching. It is intrinsically evil for anyone to procure an abortion or to actively assist in the taking of life. God is the God of mercy and if you have ever been a part of the taking of another’s life, I call you to repentance and invite you to return to the abundant mercy of God and the absolution of Christ through His Church. On this Respect Life Sunday, let us all renew our commitment to defend life, especially life in the womb.
As we celebrate Life today, we must acknowledge other related issues against human life and dignity that plague our society. Among these are growing attacks on the sanctity of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. This attack on the family has the effect of weakening the family – the basic structure of any society. The issue of pornography continues to erode the health of our society, poisoning the minds of so many people which often leads to a life of addiction and a lack of freedom. Talk and support for doctor-assisted death by suicide, euthanasia, continues to grow in our society. All of these issues manifest our growing lack of respect for human life and dignity.
In the arena of justice, let us not ignore the tragedy of human trafficking and the treatment of immigrants. Whether immigrants are legal or illegal, they are our brothers and sisters and they are to be treated with dignity. And let us be aware of those in our society who are homeless, poor, unemployed, and those who lack basic necessities for a life of dignity. I take this occasion to thank all of you who reach out in the name of Christ to those who are in these difficult situations.
Over the past months, we have witnessed an attack on our Religious Liberty which is at the heart of the American soul and protected under the First Amendment. Thank you for your strong response in favor of Religion Freedom. We must continue to be vigilant and protect our relationship with God. We have been guaranteed in this country the free practice of religion. We cannot allow imposed mandates or laws to dictate what we should believe or how we practice our faith.
So many other issues are bound to life and justice: the right to a good education; the right to housing and food; the right to dignity for those who are incarcerated, and the list goes on and on.
My brothers and sisters, if we are Catholic, we are pro-life, if we have faith in God, we are ready to defend the Natural Law that God has written into each one of our hearts. Civil law cannot contradict or suppress the Natural Law. Our conscience must receive its true light from the gospel. Persuasive political arguments and popular opinion is not the foundation of truth or of freedom.
May God bless you today and always. Let us continue to pray for our country and for a renewed Respect for all Life.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD
Bishop of Corpus Christi