US Bishops Defend "Life Unworthy of Life"

Note Government Move to Mandate Abortion in Health Insurance

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 27, 2011 ( As the 40th Respect Life Month begins this weekend, the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee says the Church is defending those at risk of being dismissed as a «life unworthy of life» with Jesus’ promise of «life to the full.»

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Houston and chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, affirmed this in a statement Monday on Respect Life Month.

This year’s monthlong celebration comes on the heals of a U.S. government decision to mandate artificial contraception and abortifacient drugs in private health care plans. The bishops have already called the faithful to protest this move before the deadline set by the Obama administration, which is Friday.

Cardinal DiNardo spoke against «viewing life as a ‘zero sum’ game, in which advancing one’s interests requires putting aside the needs of others, can lead to callous unconcern for anyone who is especially weak, defenseless, and in need of our help. The unborn child, the aging parent who some call a ‘burden’ on our medical system, the allegedly ‘excess’ embryo in the fertility clinic, the person with a disability, the cognitively impaired accident victim who needs assistance in receiving food and water to live — each today is at risk of being dismissed as a ‘life unworthy of life.'»

Referring to the theme for this year’s Respect Life Month, he said that «Jesus’ promise of ‘life to the full’ is especially poignant today, when our culture and sometimes our government promote values inimical to the happiness and true good of individuals and society.»

Distortion and disdain

The cardinal addressed the government intention to include contraception and abortifacient drugs in health care plans as «preventive care,» a classification normally used for vaccinations and services such as cancer screening.

He said that the move shows both a distorted view of sexuality and a disdain for the role of religion.

«The decision is wrong on many levels,» the cardinal stated. «Preventive services are aimed at preventing diseases (e.g., by vaccinations) or detecting them early to aid prompt treatment (e.g., screening for diabetes or cancer). But pregnancy is not a disease. It is the normal, healthy state by which each of us came into the world. (…) Mandating such coverage shows neither respect for women’s health or freedom, nor respect for the consciences of those who do not want to take part in such problematic initiatives.»

The bishops’ official urged Catholics not to «shrink from the obligation to assert the values and principles we hold essential to the common good, beginning with the right to life of every human being and the right of every woman and man to express and live by his or her religious beliefs and well-formed conscience.»

«During this Respect Life Month,» the cardinal concluded, «as we celebrate God’s great gift of life, let us pray and reflect on how each of us might renew our commitment and witness to ‘respecting, promoting and teaching the transcendent nature of the human person,’ thereby shoring up the foundations of a society sorely in need of this guidance.»

— — —

On the Net:

Full text:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation