Bishop Conley: Planned Parenthood workers caught on video need Jesus. Pray for them.
July 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The Planned Parenthood representatives caught on recent undercover videos selling aborted baby body parts may be involved in a horrific evil, but they are children of God with souls in need of saving, a Catholic bishop has said.
As such, he said, Christians must not forget to pray for them, and all those who are involved in the abortion industry.
"These men and women were made for eternal life, and for unity with Jesus Christ,” he said. “Behind every depravity there is a soul, in danger of being lost forever.”
Lincoln, Neb. Bishop James Conley has himself prayed outside abortion facilities for decades, gone to jail with other pro-life supporters and has prayed for the conversion of individuals involved in providing abortions.
He says he was appalled by the recent video showing a senior Planned Parenthood official coldheartedly discussing the harvesting of fetal remains.
“Until this week, I have never really grasped the degree to which people in the abortion industry are enslaved, corrupted, and abused by the culture of death,” he said of the video’s contents.
“The footage is sickening,” the bishop wrote in July 21 column for First Things, “the transcript is even worse.”
Yet the Lincoln prelate stressed that despite the many issues surrounding the issue, the salvation of every soul, even those facilitating abortion, still has the greatest importance.
“In the debate over Planned Parenthood’s legal compliance, and in the quibbling over the methods of the Center for Medical Progress, the people performing abortions should not be forgotten.”
Bishop Conley named the true impetus behind the evil of abortion.
“Anyone who can casually discuss tearing children to shreds while having lunch and a good cabernet is a victim of the father of lies,” said Bishop Conley. “Anyone who thinks that divvying up murdered bodies does ‘a little bit of extra good’ is a captive subject of the dictatorship of relativism.”
“This video reminds me that anyone who traffics in abortion loses a vital and beautiful spark of humanity,” he added. “Evil coarsens us and deadens us—robs us of the freedom life offers.”
In his column Bishop Conley delved into specifics of how Satan makes Planned Parenthood’s work possible, by eroding the humanity in its workers, enabling them to then deny the humanity of the unborn children and mothers who enter their facilities.
“Planned Parenthood perpetrates evil deeds. And in perpetrating evil deeds, the men and women who work for Planned Parenthood become hardened against human dignity,” the bishop stated. “They lose their ethical sense. They calculate the financial benefit of depravity.”
At the same time these abortion workers are denying women and unborn children their human dignity, the bishop pointed out that they themselves remain children of God.
Bishop Conley illustrated this perspective using the example of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish priest imprisoned at Auschwitz during World War II who was regularly tortured and eventually martyred.
As Father Kolbe and his cellmates were beaten he prayed for their captors and asked his cellmates to do so as well. The bishop said Father Kolbe reminded the others that “the same evil that destroyed the bodies of prisoners was destroying the souls of his captors.”
The guards were morally culpable for their chosen evil acts, Bishop Conley said, “But each one of those who tortured Father Kolbe was a human being, an immortal soul, who had been seduced, ensnared, or possessed by the lies of the Evil One.”
“Father Kolbe prayed for his tormentors,” he emphasized. “They were not his enemies. Their salvation was the prize he hoped to gain by the witness of holy love, and holy martyrdom.”
“A person who believes that evil is good will not have a moral conversion upon being told that she has broken the law,” the bishops admitted. “An organization committed to killing does not close its doors because of a public relations problem.”
However, he added, “these discoveries might be the catalyst for our prayers. Only grace is capable of liberating hearts that have been ensnared by powerful evil.”