SANTA ROSA, California, January 24, 2012 ( – Politicians who support legal access to abortion are “absolutely unfit for public office” and “as guilty of abortion as those who choose it themselves,” Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa told a pro-life rally Sunday, marking the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

“Any government leader, particularly those who claim to be Christian, who claims to be pro-choice, is unworthy of public office,” the bishop told the crowd of around 100 pro-lifers gathered in Courthouse Square, according to The Press Democrat.  “Absolutely unworthy and absolutely unfit for public office.”


The bishop, who took over the Diocese of Santa Rosa in June after eleven years in Baker, Oregon, called Roe v. Wade “illicit and invalid,” and remarked that because of America’s allowance of abortion it is no longer “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” but rather “a land of the imprisoned and the home of the cowards.”

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In a follow-up interview, he told The Press Democrat that Catholic politicians who support legal access to abortion should not be receiving Communion and risk excommunication.  “In some ways, they excommunicate themselves,” he said.

In an October article for the diocesan magazine, Bishop Vasa wrote that Roe v. Wade unleashed “a war of enormous proportions … against innocent human life in the womb.”

“It is a war which need not be fought against an innocent who is no enemy.  Yet, we continue to elect and re-elect those who profess a desire for, or at least an indifference to, this slaughter of innocents,” he continued.  “I fear our age will be remembered for its indifference in the face of large scale, commercialized abortion.”

“Generations hence may well wag their heads in wonder at the thought that America could allow such disregard for the intrinsic dignity of a human person to persist for so many years,” he added.

In an interview with in 2008, Bishop Vasa said that under no circumstances should Catholics vote for pro-abortion politicians. “Abortion needs to be in our country a defining issue, and we ought not be afraid to make it a defining issue, because when we do that we will have an end of abortion in this country,” he said.