DENVER, November 8, 2011 ( – The increasing power behind those bent on culturally and legally stifling religious sentiment in America presents the greatest threat to the cause for life in coming years, Denver auxiliary bishop James D. Conley said on Saturday.

“If we think it’s been hard over these past four decades, I think the biggest challenges we face lie ahead of us,” the apostolic administrator of the Denver archdiocese told a Dallas pro-life group, according to Catholic News Agency.

Conley, who served as an official in Rome’s Congregation for Bishops for a decade prior to his episcopacy, said that the battle for freedom of religious expression amounts to “the biggest challenge the pro-life movement faces.”


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“America today is becoming what I would call an atheocracy — a society that is actively hostile to religious faith and religious believers. And I might add — the faith that our society is most hostile toward is Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular,” he said.

Conley noted that, because such an anti-faith movement has as its basis no solid ethical principles, it is a particularly dangerous force. “Hence, it has no foundation upon which to establish justice, secure true freedom, or to constrain tyrants,” said the bishop, who pointed to Roe v. Wade as the perfect example of how the amoral principle of “the violence of the strong against the weak” is allowed to triumph.

“The pro-life movement has always been a force for moral renewal in America,” said Conley. “Like the abolitionist movement before us, the pro-life cause has always called our country back to its beginnings – as a nation under God. Our country needs our witness now more than ever. The way forward begins with us.”

Read the full CNA coverage here.