Speak honestly: abortion is ‘the killing of tiny human beings in the womb’ – Denver bishop

Bishop Conley called it “perverse” and a “tragically confused perspective” that abortion is increasingly seen as a safeguard to freedom.
Thu Jan 26, 2012 - 6:40 pm EST

DENVER, January 26, 2012 ( – If we want to be “serious Christians,” the auxiliary bishop of Denver said last week, we must be honest about abortion. “Speak the truth, in love, about abortion,” Bishop James Conley urged his flock, commenting on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

“As uncomfortable as it might be, we are called to share our pro-life convictions with our neighbors, friends and families. We can counter the influence of relativism by speaking the truth with love—convincingly, clearly and without compromise.”

In a column in the diocesan newspaper coinciding with the Washington March for Life, Bishop Conley called on Catholics to work actively to stop abortion and overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made it legal in all states. 

“We need not be combative or polemical—but to be serious Christians, we need to be honest. And honesty means telling the truth, in love, about abortion,” the bishop wrote.


“Make no mistake about it. Abortion is the killing of tiny human beings in the womb. But for nearly 40 years in the United States, abortion has been a legally protected right by the Supreme Court.”

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On January 21st, while hundreds of thousands marched against abortion in Washington, Bishop Conley led a day of prayer and recollection in the Colorado diocese. He presided over a “Mass of remembrance” and lead the faithful in a “Rosary for life” at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. After the Mass, young people in the diocese were invited to attend a “pro-life boot camp,” a day of training with “scientific and historical information” and using the latest information on human embryology, sponsored by the diocesan Respect Life Office.

“We live in an era where reason has given way to sentiment,” he wrote. “Where, at the highest levels of society, emotion, self-interest and uncertainty have taken the place of logic.” The result of this inversion of logic, Bishop Conley said, is “to convince us that abortion is a fundamental right, and that life itself is not.”

Abortion, he said, “is no longer viewed even as a tragedy. Instead, abortion—the killing of tiny and not so tiny human beings—has become celebrated as a basic human right.” He called it “perverse” and a “tragically confused perspective” that abortion is increasingly seen as a safeguard to freedom.

He lauded efforts of the pro-life movement to reverse the tide, especially youth movements which, he said, are “are more popular than ever before”.

Since his appointment to Denver as auxiliary bishop in 2008, Bishop Conley has been steadily active among the U.S. bishops in opposing abortion. He was a signatory to a 2010 open letter warning Catholics not to support Senate legislation proposing to expand abortion funding. In 2009, he joined dozens of other U.S. bishops in condemning the appearance of President Obama at Notre Dame University.

Responding last November to charges from secularists that the pro-life viewpoint encourages a “theocracy,” Bishop Conley warned pro-life advocates that their greatest opponent was a militant “atheocracy” that is attempting to silence their message. The battle over freedom of religious expression, he said, amounts to “the biggest challenge the pro-life movement faces.”

“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.

In 2008, he co-authored a letter with then-Bishop of Denver Charles Chaput, correcting Senator Joseph Biden who had claimed in an interview that the question of when human life begins is a matter of faith, not science. Biden had said the issue is “personal and private.” The bishops responded that “in reality, modern biology knows exactly when human life begins: at the moment of conception. Religion has nothing to do with it.”

In June last year, when the news came out of the connection between the Girl Scouts of America and Planned Parenthood, Bishop Conley warned parents that their daughters could be in danger of becoming “more receptive” to the pro-abortion and pro-contraception agenda.

  abortion, james conley, march for life

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