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WASHINGTON D.C., January 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – U.S. Archbishop Joseph Naumann called it “absurd” for the country’s top court to claim that the Constitution contains a right to abortion.
In a powerful 23-minute homily at the National Prayer Vigil for Life Mass in Washington D.C. tonight, the U.S. bishops’ new pro-life chairman expressed “hope” that recent changes in membership in the Supreme Court may result in a “re-examination and an admission by the court of its tragic error” 46 years ago in Roe v. Wade.
During his homily, the Archbishop effectively refuted many left-wing talking points about abortion and the pro-life movement while also taking not-so-subtle jabs at pro-abortion U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), who recently attacked judicial nominees for being members of the Knights of Columbus.
Naumann serves as the Archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas and is the current Chairman of the U.S. Bishop’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities. He was elected Chairman at the Bishops’ fall gathering in 2017 when he beat by 14 votes liberal Cardinal Blase Cupich, who many believed would win the job. The victory was a relief for many pro-life Catholics, as Naumann has a long track record of defending Church teaching on abortion whereas Cupich, a supporter of giving communion to pro-abortion politicians, believes social justice issues should be viewed on the same moral level as abortion.
Naumann began his remarks at the packed Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception by noting 2019 is the 46th anniversary of the “tragic twin Supreme Court decisions” of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, decisions that were “based on deception.”
Norma McCorvey, the woman behind Roe v. Wade, “acknowledged that she was deceived by her attorneys about the reality of abortion,” Naumann said. She “labored tirelessly to overturn Roe v. Wade” during the last 20 years of her life after experiencing a pro-life conversion.
“The late Sandra Cano, the Doe in Doe v. Bolton,” Naumann continued, “never wanted” an abortion. “Her lawyers used her difficult circumstances to advance their own ideological goal – to legalize abortion.”
The Archbishop pointedly stated that it is “absurd” to claim the U.S. Constitution allows for abortion. Roe was “an exercise in raw judicial power.” Naumann also said he hoped the new composition of the Supreme Court – an allusion to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh – would lead to a reexamination and an “admission” of the “tragic” error of legalized abortion.
Among the prelates in attendance at the Vigil Mass were Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley and current USCCB President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. Both men have served as head of the Bishop’s pro-life committee in the past. The Vatican’s Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., Archbishop Christophe Pierre, was present as well. Cardinal Cupich, Cardinal Timothy Dolan (last year’s celebrant of the Vigil Mass), and Cardinal Donald Wuerl were not there.
Naumann, who served as the Pro-Life Coordinator for the Archdiocese of St. Louis from 1984 until 1995 and has said no other issue “can compare” to the death of 60 million innocent children, argued that the pro-life position is not extreme. Rather, those who advocate for abortion reflect “extremism.” Naumann cited the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh as an example of this.
“Protecting the life of unborn children is the preeminent human rights issue of our time,” he continued. Abortion “attacks the sanctuary of life – the family. Abortion advocates pit the welfare of the mother against the life of her child.” Every abortion “wounds and scars mothers and fathers who must live with the harsh reality that they’ve hired someone to destroy their son or daughter.”
Naumann made special note of the sex abuse crisis as well, noting that abuse of minors “upends the pro-life ethic” and “the failure to respond effectively to the abuse crisis undermines every other ministry within the Church.”
During the 2016 presidential election, Naumann criticized pro-abortion Catholic Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, for being a “cafeteria Catholic.” During an interview with LifeSiteNews in June 2018, Naumann said abortion and euthanasia have a “deeper relevance” and “have great weight in public policy.” Naumann was given the Lumen Vitae Medal, a prestigious pro-life award given by St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, Kansas, in 2018.
Addressing one of the most commonly used arguments made by pro-abortion politicians, Naumann said “one does not need religious revelation to know the killing of innocent human life is inhumane.” Pro-lifers are not imposing “religious beliefs.” Moreover, science and technology “confirm a unique human life begins at fertilization.”
Naumann said “it takes much more faith to be an atheist than a Christian.” Atheists believe the cosmos, the solar system, the miracle of the human body “just happened by chance against all odds.” Unless you believe in “the predictability in nature,” he said, “science makes no sense.” There is a reason the scientific method developed in a Christian culture. “Without God, there’s chaos.”
Nearing the end of his remarks, Naumann said “moral chaos” is everywhere in society in the form of nihilism – in cable news, movies, art, films. He implored the congregation to watch the pro-life movie Unplanned, a biopic about former Planned Parenthood employee turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson.
Naumann also asked those in attendance to have mercy as they go forth. “Our pro-life mission must be about mercy,” he said. Mercy for the child in the womb, mercy for the mother, but also mercy for those who attack pro-lifers, such as “those who wish to disqualify from public office members of the Knight of Columbus or anyone else in whom ‘the dogma lives loudly.’”