Bishop announces he will not take part in local March for Life

Bishop announces he will not take part in local March for Life

[In effect, His Excellency says, “I’m more pro-life than Arkansas Right to Life, and to show that, I will not attend in the local March for Life and discourage Catholics from doing such!” – AQ moderator Tom]
Deacon Greg Kandra | Jan 18, 2018


This step is exceptional and, perhaps, even unprecedented:

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor announced Jan. 17 that he has decided to not participate in Little Rock’s March for Life in protest to keynote speaker Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s stance in support of the death penalty.

In a letter to the “people of the Diocese of Little Rock,” he encouraged Catholics to join him at one of two Masses for Life he is celebrating Sunday, Jan. 21 at the Cathedral of St. Andrew to mark the 45th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision.

In his letter, Bishop Taylor wrote:

“Arkansas Right to Life has chosen as the keynote speaker for the rally a person who has good anti-abortion credentials but otherwise is decidedly not an appropriate pro-life speaker, namely Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who this last year worked tirelessly to secure the execution of four criminals who posed no further threat to society. You will recall that the Diocese of Little Rock was very vocal in appealing for clemency for these four men, but we were opposed at every turn by Attorney General Rutledge. For this reason, I asked Arkansas Right to Life to choose a more appropriate keynote speaker, indicating that I could not participate in what was supposed to be a pro-life event otherwise. But Arkansas Right to Life has refused to do so. You are certainly still free to participate, but this is the reason we are not promoting the Rally for Life at the State Capitol this year. I imagine that many of you may choose to go ahead and participate in the march but then skip the rally.

“As you know, the Church teaches a consistent ethic of life in which human life and human dignity must be protected from the first moment of conception to natural death and every stage in between. This means, among other things, that all lives have inherent God-given dignity. Even people who have been sentenced to death possess this dignity, which is why capital punishment must be abolished.”

Read the entire letter here. 

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2 comments on “Bishop announces he will not take part in local March for Life



    Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the March for Life and the social justice agenda:

    There is no annual demonstration that draws more Catholics than the March for Life. The turnout is so impressive—the media typically underplay its success—that it has become the envy of social justice Catholics, those whose primary commitment is to fighting poverty and various forms of injustice. In recent years, some in their ranks have sought to use the March for Life as a platform for their agenda.

    Not to be misunderstood, there are millions of Catholics who support both the pro-life cause and the social justice cause. In doing so, they give life to the “seamless garment” approach broached by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin in 1981. He called on Catholics to see the plight of the unborn and the plight of the needy through the same lens. Philosophically, it is hard to argue with such a conception. Practically speaking, however, it is untenable.

    No organization can survive if it has too many goals, and this is especially true when the tie that binds them is tenuous to begin with. Organizational success depends on many things, one of the most important of which is the ability to keep focused. In other words, when a tent gets too big, it tends to collapse under its own weight.

    Then there is the ideological divide. For example, most social justice activists, including Catholics, are not only disengaged from the pro-life movement, they tend to be pro-abortion.

    I first learned this many years ago when I met Catholics who worked for Catholic Charities: more than a few were champions of abortion. I have also met scores of other Catholic social justice activists—they include many nuns—who are either soft on abortion or resolutely in the pro-abortion camp.

    It is important to note this reality because there are some social justice activists who would like to hijack the pro-life cause by pushing their own ideological ambitions. The poor, the environment, racial discrimination, world peace—these are all worthy concerns—but they are best addressed by organizations dedicated to such matters. They should not be an appendage to a movement whose primary interest is to protect the life of the unborn.

    No one has been more vocal in his determination to convince the pro-life community that it must embrace the social justice agenda than John Gehring. He is a left-wing activist who works for Faith in Public Life, an outfit funded by the atheist and pro-abortion billionaire, George Soros.

    On the eve of the March for Life, we can always count on Gehring to make his pitch. He likes to cite Pax Christi USA as a good example of a social justice organization that participates in the March for Life. That alone should raise eyebrows among pro-lifers.

    Pax Christi USA promotes disarmament, as well as economic and racial justice. It has several subunits, including an “Anti-Racism Team”; there is no “Anti-Abortion Team.” Similarly, it issues statements on such topics as “Protection From ICE Raids,” though there is no equivalent document on “Protection From Abortionists.”

    Pax Christi USA does have a statement on abortion: It is a short and flatulent commentary supporting dialogue between opposing sides. It is also dishonest.

    In 2010, Pax Christi USA joined a protest of one of the most pro-life organizations in the nation, the Susan B. Anthony List. Dave Robinson, executive director of Pax Christi USA, called the pro-life entity “a partisan front group, which uses issues like abortion to confuse voters and to score cheap political points.” Thus, he committed his organization to the pro-abortion side.

    In 2001, Pax Christi USA had to cancel its national assembly after Christian Brothers University notified the organization that its keynote speaker was a proponent of abortion rights.

    In 2000, Pax Christi USA signed a statement of support for Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent, two pro-homosexual activists who had recently been sanctioned by the Vatican for their extremism. Not surprisingly, Pax Christi never attempted to explain the relationship between disarmament and homosexuality. The nexus, of course, is that both are part of the left-wing agenda.

    In 1996, Pax Christi members in Washington D.C. took up the cause of women’s ordination; it too, had nothing to do with missiles, but it had much to do with left-wing politics.

    In 2005, Catholic and evangelical leaders held a huge conference, “Justice Sunday,” that promoted religious liberty; I was one of the speakers. Who opposed it? Pax Christi USA.

    It must also be said that it is a mistake to call Pax Christi USA a “peace” organization. To establish peace, it is sometimes necessary to pick up arms. There is no cause, or nation, that it believes is worthy of defense. Its mission is surrender, not peace.

    The March for Life is the envy of those in the social justice camp precisely because they are unable to rally anywhere near as many people to their side. They belong on the sidelines, as spectators, far away from the gladiators who truly care about the unborn.

  2. Why We March: Human life is sacred; there are no exceptions.

    Sherry Antonetti

    We don’t march to get kudos or to signal virtue. We don’t march to get on television or radio or prove our commitment to standing up for the innocent, and serving the poor. We don’t march to be popular or perceived as sufficiently Christian, or Catholic. We don’t march to be comfortable.

    We don’t march to show our power as a voting bloc. We don’t march to promote a political party. We don’t march to show our loyalty to a candidate. We don’t march to fit in with the cool kids, either on the internet or in reality.

    Why do we march?

    We march to remind everyone of the anniversary of a court decision which has facilitated 60 million decisions to say no to love, no to sacrifice, and no to the invisible poor. We march for all those lost to Plan B, for all those lost to IUD’s, for all those lost to chemical abortions, and for all those destroyed through surgical abortion. We march for all the women traumatized by past decisions to abort, or pressured to do so, or who regret, and the men who could not protect these women and their children or did not realize, they should. We march for the doctors and nurses and assistants and advocates who assist in such acts, hoping one day, there will be an army of Pauls, where there were Sauls.

    We march to remind ourselves, we’re the hands and feet that must do the labor, providing shelter, warmth, food, medicine, and companionship to those who think their only options when faced with the prospect of caring for a new human being, is the destruction of that child before any human heart becomes too attached. We march to show the world, we’re willing to attach our hearts to the unwanted, we’re willing to attach our lives, our time, our treasure and our every day, to being a family to those who dare to grow into a bigger one.

    We need to attach our hearts to those who consider this option, so they won’t feel so alone — so they won’t be so alone. The notion that it “takes a village” to raise a child, doesn’t go far enough. It takes all of us being a family. We march to remind ourselves to be a family. We march for the conversion of all hearts to a society which is pro-living, and thus nurtures all humans from conception to natural death. All human life is sacred. There are no exceptions.

    This is an ongoing struggle that will only be won one heart at a time. While law and legislation reflect the sensibilities of society, all progress and victories in pro-life ministry are not the result of princes in power or judges in court, but of the Holy Spirit pouring himself out onto the world and winning back souls to Heaven. We march because we want the world to become more pro-life, and that only happens through the witness of love.

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