Washington, DC - In response to Pope Benedict's decree, "On the Service of Charity," Judie Brown, president of American Life League, issued the following statement:
"The Holy Father has made it perfectly clear that entities identifying themselves as Catholic charities have an obligation to uphold Catholic teaching in every aspect of their work. In part, the instruction calls on 'ecclesiastical' authorities to exercise their duties and regulate the rights of the faithful in accordance with Church law so that organizations do not proliferate and thus cause confusion or otherwise act in a way that is not consonant with Catholic teaching.
Specifically addressing the responsibilities of bishops, the Holy Father instructs every bishop to exercise 'proper pastoral solicitude for the service of charity in the particular Church entrusted to him as its pastor' (Article 4) as he guides those responsible for the charitable services under his care.
American Life League has worked for many years to call to the attention of the Catholic bishops those instances where allegedly Catholic charitable organizations have acted in ways that are not consonant with Catholic teaching. We have submitted our research to every American bishop and the Vatican.
I personally have met with Church leaders more than once in Rome on this very topic. We have posted all documentation online, had our research confirmed by a prominent moral theologian, and even produced an online educational video explaining the problem for all the faithful.
Now that the Holy Father has issued this decree, we can only hope that every bishop will immerse himself in the guidance provided by the pope and act in accordance with it. We expect every instance where a Catholic charity is supporting or funding abortion, contraception, homosexuality, condom use, euthanasia and/or sterilization----whether individually or in collaboration with secular charities that do----to be examined, and for proper remedial action to be taken.
There has never been an excuse for any Catholic charitable organization to act outside Catholic teaching, but now the guidance needed to correct those atrocities is firmly in place and cannot be ignored. We will be watching the bishops to see if they concur."
Media inquiries, please contact Paul Rondeau at 540-659-4171 or PRondeau@ALL.org.
American Life League, cofounded by Judie Brown in 1979, is the oldest national Catholic pro-life education and advocacy organization in the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.ALL.org.