When I heard from our associate group, Pro-Life Wisconsin, that Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison had changed his position on the emergency contraception bill currently before the Wisconsin state legislature, my enthusiasm level increased about 200 percent.
When I read the bishop's letter all I could do was praise God for the bishop's integrity, humility and commitment to truth. Why, you might ask? Well, since I am always willing to answer questions, I simply have to tell you.
At one point Bishop Morlino had taken a position of neutrality regarding Assembly Bill 377. This bill, if it becomes law, will force all Wisconsin hospitals to provide "emergency contraception" to alleged victims of sexual assault. Upon reflection, Bishop Morlino realized that neutrality was simply not working.
Bishop Morlino wrote,
The hoped-for effect of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference's earlier stance of neutrality on this bill was to protect women who are the victims of rape, while also protecting the possible pre-born human being, by affirming the neceswary conscience exemption for institutions and individuals with regard to the appropriate testing, aso as to avoid abortifacient emergency contraception. It is my judgment as Bishop of Madison that the earlier position of neutrality did not have its hoped for effect, and so it is now moot, and this neutrality position has now expired. Our conference's neutrality stance has also unintentionally provoked scandal among Catholics who have been persuaded by statements in the media that we are becoming less fervent in our defense of the dignity of pre-born human life.
I urge you to read the bishop's entire letter, to praise the Lord for his re-evaluation, and to let him know how grateful you are for his stand.
It is such a blessing to report this to you, and to tell you that it is my firm opinion that Bishop Morlino's comments bode well for 2008 which, we pray, will be a year of repeated courageous statements by the shepherds of the Catholic Church.