By Judie Brown
Once again, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has confused its political agenda with its moral obligation. This time the topic is the United States Census.
Last week, the USCCB issued a press release entitled “Bishops Urge That All People Count and Must Be Included in Census Efforts.” Is the USCCB calling on the government to be honest and include all preborn babies in the census since, without exception, each of these children is an individual who is a US citizen?
Oh no, the USCCB’s Bishop Joe Vasquez, bishop of Austin, Texas, and USCCB chair of the Committee on Migration, states, “We urge for all people to be counted in the Census, regardless of their citizenship. Proposed questions regarding immigration status will obstruct accurate Census estimates and ultimately harm immigrant families and the communities they live in. Our society, rooted in the strength of the family, cannot risk missing this opportunity to give children and parents the tools they need to succeed.”
So the truth is, that while the USCCB is concerned about illegal immigrants—many of whom are certainly in need of help—the USCCB in general is overlooking the violent crimes of abortion that destroy people who do live here legally but who are denied their humanity because of the unjust laws in the United States!
We ask the USCCB, “What about the babies?”
Could it be that the core concern of the USCCB is the money—$800 billion to be exact—that the press release states is annually provided to “key programs designed to advance the common good, strengthen families and reduce poverty”?
What about the babies? The act of abortion kills people, weakens families, and creates unmistakable moral poverty!
Each preborn child is invaluable, dear bishops, from inception onward! And yet again and again we seem to see that, for the USCCB, politics takes precedence over principle.
To underscore the point, let’s visit the Catechism of the Catholic Church, certainly not a political platform but a guide to the fundamental teachings of the Church. On the topic of the poor, including immigrants and everyone who suffers in dire poverty, we find this teaching:
St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls this: “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.” “The demands of justice must be satisfied first of all; that which is already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity”:
When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.
Christ calls each of us to sacrifice for the good of the less fortunate. The value of doing works of mercy for the downtrodden is a challenge to individuals, not the foundation for a large government subsidy.
Compare this to what the Catechism says about the act of aborting a child:
Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish. God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.
Helping the poor is an obligation for each of us who has the ability to help, but being poor is not an abominable crime! Abortion is an abominable crime.
The logical conclusion that one draws from this comparison is that we must strive to save the innocent from slaughter while doing all we can to help our suffering neighbor. To do this requires grit, determination, and a will to save the most vulnerable in our midst from slaughter. No amount of money accomplishes this, dear bishops.
This is not rocket science; it is logical in the light of faith and common sense. Dear bishops, what about the babies?