Monday, March 28, 2011

What about ‘death penalty’ of abortion

What about ‘death penalty’ of abortion?

Sacramento pro-life stalwart expresses concern over agenda of Catholic Youth Advocacy Day -- no mention of 'foundational and non-negotiable priority of our Catholic faith'

A youth advocacy project of the California Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishop, has prompted a well-known Sacramento-area pro-life activist to send a protest letter to Catholic leaders asking why opposition to abortion was not part of the agenda.

In a letter to Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto, diocesan chancellor Kathy Conner, Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, and several other diocesan and Catholic Conference leaders, pro-lifer Wynette Sills expressed “serious disappointment” after seeing a recent item from the Catholic Legislative Network’s Public Policy Insight newsletter regarding the March 24 Catholic Youth Advocacy Day in Sacramento.

“More than 150 Catholic high school students and their teachers came from around California to Sacramento this week to participate in the inaugural Catholic Youth Advocacy Day,” said the March 25 issue of Public Policy Insight. “Faculty and students of Archbishop Mitty High School in the Diocese of San Jose, along with the Catholic Conference, planned the agenda for this one day event. Keynote speaker, Tony Cortese, from the Sacramento Newman Center, told the students about how we sometimes live in a funny, crazy world but if we get ourselves involved and engaged, we can make a difference.”

“The morning program consisted of workshops with students presenting materials and videos on the four issues on which they advocated: AB 6-Food Stamps, AB 130 & 131-Dream Act, AB 90-Human Trafficking and SB 9-Juvenile LWOP (Life Without Parole),” said the newsletter. “The afternoon was spent at the Capitol visiting legislators’ offices and discussing issues with lawmakers or their staff.”

“While Food Stamps, the Dream Act, Human Trafficking and Life Without Parole are noble concerns, the Sanctity of Life is a foundational and non-negotiable priority of our Catholic faith,” wrote Sills. “Our Catholic Youth could be our most effective advocates for their brothers and sisters in the womb.”

“When I have expressed this concern to the California Catholic Conference over the years, the response is typically, ‘there are no anti-abortion measures pending within the state legislature and we only address current legislation,’” Sills’ letter continued. “If the Catholic Church, particularly our Youth and those who are specifically responsible for representing our Church at the Capitol, remains silent on abortion, this void of pending legislation to protect the Least of His will only continue year after year after year, as millions die, even paid for with our tax dollars here in California. During this budget crisis, abortion funding should be a headline priority every day at the Capitol. Yet, most of our Catholic state legislators are notoriously pro-abortion.”

“Our collective silence is complicit in the loss of innocent human life,” Sills said in her letter. “If our children are not allowed to be born, access to Food Stamps and the opportunity to receive tuition assistance to attend college become irrelevant. We are concerned about Life Without Parole for Juvenile Delinquents, but we are silent on the innocent children subjected to the brutal, violent, inhumane, unjust Death Penalty of abortion.”

“Therefore,” wrote Sills, “I hope advocating against abortion will be included in all future Catholic Youth Lobby Day and a priority for upcoming Catholic Lobby Days… Please assure the citizens and Catholics throughout California, especially our Catholic Youth and Catholic legislators there at the Capitol, that indeed, our Church is serious about ending the killing of innocent human life.”