Will Gray Davis, California's New Governor, be officially excommunicated?
Monsignor Edward Kavanagh writes:
(The complete Gray Davis / Monsignor Kavanagh story follows, plus more about a new national "Excommunication Education Campaign" and free pro-life videos for those who join.)
As 1998 came to a close, Monsignor Edward Kavanagh wrote a bold letter -- one that's encouraged pro-lifers and sparked new discussion about abortion and the responsibility Catholic leaders have to defend the unborn. Monsignor Kavanagh, Pastor of St. Rose's Catholic Church in Sacramento, California, wrote this letter to Rabbi Bloom, President of the Sacramento Interfaith Service Bureau and organizer of an ecumenical inaugural event for Gray Davis. In the letter, Monsignor Kavanagh rebuked Gray Davis for publicly promoting abortion, saying, "Gray Davis is an outspoken, militant champion of violence -- the most cold-blooded violence of killing preborn and partially born human beings."
So what prompted Monsignor Kavanagh's strong letter to Rabbi Bloom? And why has he declared that by publicly promoting abortion, Gray Davis has "brought on himself automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church?" Here are the facts.
Tuesday, November 3, 1998: Californians elected Gray Davis (a man who speaks of himself as a life-long Catholic) to be their next Governor. By all indications, Davis will be the most extreme pro-abortion Governor in California history. Davis has appointed Susan Kennedy, former head of the California Abortion Rights Action League (CARAL), to direct his cabinet.
Thursday, December 24, 1998: Rabbi Brad L. Bloom, President of the Sacramento Interfaith Service Bureau, sent an invitation to Monsignor Edward Kavanagh, inviting him to join Gray Davis at an Ecumenical Service on Sunday, January 3, 1999. The event was billed as "a special convocation on faith and community" to begin Davis's inauguration with "prayer" and celebration. (Below, you may read the full text of Rabbi Bloom's invitation to Monsignor Kavanagh and other priests -- along with brief quotes from ABC TV's local Sacramento news coverage of this controversy which ran during the 6:00 PM evening news on 12/31/98.)
Wednesday, December 30, 1998: Monsignor Edward Kavanagh responded to the invitation by writing the following letter.
Monsignor Kavanagh's December 30, 1998, letter to:
Rabbi Brad L. Bloom, President
Dear Rabbi Bloom:
Your invitation of December 24th to attend an inaugural event on Sunday morning, January 3, 1999, for Governor-elect Gray Davis causes me profound distress and grave insult.
Surely you must know that Gray Davis is an outspoken, militant champion of violence -- the most cold-blooded violence of killing preborn and partially born human beings. He incessantly and obsessively proclaimed his commitment to unrestricted and taxpayer-funded abortion on demand in his TV campaign commercials, debates, campaign position statements and even on his Internet campaign site. He would force every California taxpayer, including all the Catholic bishops, priests and lay people to be his fiscal accomplices in payments to abortionists for over 100,000 Medi-Cal abortions per year (out of about 300,000 to 400,000 abortions per year in California).
Just this Tuesday, December 29, on page A3 of the Sacramento Bee, it was announced that Gray Davis has appointed the militantly pro-abortion Susan Kennedy who had served for six years as the executive director of the California Abortions Rights Action League (CARAL), to "direct his Cabinet" and "serve as a close Davis advisor, organizing Cabinet meetings and acting as liaison between the governor and agency secretaries." A more extreme and profound empowerment of the abortion movement in the Davis regime can hardly be imagined.
To presume that any true Catholic, and in particular, a Catholic priest and pastor, would violate the moral teachings of the Catholic Faith and the very moral foundation of human rights, and would betray and scandalize the faithful by attending a political function dedicated to a leader of the American Holocaust, is mind boggling. Any Catholic priest and pastor who would publicly give honor and affirmation to Gray Davis would be subject to severe penalties and would rightfully expect the just denunciation and harsh censure of not only Catholics, but all who defend the right to life.
While I would never remotely consider attending any anti-Semitic, anti-life political event, I would find it even more outrageous to invite you and any other rabbi, priest, minister, pastor, or religious leader to attend such an event. How is it that you so casually do so not only with me but presumably with many, or even all, other priests in the Sacramento area or diocese?
As you must also know, our Sacramento Bishop William K. Weigand has spoken firmly and often against the killing of innocent human beings and we fully support him in this. Gray Davis and his inaugural committee were denied the use of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament for this event (Sacramento Bee, November 25, 1998 p A4). Rightly so! We also applaud the five Catholics who wrote letters to the editor clearly explaining why Gray Davis was rightfully being denied use of the Cathedral (Sacramento Bee, Sunday, December 13, 1998, Forum 4).
It reminds me of the actions of Pope Pius XI when Adolph Hitler, the recognized leader of Germany, visited Rome in 1938, before World War II, and before Hitler was so widely recognized as a genocidal monster. Pius XI ordered all the Vatican museums with their art treasures to be closed during Mr. Hitler's visit, to deny him any opportunity for an appearance or semblance (photo "ops" and the like) of approval or acceptance. In fact, the Pope referred to Hitler as "the Nordic pest" and to further shun and snub Hitler, the Pope left Rome.
Recently Pope John Paul II issued an encyclical letter, "The Gospel of Life." This was affirmed in November by the Catholic bishops of the United States in a statement entitled "Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics." It stated: "excommunication affects all those who commit this crime (of abortion) with knowledge of the penalty attached, and this includes those accomplies without whose help the crime would not have been committed. The purpose of the penalty . . . is to make an individual fully aware of the gravity of a certain sin and then to foster genuine conversion and repentance."
Certainly those politicians like Gray Davis who not only proclaim a universal right to abortion but demand that taxpayers be fiscal accomplices in the abortion Holocaust are responsible for the fact that California now has an abortion rate twice the rest of the nation, almost one-quarter of all abortions in the United States being committed in California. It is clear that Gray Davis, by promoting what the Pope has called the "Culture of Death" and demanding taxpayers' money for abortions, has brought on himself automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church.
In California, abortion has a strong racial, genocidal aspect. Abortion mills are disproportionately located in poor and Latino areas of cities, especially in Los Angeles (one need only consult telephone yellow page ads and other promotions to see this), and marketed in the Spanish language to prey upon young, poor, and undocumented women, especially Catholic latinas and blacks, with Medi-Cal funding providing a strong financial incentive for the greedy mill operators.
I must ask you to reconsider your role in promoting Gray Davis's political inaugural event and to immediately send out a letter of regret to all the Catholic priests and pastors whom you have invited and encouraged to attend this travesty.
Monsignor Edward J. Kavanagh
cc: Bishop William K. Weigand
(Monsignor Kavanagh's P.S.) Those who hold the reins of government should not forget that it is the duty of public authority by appropriate laws and sanctions to defend the lives of the innocent, and this all the more so when those whose lives are endangered and assailed cannot defend themselves. Among whom we must mention in the first place infants hidden in the mother's womb. And if the public officials not only do not defend them, but by their laws and ordinances betray them to death at the hands of doctors or of others, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of innocent blood which cries from earth to Heaven (cf. Genesis IV, 10)." Pius XI, (Encyclical letter on Christian Marriage).
And the Lord said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries to me from the ground." Genesis IV, 10
Monsignor Kavanagh may be contacted at:
Monsignor Edward J. Kavanagh
Phone: (916) 421-1414
Rabbi Bloom's initial invitation to
Thursday, December 24, 1998
Msgr. Edward Kavanagh
Dear Msgr. Kavanagh,
Governor-elect Gray Davis and Mrs. Sharon Davis would be honored if you would join them at an Ecumenical Service on Sunday, January 3, 1999 at 10:30 a.m. This special service will be held in the Ballroom of the Sacramento Convention Center. Seating and pre-ceremony gathering will begin at 10:00 a.m.
Governor-elect and Mrs. Davis have chosen to begin the inauguration of California's Thirty-Seventh Governor with a special convocation on faith and community. They hope you will be able to join them in prayer and celebrate this special time in California's history. If you are able to attend we would be pleased if you would participate in the entrance processional.
If you would like to attend and participate in the Ecumenical service please respond by calling Mark Gaughan at (916) 329-9176 ext. 39 and provide us with your name and church or temple representation.
Rabbi Brad L. Bloom
ABC's TV coverage in Sacramento:
Thursday, December 31, 1998: During the 6:00 PM evening news on New Year's Eve, ABC's KXTV Channel 10 in Sacramento ran a story about this controversy. The story included interviews with Rabbi Bloom and Monsignor Kavanagh. In the news report, Monsignor Kavanagh's letter was quoted as saying that the service honoring Gray Davis was, "a political function dedicated to a leader of the American Holocaust," and that "Gray Davis . . . has brought on himself automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church."
It is estimated that during his four-year term as Governor of California, Gray Davis will stand by and watch with approval as more than 400,000 babies are killed via abortions paid for with tax money collected from Californians. This is based on 1996 statistics which show:
There were 112,969 Medi-Cal abortions in California in 1996
Highlights of what follows on this web page:
* National Media Exposure in Newspapers . . .
Dear Pro-Life Friends,
Monsignor Kavanagh's pro-life letter can and should become an inspiration for priests and bishops across the country. At Pro-Life America, we believe that many bishops and priests need to take stronger, more active stands denouncing "Catholics" who publicly promote or provide abortions. And if "Catholics" persist in promoting or providing abortions after being warned, we believe they should be excommunicated.
We believe this will help eliminate confusion among the faithful -- confusion which has caused many Catholics to be misguided about the Church's important teaching on abortion and the sanctity of life. By taking a stronger public stand, we believe Catholic bishops can greatly reduce the number of abortion advocates who publicly call themselves Catholic. Ultimately, this will save many lives and souls and help end abortion in America.
Wouldn't you like to see more priests and bishops write letters and articles like Monsignor Kavanagh's? Wouldn't you like to see bishops excommunicate Catholics who continue to provide abortions or publicly promote abortion after being informed about Church teaching and warned about excommunication?
At Pro-Life America, we're launching a national campaign -- the "Excommunication Education Campaign" -- an effort to encourage priests and bishops to make the war on abortion a higher priority. But we need your help. With your financial support, we will run ads in newspapers across the country telling Catholics about Monsignor Kavanagh's bold letter -- a letter which exposes the evil of abortion while holding Catholics responsible for their actions -- a letter which calls each of us to defend the unborn -- a letter which clearly points out the severe punishment of excommunication for Catholics who provide or publicly promote abortion.
Every Catholic who provides or promotes abortion needs to have his or her bishop explain this urgent pro-life message to them right away. Lives and souls are at stake! Monsignor Kavanagh did a magnificent job of spelling out the facts for Rabbi Bloom and Gray Davis. Now it's time for all of us to encourage Catholic bishops, priests, political leaders and laity to follow Monsignor Kavanagh's lead.
If we can raise enough money, we want to run these ad in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and other major national newspapers. We also want to run ads in Diocesan and other Catholic papers across the country.
Wouldn't you love to see these ads running in newspapers everywhere -- ads specifically designed to warn Catholics, Catholic leaders and Catholic politicians about the serious sin of abortion -- a campaign that asks bishops to excommunicate Catholics who continue to provide abortions or publicly promote abortion after being warned? We know many newspapers (Catholic and Secular) that will run these ads and we want to start placing them as soon as possible -- ads that will educate Catholics, encourage bishops and priests, and warn those who are promoting or providing abortions.
Our 1st Ad is Running in the
The first ad we're running will be in the Washington Times Weekly Edition on January 18, 1999. This newspaper has wide circulation across the nation. Our goal with the first ad is to encourage readers to visit this web site where they can read Monsignor Kavanagh's magnificent letter and Church teaching about abortion and excommunication. Here's the actual headline and the ad copy we're running:
At Last, Somebody's Doing Something about
(Left of the headline there's a photo of Gray Davis with this photo caption:)
Gray Davis, California's new pro-abortion 'Catholic' Governor, has brought "automatic excommunication" on himself, declares a Sacramento Monsignor!
Are you disgusted by "Catholic" politicians who support the murder of unborn babies? In a scorching, eloquent letter that sent shockwaves throughout California, Monsignor Edward Kavanagh of St. Rose's Catholic Church in Sacramento declared that "Catholic" Gray Davis, California's new Governor, has incurred "automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church" for his public support of abortion. Have you longed for the day when pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians are disciplined? Then your heart will be warmed when you read the full text of the monsignor's hard-hitting letter at: www.prolife.com
But what about Senator Ted Kennedy and all the other "Catholic" pro-abortion politicians who receive Communion while voting to murder unborn babies? To help put a stop to this disgusting, unbelievable sacrilege, support the "Excommunication Education Campaign." Your gift, made out to Pro-Life America, will help run this ad in other papers all across America. Call, write, or see our web-site (www.prolife.com) for details [followed by Pro-Life America's name, address and phone number].
*** The Washington Times ad copy ends here. ***
Wouldn't you like to see this ad run in every newspaper in America? Wouldn't you like to see Americans learn more about the Faith from holy men like Monsignor Kavanagh and other Catholic leaders who boldly preach the Gospel of Life? You can help make this happen by sending Pro-Life America a contribution today. Your donation will make it possible for us to pay for more ads in newspapers across the country. To contribute to this campaign, please send your contribution to:
Please make your check payable to "Pro-Life America" and remember to enclose a note letting us know it's for the "Excommunication Education Campaign" along with your name, address and phone number.
Three Free Videos! If you send a donation of $100.00 or more, we'll send you the three videos listed below as a free gift and a sign of our appreciation. (If you send $50.00 or more, we'll send you any one of the videos below -- just let us know which one you would like.) The videos we'll send you are as follows:
1. "Mother Teresa" - This amazing, inspiring video documents the life of Mother Teresa like no other. It's the finest documentary ever produced on Mother Teresa. During ABC's coverage of Mother Teresa's funeral, ABC chose to run several long clips of this incredible film. You'll love watching it over and over again. You'll want to show it to your children and your grandchildren.
2. "Abortion Survivor Sarah Smith" - This powerful video documents the story of Sarah Smith, a 28-year-old woman who survived the abortion that killed her twin in 1970. Nobody knew Sarah's mother was carrying twins when she went in for the abortion! Thank God the abortionist didn't kill Sarah when he killed her twin! Today, Sarah is a pre-med student and a dynamic pro-life speaker. In the last five years, Sarah has traveled around the world with her mother telling audiences about the sanctity of life and the pain and suffering caused by abortion. People who meet Sarah and hear her dramatic story never forget that they've met someone who survived an abortion. Sarah says, "If the abortionist had completed the 'job' he started, I wouldn't be here today." This 10-minute video is a professional documentary that was produced by the 700 Club. It opens hearts and minds to the reality that every abortion kills someone God wanted to live.
3. "Hard Truth" - This 8-minute video exposes abortion the way graphic films exposed the horrors which took place during the Nazi Holocaust in Germany. "Hard Truth" begins by first showing viewers a beautiful music video of babies developing in the womb. Using amazing intra-uterine cameras, it starts with the moment of conception and continues through all nine months of pregnancy . . . Then, it shows the horror of abortion by showing dead babies that were aborted at various stages of development. These tragic images, combined with powerful music and lyrics, make it hard not to cry. On several occassions, I have shown this video to a room full of college students on a Southern California campus. Before the video, about 70% of the student audience considered themselves "pro-choice." After seeing "Hard Truth," only about 20% considered themselves to still be "pro-choice." Everytime people see this video, they ask, "How can THIS be legal?"
(Please send your donation today, and remember, if you send $100.00 or more, we'll send you all three videos listed above. If you send $50.00 or more, we'll send you any one of the videos above -- just let us know which one you would like.)
Catholic Teaching on Abortion & Excommunication
The Catholic Church speaks about excommunication and abortion within the Catechism and Canon Law. Here are a few examples:
Catechism 2272: "Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. 'A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,'[CIC, can. 1398.] 'by the very commission of the offense,'[CIC, can. 1314.] and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.[Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324.] The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society."
Catechism 2273: The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation: "The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights."[79 and 80]
Catechism 2322: From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a "criminal" practice (GS 27 # 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.
Bishop Bruskewitz Excommunicated
In 1996, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz Of Lincoln Nebraska Issued The Following Warning Of Excommunication To Members of the Following Organizations:
"All Catholics in and of the Diocese of Lincoln are forbidden to be members of the organizations and groups listed below. Membership in these organizations or groups is always perilous to the Catholic Faith and most often is totally incompatible with the Catholic Faith:
Planned Parenthood [Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest promoter and provider of abortion], Society of Saint Pius X (Lefebvre Group), Hemlock Society, Call to Action, Call to Action Nebraska, Saint Michael the Archangel Chapel, Freemasons, Job's Daughters, DeMolay, Eastern Star, Rainbow Girls and Catholics for a Free Choice.
Any Catholics in and of the Diocese of Lincoln who attain or retain membership in any of the above listed organizations or groups after April 15, 1996, are by that very fact (ipso-facto-latae sententiae) under interdict and are absolutely forbidden to receive Holy Communion. Contumacious persistence in such membership for one month following the interdict on part of any such Catholics will by that very fact (ipso-facto-latae sententiae) cause them to be excommunicated. Absolution from these ecclesial censures is "reserved the Bishop." This notice, when published in the Southern Nebraska Register, is a formal canonical warning.
By mandate of the Most Reverend Bishop of Lincoln."
(signed March 19,1996 on behalf of Bishop Bruskewitz by)
Reverend Monsignor Timothy Thorburn, Chancellor
More help is urgently needed!
Praise God for courageous bishops like Bishop Bruskewitz! We have much to be thankful for, and yet, with so many lives and souls at stake, we believe more bishops need to follow Bishop Bruskewitz's example.
Unfortunately, more and more pro-abortion "Catholics" are promoting abortion, liberalizing abortion laws and voting to pay for abortions with tax dollars. This scandal must be stopped immediately! Enough blood has been shed by or because of "Catholics!" Won't you please help us teach Catholics the truth about abortion and the serious penalty of excommunication? Won't you please help us encourage more bishops and priests to take a stronger stand?
Now is the time to act! Please don't wait another minute. Please don't become distracted visiting other web sites and forget to send a check to Pro-Life America. We need your help to educate Catholics and encourage Catholic bishops, priests and leaders. Our "Excommunication Education Campaign" can only be successful if good people like you send in donations.
Great Victories! Remember, when we pray and make sacrifices, God's grace helps bring about conversions and victories -- like the conversion of pro-abortion "Catholics," abortion providers and men and women who've aborted their children.
Nothing would make God happier than to see America's pro-abortion Catholics (like Gray Davis, Ted Kennedy, Loretta Sanchez and many more) change their ways and become voices for the unborn. Years ago, nobody imagined we would see the conversion of so many leading abortion providers and promoters. For example, we've seen Dr. Bernard Nathanson (co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League) and Carol Everett (former Director of four and owner of two Dallas, Texas abortion mills) become strong pro-life voices for the unborn. They speak against abortion at conferences and in the media across the country. We've also seen the conversion of Norma McCorvey. Norma was the "Roe" of Roe vs. Wade. Today, Norma is a baptized Catholic who speaks out against abortion -- for the Culture of Life -- everywhere she can. But what about Gray Davis and all the other pro-abortion "Catholics?" Are we willing to make the sacrifices needed to help bring about their conversions ?
God gave each of us gifts and talents to share with those around us. What a blessing it is that God gave us talents that can be used to encourage faith and conversions in others! Yes, these gifts and talents come with great responsibilities, but they also offer us great opportunities. They give us a chance to cooperate with God in leading lost souls back to His flock.
Think of how great it must feel to be part of someone's conversion. With your financial gift, you can become part of our "Excommunication Education Campaign" which is sure to bring about many conversions. Spreading news of Monsignor Kavanagh's letter and the Church's teaching on excommunication will open hearts and minds to the evils of abortion and the sanctity of life. Many Catholics will repent and become faithful again when they understand the grave sin and destruction of abortion.
Please don't delay. Send your donation today to help us run more ads on abortion and excommunication to bring about conversions and end abortion.
Thank you, and may God bless you!
Sincerely in Christ,
J.T. Finn, Director
Action Plan for the . . .
1. Pray for an end to abortion.
2. Encourage priests and bishops to speak more often about abortion from the pulpit. This one step will save many lives and souls in your parish and diocese. When you speak to priests or bishops, let them know that you understand this is a very difficult topic to deal with, but encouarage them because we must address it in order to love and protect the least of Christ's brothers and sisters. When speaking about abortion, always remind people that this is an urgent crisis . . . that thousands of victims are dying and wounded everyday . . . that there are two primary victims of each abortion -- the babies that are killed and the mothers that are wounded for life.
Remember, fear of upsetting people often causes us to be silent in the face of evil. Our fears frequently cause us to avoid doing what is right . . . to fall rather than fulfill our responsibilities . . . to be selfish rather than serve others in need. If we (and others) truly identified more with those being killed and injured by abortion . . . if we would let our hearts be touched and broken for the victims . . . we would never be silent or afraid. Let us take action as if it were our own lives on the line. Let us have Faith and speak up in the face of evil and never fear persecution for Christ's sake, or the least of His little ones. This is how we hope and pray our priests and bishops will respond to abortion.
Another beautiful reminder for priests and bishops -- when they speak from the pulpit about the sin of abortion it is a wonderful opportunity to invite women who've had abortions (and men who've encouraged or helped with abortion) to come to the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation where they will find God's grace, healing and forgiveness. This alone will save many souls! It will also warn men and women about the pain, suffering and spiritual damamge caused by abortion. Speaking from the pulpit about abortion also helps our youth stay pure before marriage because many will no longer see abortion as a "choice" they would consider using to cover-up an unplanned pregnancy. Without a "cover-up plan," many youth will decide that sex isn't worth the risks.
Sample Homilies on Abortion by Father Frank Pavone: To help priests prepare homilies about abortion, go to the Priests for Life web site where you will find tremendous insights and excellent sample homilies. Fr. Frank Pavone writes, "As National Director of Priests for Life, I preach about abortion in a different part of the country every week. I can summarize the reaction I receive from people in two words: 'Thank you!' People are grateful to hear the truth. They are proud to see their Church take a clear, courageous, and compassionate stand on what the bishops have called "the fundamental human rights issue of our day." (Resolution on Abortion, 1989).
3. Ask your bishop to speak directly with Catholics who promote or provide abortions in your diocese. Catholic abortionists and politicians especially need to be warned about their role in America's Abortion Holocaust. Priests and bishops need to ask abortion providers and promoters to stop providing abortions, stop promoting abortions, stop voting for legal abortion and stop voting for funding for abortion. Don't be shy. Lives and souls are at stake! More than 4,000 babies are aborted every day in America. Try to meet with your priest or bishop in person about this critical matter. If you are not able to meet in person, please send a letter explaining your concern. Ask your bishop to take steps to excommunicate anyone who continues to promote or provide abortion after they have been properly warned. Be sure to follow up with phone calls until you receive an answer explaining what steps will be taken.
(Remember, always be patient and persistent. Always offer others a friendly, humble spirit. You're on God's team! You are a voice for God. That means you should always have Hope and expect that the TRUTH you share will be fruitful. And if it is not, well at least you gave it your best shot. You may not always be successful, but you can always be Faithful. Pray that Saint Thomas More will inspire you and that the light of the Holy Spirit will guide you as you write and speak in defense of His little children.)
4. Become well informed. When writing or speaking with priests and bishops about abortion and excommunication, always quote the Catechism, Canon Law, the Holy Father, and U.S. Bishops who have already excommunicated abortion promoters and providers (see Bishop Bruskewitz above and Bishop Gracida link below). Also, be prepared to quote the:
New U.S. Bishop's Statement:
Here are quotes from this statement which was adopted by the Catholic bishops November 19, 1998:
U.S. Bishop's Statement (11/19/98) Paragraph No. 29. "As bishops, we have the responsibility to call Americans to conversion, including political leaders, and especially those publicly identified as Catholic. As the Holy Father reminds us in "The Splendor of the Truth"("Veritatis Splendor"):
". . . [It] is part of our pastoral ministry to see to it that [the Church's] moral teaching is faithfully handed down, and to have recourse to appropriate measures to ensure that the faithful are guarded from every doctrine and theory contrary to it" (no.116). As chief teachers in the Church, we must therefore explain, persuade, correct and admonish those in leadership positions who contradict the Gospel of life through their actions and policies. Catholic public officials who disregard Church teaching on the inviolability of the human person indirectly collude in the taking of innocent life...In all cases, bishops have the duty and pastoral responsibility to continue to challenge those officials on the issue in question and persistently call them to a change of heart.
As bishops we reflect particularly on the words of the Office of Readings (Boniface, Liturgy of the Hours): "Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants who run away before the wolf. Instead, let us be careful shepherds watching over Christ's flock. Let us preach the whole of God's plan to the powerful and the humble, to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and age, as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season, as St. Gregory writes in his book of Pastoral Instruction."
U.S. Bishop's Statement (11/19/98) Paragraph No. 32. "We urge those Catholic officials who choose to depart from Church teaching on the inviolability of human life in their public life to consider the consequences for thier own spiritual well being, as well as the scandal they risk by leading others into serious sin. We call on them to reflect on the grave contradiction of assuming public roles and presenting themselves as credible Catholics when their actions on fundamental issues of human life are not in agreement with Church teaching. No public official, especially one claiming to be a faithful and serious Catholic, can responsibly advocate for or actively support direct attacks on innocent human life."
5. Donate to Pro-Life America to help run more ads like the one described above -- ads that expose abortion and encourage excommunication of Catholics who won't stop providing or promoting abortion. We need your help with these efforts to save moms and babies from abortion. We need your help to draw attention to Monsignor Kavanagh's letter and his strong stand for the babies. We need your help to pay for ads so we can get the word out in newspapers across the country.
6. Make a commitment right now to spend one hour each week working to end abortion in your community and parish. By sharing pro-life videos, audios and literature with parishoners and students at parishes and Catholic schools in your area, you can make a big difference.
Let Christ be your inspiration. The night before His Crucifixion, Jesus took His disciples to Gethsemane to pray. He said, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." When He returned and found His disciples sleeping, He asked, "Could you not watch one hour with me?" (Matt 26:37-40). Please make a commitment right now to spend just one hour a week defending His little children.
Spread the word about www.prolife.com: Please let everyone know about the "Excommunication Education Campaign." Tell family and friends about this web site. You can do this by announcing our web site in newspapers, church bulletins, newsletters or by sending people an email message with our web addresses. Our home page is www.prolife.com and www.prolife.com/GrayDavis2.htm is the address for this page. Thank you!
7. Thank priests and bishops who take bold, courageous stands for Christ. We need to let them know how much we appreciate their spiritual leadership and that we will stand with them and help them defend the Faith and fight to save tiny babies from abortion.
Please write Monsignor Kavanagh's Bishop, Most Reverend William K. Weigand of Sacramento, to let him know how much you appreciate Monsignor Kavanagh's strong defense of Life. Bishop Weigand is blessed to have such a devout and courageous priest in his diocese. You may also want to cordially encourage Bishop Weigand to speak directly with Gray Davis about his promotion of abortion and ask Bishop Weigand to officially excommunicate Davis if he does not repent and stop promoting abortion.
Bishop Weigand's address and phone number are as follows:
Most Reverend William K. Weigand
The Sacramento Diocese Communications Department Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Now the word of the Lord came
-- Jeremiah 1:5
And finally . . . If you've read this far, we hope it's because you're excited about this campaign and the conversions it will bring about. But what if we don't receive any donations to run more ads? The excitement will end right here. Please don't let that happen. We desparately need your prayers AND your financial support. Please join our pro-life team today and help us win over hearts and souls for Christ.
The Culture of Life depends on dedicated warriors for Christ -- warriors willing to sacrifice their lives and their treasures for His Kingdom. Think of that time in the future when you'll meet our Lord and you'll be able to tell Him you joined Monsignor Kavanagh, Bishop Gracida, Bishop Bruskewitz and other pro-lifers warriors in a courageous effort to save the lives of little babies. He'll be very pleased that you joined this battle against abortion and that you helped win over the conversion of souls for His Holy Church.
Won't you join that effort today by sending a generous donation to Pro-Life America? God will surely bless you for the children you help save . . . and for defending His Church.
Three Free Videos! Remember, if you send a donation of $100.00 or more, we'll send you the three videos listed above as a free gift and a sign of our appreciation. And if you send $50.00 or more, we'll send you one of the videos above, just let us know which one you would like.
Again, please make your check payable to "Pro-Life America" and enclose a note letting us know it's for the "Excommunication Education Campaign." Please be sure to include your name, address and phone number.
Thank you and God bless you!Pro-Life America
Excommunication Education Department
1840 S. Elena Ave., #103
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Important Links About Abortion & Excommunication
Bishop Gracida on Abortion & Excommunication: This link gives a complete overview of Bishop Gracida's reasons for formalizing the automatic excommunication of two members of the Catholic Church because of their "proximate cooperation with the destruction of innocent life in the womb." This link features: A Pastoral Letter on Abortion and Excommunication by The Most Reverend Rene H. Gracida, D.D., Bishop of Corpus Christi (September 8, 1990).
An Open Letter to a Catholic Politician : Father Miles O'Brien Riley begins, "Dear Catholic Politician . . ." Father Riley uses great wisdom to explain the reasons for excommunication. His clever analogy shows how rediculous it is for people to claim they are "personally opposed" to abortion, but . . .
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