New Mexico Bishops Scold Catholic Politicians

NM Conference Catholic BishopsCatholic legislators in New Mexico who publicly advocate for abortion and assisted suicide – while citing their faith – received a public rebuking from the state’s bishops’ conference.

CNA/EWTN News is reporting that the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement last week expressing concern over statements made by Catholic legislators.

“We are concerned by public statements by some legislators that seem to say that a faithful Catholic can support abortion or doctor-assisted suicide,” the statement reads. “Support for abortion or doctor-assisted suicide is not in accord with the teachings of the Church. These represent the direct taking of human life, and are always wrong.”

Recently, State Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero invoked her Catholic faith as a factor in her decision to oppose a bill that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, CNA reports. She is also the author of a 2013 article in which she uses her faith to defend her pro-choice position.

Another episode occurred last month when State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, also Catholic, introduced a bill which would force religious hospitals and individuals to act against their conscious and perform abortions. Sen. Pino was also highly critical of the Bishops conference in this 2010 article for their opposition to domestic partnerships.

“It is not appropriate for elected officials to publicly invoke their Catholic faith and to present their personal opinions as official Church teaching. This misrepresents Church teaching and creates a public scandal for the faithful,” the bishops state.

“Our message is consistent: All human life is sacred, from the moment of conception to natural death, and must be protected. As Pope Francis reminds us, ‘Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in His own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.’”

For this reason, “It is not morally permissible for a Catholic to support abortion or doctor-assisted suicide,” they write.

“We want to be clear. Individuals and groups do not speak for the Catholic Church. As bishops, we do.”

They end their statement with a prayer for all legislators, a promise to aid in the formation of consciences “to uphold the dignity of the human person through a consistent ethic of life from conception to natural death.”

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