|Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Cantu join the bishops of the United
States in response to House Speaker Pelosi’s remarks concerning
We are taking this opportunity to call the attention of the faithful of
the Archdiocese of San Antonio to a statement issued by the United
States Conference of Catholic Bishops in response to Speaker of the
House Nancy Pelosi’s misrepresentations of Church teaching on abortion.
We agree whole heartedly with the statement issued by Cardinal Justin F.
Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities
and Bishop William E. Lori of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine.
Below is the text of their response.
Bishops respond to house
speaker Pelosi’s misrepresentation of Church teaching against abortion.
In the course of a “Meet the Press” interview on
abortion and other public issues on August 24, House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi misrepresented the history and
nature of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church
In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches,
"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." (No. 2271)
In the Middle Ages, uninformed and inadequate theories
about embryology led some theologians to speculate that
specifically human life capable of receiving an immortal
soul may not exist until a few weeks into pregnancy.
While in canon law these theories led to a distinction
in penalties between very early and later abortions, the
Church’s moral teaching never justified or permitted
abortion at any stage of development.
These mistaken biological theories became obsolete over
150 years ago when scientists discovered that a new
human individual comes into being from the union of
sperm and egg at fertilization. In keeping with this
modern understanding, the Church teaches that from the
time of conception (fertilization), each member of the
human species must be given the full respect due to a
human person, beginning with respect for the fundamental
right to life.
More information on the Church's teaching on this issue
can be found in our brochure "The Catholic Church is a
Published on the website of the
Archdiocese of San Antonio the
week of 24 August.