25 November 2008

Bishop Hermann and the Abortion Issue

Linked here, this Spero News story does a nice job of covering the recent public statements of His Excellency. A kind reader pointed out to me that this story essentially uses the interview of His Excellency by Jennifer Brinker and runs with it:

A bishop willing to die for an end to abortion

A Roman Catholic bishop of St. Louis MO said that it would be a privilege to die in order to bring about an end to abortion. Christians' response to abortion should be proportionate to the scale of the practice of abortion.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

At the recent fall assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Robert J. Hermann, the administrator for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, declared that for any bishop it would be a “privilege to die tomorrow to bring about an end to abortion.” He has further explained that Catholics' response to abortion in our country should be proportionate to the scale of the tragedy.

At the bishops’ meeting in Baltimore, Bishop Hermann had said: "We have lost 50 times as many children in the last 35 years as we have lost soldiers in all the wars since the Revolution.

"I think any bishop here would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow to bring about an end to abortion.”

“If we are willing to die tomorrow, then we should be willing to, until the end of our lives, to take all kinds of criticism for opposing this horrible infanticide."

Speaking with the archdiocesan newspaper the St. Louis Review, the bishop commented: “I think that the way abortion has been presented over the past 35 years so often is that this is something that’s horrible, and we need to stop it. But it seems to me that people do not realize that it is 50 million children that we have killed. We have campaigned to save the baby whales, and yet we vote in pro-abortion politicians — which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.”

Bishop Hermann also described how bishops can look to the example of soldiers. “If American youth are willing to go to war and lay their life down to defend our freedoms, then every bishop should be willing to give up his life, if it meant putting an end to abortion. And if we’re willing to do that, then we should be totally fearless of promoting this cause without being concerned about political correctness, without trying to build coalitions with pro-choice people,” the bishop said in an apparent reference to those Catholics who have recently begun to give up the fight to outlaw abortion.

He proposed an “awareness- raising campaign” to help people realize “the destruction that we’ve brought about” and “the atrocities that we’re committing.”

“There should be 50 more million Americans in our midst, and anyone under 35 can look around and say, ‘Where are they?’ And, ‘I’m very lucky to be alive.’”

Bishop Hermann reported that after he made his comments one or two bishops started clapping, but the meeting then moved on to other business. Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver, along with other bishops, personally thanked him afterwards.

He reported that about 95 percent of the popular responses to his remarks have been positive, with some people consulting him about how they ought to deal with past voting habits. Bishop Hermann said many people have been conditioned to act as if God does not exist. “I have great empathy and great compassion for people who are influenced by society and are taken in by the big lie that God does not exist.

My job is to raise their awareness to, yes He does (exist), and it does make a difference what you believe. It makes a big difference in what you do. “We also have to be aware that our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and the powers and the spirits of this world of darkness, as Paul tells us in Ephesians.

“Therefore, behind Planned Parenthood, behind the abortion issue, is the evil one,” Bishop Hermann stated. “I often see human beings caught up in this as victims of the evil one who need my prayers and who need my compassion and who need my love. We don’t only want to save our children from destruction; we also want to save our adult brothers and sisters from eternal destruction.”

The bishop expressed concern about President-elect Barack Obama’s support for Planned Parenthood, which he claimed targets blacks with abortion information and facilities in their neighborhoods.


“For an individual to have a proportionate reason to vote for a candidate who supports abortion would be very hard to come by. The only way I could see that happening is if we had one candidate who supports abortion and another one who may mandate abortion ... as they do in China.”



Pro Life Girl said...

The auxiliary bishop is making me very proud to live in the Diocese of Saint Louis.

Latinmassgirl said...

Every Bishop does not have to lay down his life to end abortion! If they would insist their priests preach that contraception of any kind is a mortal sin and why, abortion would wane and eventually die.

If even the Catholics succumb to the grave sins of society then why be Catholic? This is why there has been a decrease in pious priests and nuns, and why 75% of Catholics skip mass on Sundays. Approximately 95% of engaged Catholic couples are living together at the time of marriage.

TGL said...

Latinmass girl-- I would like to know where you get your figures. 95% of engaged couples live together at the time of marriage? How long have they lived together? During the entire engagement? Moving one's furniture in the day before the wedding?

As to all priest preaching that contraception is a mortal sin-- it wouldn't do ANY good. That sort of thinking is so far out of the reality of daily living that the thinking (and the priest preaching it) would be totally ignored. You can rail about how society is going to hell in a handbasket, and that only those VERY few who refuse to use contraception of any kind are the only ones going to heaven, but you would be preaching to a very small choir.

cp said...


I suggest you read Humanae Vitae to understand the Church's position a little better.

Latinmassgirl said...

. . .and anyone interested in the truth of Contraception:

Janet E. Smith, PhD, speaks of the relationship between contraception and divorce, infidelity, abortion, child abuse, poverty, and other social ills. She is definitely worth listening to. She serves as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family.


The 95% of engaged couples living together is from my own fairly "scientific" study of around 950 couples. (The percent was actually higher).

My husband and I taught Pre-Cana classes for the Archdiocese for 12 years, 3-4 times a year to 20-22 couples each class. We drew our conclusion from our classes, where they freely told of their living conditions. Most had been living together for at least a year.

TGL said...

Believe it or not, I have read Humanae Vitae. In a lot of ways, it's a courageous document, very counter-cultural. But it't way too late to put the genie back in the bottle. And it doesn't take into account the changes in our culture. For example, people are getting married far later than they did in the 50s and even 60s. You can say that's a bad thing, but it's just a fact. The Church really does have to change its approach in dealing with sex. I am not advocating any sort of compromise on abortion. But there is no evidence that use of contraception results in more abortions.

thetimman said...

TGL, the pill, which is the most common type of contraception used, is an abortifacient. Ask any doctor, or simply check the package insert.

Though designed to prevent ovulation, if it does not, it makes the uterus inhospitable to life and prevents implantation, thus causing the death of the little baby.

Due to the grave medical danger to the health of the woman from high doses of the hormones involved, the effective dose of the hormones has been lowered over the decades, and thus ovulation occurs in a relatively high number of cases. I have seen the figure of 5-10%. That's a lot of vulnerable situations.

I know at least one gynecologist reads this blog, and I would ask for a clarification of my figure above on "breakthrough" ovulation.

More importantly, contraception is a grave evil regardless of the abortifacient qualities of any particular type. It is a ghastly violation of the sanctity of the marital act, and the Church has always taught in conformity with this truth.

Better than Humanae Vitae, in my humble opinion, is Casti Connubii. Get it from papalencyclicals.net and enjoy.

Latinmassgirl said...

and others whom think the pill has nothing to do with the high abortion rate:

Contraception DOES lead to abortion. This is what Pope John Paul the II predicted and it has come to fruition. The pill was touted as a "preventative" measure that would eliminate abortion, and instead abortions have only risen.

As Dr. Janet Smith points out, the pill objectifies women, by taking out the procreative nature of sex. The woman becomes a means of selfish pleasure to the man, with the prevention of pregnancy her responsibility.

Then, if a woman does become pregnant, there is anger on the man's part and the woman may be encouraged to have an abortion, or choose to out of guilt, to get rid of something that was "her" fault.

Babies have become an unwanted outcome to free contraceptive sex, so they need to be eliminated in the eyes of many in society.

The professor explains this and much more in detail in her books and talks, so I really encourage looking her up. It is so sensible, yet goes against every immoral thing that society teaches. This makes some people really angry. Which can be a good thing!


TGL said...

I remember a homily given by a great priest who recently died. He spoke of a women who was the mother of 7 children. The women had sought out this priest for counseling because she was having great difficulty at times expressing maternal love for those children. Why? She told the priest that all 7 of her children had been conceived while her husband was drunk. Now the priest was not certainly not relaying this story to promote abortion or even contraception. But please don't give me this pablum about how contraception allows men to use women to satisfy their selfish pleasures.

Latinmassgirl said...


When you take the procreative act, and turn it into a selfish act, it is using one another for pleasure only. The beautiful love between a husband and wife is so powerful when open to life.

Another person that changed my husband and I and helped us to revert back to the Catholic faith is CHRISTOPHER WEST. He gives talks on, "The Theology of the Body," which was written by Pope John Paul II.

He usually comes to a parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis at least once a year. He is definitely worth going to!

TGL, I really wasn't always a traditional catholic, or even a practicing catholic, or much of a christian. I know you think that I'm way out there, but I'm just a regular mom, whom loves her faith. I'm only suggesting things that made a great impact in my life and many other catholics that I know.