Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, head
of the Catholic diocese of Albany
N.Y. (Diocese of Albany)
(CNSNews.com) -- In response to three New York politicians participating in a pro-Planned Parenthood rally -- the nation's largest abortion provider -- the Catholic bishop for the Diocese of Albany, N.Y. said it is a "scientific fact" that abortion kills a human person and it is his responsibility to correct the politicians "for the wellbeing of the individuals' souls and to avoid scandal among the Catholic faithful."
The three politicians at the Feb. 11 rally in Albany were U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and N.Y. State Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy. (New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Catholic, also supports abortion and Planned Parenthood.)
Although the supporters of Planned Parenthood tried to emphasize the non-abortion work the organization does at the rally, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger made it abundantly clear that the group kills babies in the womb.
"Without question, Planned Parenthood provides some morally unobjectionable health services to women," he said. "However, this statement is not unlike saying that a man who beats his wife sometimes gives her flowers."
"Planned Parenthood is the unquestioned number one provider of abortions in our country," said Bishop Scharfenberger. "This is the primary 'product' for which it is known."
"Abortion is not health care; it is the intentional killing of a unique human person in his or her mother’s womb," he said. "This is a scientific fact that has nothing at all to do with religion or religious belief."
"Consistent with this scientific fact, the Catholic Church clearly teaches the objective truth that abortion is a grave moral evil, and that material cooperation in abortion is a mortal sin," said the bishop.
U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), a Catholic who supports Planned Parenthood, America's
largest abortion provider. (AP)
He continued, "When individuals, particularly those in political office, gloss over or ignore the core issue of whether or not taxpayers should be funding the world’s largest abortion business by citing Planned Parenthood’s other services, they are engaging in obfuscation that is, at best, confused and, at worst, dishonest."
"And when such individuals publicly hold themselves out to be Catholic, their local bishop has a responsibility to offer correction, both for the well-being of the individuals’ souls and to avoid scandal among the Catholic faithful," he said.
"Such is the unfortunate case that I, as the Bishop of Albany, find myself in today," he said. "In a local protest over the weekend advocating for the continued public funding of Planned Parenthood, three Catholic politicians – one federal, one state, and one local – not only participated but spoke passionately on behalf of maintaining such funding."
Albany Mayory Kathey Sheehan (D), a Catholic who supports Planned Parenthood, America's largest
abortion provider. (AP)
"And while any judgment of these individuals’ hearts or souls is left only to God," said the bishop, "I am entrusted with the solemn duty of reminding them of the unambiguous teaching of our faith on the matter of abortion, informing them that it is inappropriate and confusing to the faithful to hold yourself out publicly as a Catholic while also promoting abortion, and challenging them to embrace the Gospel of Life and to renounce their public support for Planned Parenthood."
Concluding his remarks, Bishop Scharfenberger said, "My prayer is that these and other elected officials will come to see the truth that abortion harms women and babies, and that they courageously fight to defend the right to life of every human person from the moment of conception until natural death."
According to its annual reports, Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions in 2014-15 and 327,653 abortions in 2013-14.
N.Y. State Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy (D), a
Catholic who supports Planned Parenthood, the
largest abortion provider in the USA.