Reverend John Stowe, the bishop of the Diocese of Lexington, Ky., harshly criticized the Covington Catholic High School boys who were confronted by Indian activists after the March for Life on Jan. 18, stating he was astonished they would wear MAGA hats that represent a president "who denigrates the lives of immigrants." He also stated that "the association of our young people with racist acts and a politics of hate must also become unthinkable."
"As the leader of the Catholic Church in the 50 counties of Central and Eastern Kentucky, I join the Diocese of Covington and other Catholic leaders in apologizing in the wake of this incident," said Bishop Stowe in a Jan. 23 commentary published in the Lexington Herald-Leader.
"I am ashamed that the actions of Kentucky Catholic high school students have become a contradiction of the very reverence for human life that the march is supposed to manifest," he said. "As such, I believe that U.S. Catholics must take a look at how our support of the fundamental right to life has become separated from the even more basic truth of the dignity of each human person."
"[I]t astonishes me that any students participating in a pro-life activity on behalf of their school and their Catholic faith could be wearing apparel sporting the slogans of a president who denigrates the lives of immigrants, refugees and people from countries that he describes with indecent words and haphazardly endangers with life-threatening policies," said the bishop.
"We cannot uncritically ally ourselves with someone with whom we share the policy goal of ending abortion," he added.
The bishop then went on to talk about racism and how it must be put in the same category as murder by abortion.
Citing a November letter by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on racism, Bishop Stowe mentions a "structural kind of racism that has worked itself into the fabric of our nation," and that racism is a "life" issue.
"[T]hat perspective needs to become part of our educational curriculum," says Bishop Stowe. "Students must grapple with this history and ask themselves how they are going to live differently.... We urge each person to consider the dignity of others in the face of jokes, conversations, and complaints motivated by racial prejudice. We can provide experiences for children that expose them to different cultures and peoples.”
In conclusion, the bishop states, "The pro-life movement claims that it wants more than the policy change of making abortion illegal, but aims to make it unthinkable. That would require deep changes in society and policies that would support those who find it difficult to afford children.
"The association of our young people with racist acts and a politics of hate must also become unthinkable."
Since the Jan. 18 incident, when the Covington kids were verbally assaulted as "incest babies," "dirty ass crackers," and "future school shooters" by left-wing activists, many in the media and the Catholic Church have issued public apologies to the boys, retracting their initial remarks and admitting that they jumped-the-gun before they had all the facts.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore stated on Jan. 23, "The annual March for Life is a magnificent affirmation of the value and dignity of human life. It is especially wonderful that so many young people from all around the nation participate in this March and the Archdiocese of Baltimore applauds them for doing so. How sad, then, that this life-affirming event was marred by the widely reported confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial.
"It has become apparent, however, that initial reports of that incident were at best incomplete. Those incomplete reports led many, including the Archdiocese of Baltimore, to speak out too hastily. We apologize for doing so. It is our hope that the young people involved were in fact acting in accord with the truth and values that are foundational to Catholic education. We also hope that this sad incident will give to all a renewed determination to respect the life and dignity of every person without exception." (Emphasis added.)