Human life is sacred and inviolable at every moment of existence, including the initial phase which precedes birth. All human beings, from their mothers' womb, belong to God who searches them and knows them, who forms them and knits them together with his own hands, who gazes on them when they are tiny shapeless embryos and already sees in them the adults of tomorrow whose days are numbered and whose vocation is even now written in the "book of life." There too, when they are still in their mothers' womb – as many passages of the Bible bear witness – they are the personal objects of God's loving and fatherly providence.
Evangelium Vitae, n. 61
We live in a society of unbelief, where the unborn, the sick, and the elderly are often unwanted and endangered by acts of violence or neglect. [In 2013], we marked the 40th anniversary of the tragic U.S. Supreme Court rulings Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Without grounding in the Constitution, natural law, or our nation's human rights traditions, these decisions made it legal to end the life of an unborn child in the United States for any reason and at almost any stage of development. Since then, over fifty-five million unborn children's lives have been taken, leaving many millions of mothers, fathers, and family members wounded and grieving their loss. Physician-assisted suicide is now legal in three states, allowing doctors to help end patients' lives rather than provide much-needed comfort in times of pain and distress. These laws pave the way for euthanasia by undermining true respect and care for people with serious illness.
Despite these challenges, Pope Francis reminds us that we always have hope in Christ. The Holy Father speaks not only of physical life, but spiritual life as well -- our life in Christ that has the power to transform us. By opening our hearts to his love and mercy, we let Christ dwell in us and we see more deeply the intricate and unique beauty of each person.
What does it mean to open our hearts to life? It means to search our souls and acknowledge our deepest longing for Christ's love. Though we are capable of sins against human life such as abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia, we are not beyond Christ's mercy. It is important for us to know and share with others that Christ's forgiveness is offered even to those who have taken another person's life, if they are truly repentant of that act.
We must respond to Pope Francis' call with great urgency. Opening our hearts to life in Christ empowers us for loving, merciful action toward others. We must give witness to the Gospel of Life and evangelize through our lives. We must personally engage others and share the truth about human life. We must continue to show love and mercy, especially with those who have been involved in abortion. All members of the Church can bring healing to the world by upholding the beauty of human life and God's unfailing mercy.
The Catholic Pro-Life Committee works within the Catholic Diocese of Dallas to implement the U.S. bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, working to teach respect for all human life from conception to natural death, and organize for its protection.
As the Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas, the CPLC implements the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities (a 5-Point Plan of Prayer, Education, Public Witness, Civic Action and Supportive Services) through the following nine ministries:
My Dear Friends in Christ,
The late Pope John Paul II called it "the most important work on earth" and described it as the condition for America's survival. Pope Benedict XVI has written that the future of humanity depends on it.
They were speaking of the defense of human life, the sacred dignity of each and every human person, from conception to natural death.
I invite you to join the effort of the Church in Dallas to defend and protect human life - in our diocese and beyond -- through your support of, and participation with, the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, the Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas.
Here in Dallas there is a special reason to be involved in the defense of life. It was here where the tragic 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing abortion on demand was set into motion by the filing of an affidavit in a Dallas courthouse in 1970.
It is, therefore, no coincidence that here we have the most organized, vibrant and effective diocesan pro-life ministry in the nation, widely called a "model." The CPLC, founded in 1993 as a small committee of dedicated volunteers, has grown into a thriving organization of nine ministries addressing all aspects of the abortion crisis and its solution - including prayerful, life-saving counseling each day outside each of the city's abortion centers.
Please read the pages of the CPLC website, www.prolifedallas.org, describing the CPLC, which is doing the most important work on earth, right here in Dallas, and to become informed about the urgent life issues. Please join our effort as a financial supporter, volunteer, or advocate. This effort is not just for some, but for all.
Together, let us build a culture of life.
Faithfully in Christ,
Most Reverend Kevin J. Farrell, D.D.
Bishop of Dallas