An Open Letter to the Bishops

News: Commentary
by Christine Harrington  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 19, 2021   

Why, bishops, do you ignore us?

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The most ignored group of suffering Catholics rarely mentioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) or any bishop are repentant post-abortive women. I am one of those women who deeply regrets my "choice." 

During the USCCB's conference in Baltimore this week, the sufferings of post-abortive women and men were once again ignored. The bishops approved on Wednesday a document titled, "The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church." It sidesteps the controversy surrounding pro-abortion Catholic politicians. The USCCB said the document would not create a national policy on which U.S. politicians can or cannot receive Communion.

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The bishops approved 'The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church' document

Hundreds of thousands of us watched, waited and prayed for the bishops to choose us. Instead, the bishops cast votes not to take a stand against Catholic politicians who push abortion. Two-hundred twenty-two bishops refused to stand with their hurting flock.

Pro-abortion Catholic political figures are not only told they are 'good Catholics' but are now given free rein by bishops to receive Holy Communion.

Before I repented of my abortions, I could not receive the Holy Eucharist. Any good priest would deny me if he knew of my grave sin. Yet, our very public and pro-abortion Catholic political figures are not only told they are "good Catholics" but are now given free rein by bishops to receive Holy Communion — even if they push late-term abortions.

 

That's the way the USCCB's silence will be perceived by the world, as seen in a few news headlines:

  • "U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approves Communion document without singling out politicians who back abortion rights" (Washington Post)
  • "In New Rules, U.S. Catholic Bishops Sidestep Direct Answer on Who Is Allowed Communion" (Newsweek)

This is hypocrisy. It's not only deeply hurtful, but it also represents a bishop-imposed double standard. The Catholic money-handlers of the political parties who openly support abortion are not admonished, but the suffering Catholic post-abortive women must repent before receiving the Eucharist. God help the bishops who can't see what they've done to post-abortive women and Catholic women who consider abortion. The ambiguity of "The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church" will create confusion.

Abortion is grave sin. It's murder, and all those pushing it are complicit — including all you bishops who stay silent!

In my pro-life work, I'm often told by well-meaning Catholics that the Church has changed its position on abortion. No, the Catholic Church has not, I inform them. Actions like your silence, bishops, cause even greater confusion. Abortion is grave sin. It's murder, and all those pushing it are complicit — including all you bishops who stay silent!

I'm happy to come before your committee and share what abortion does to the mother. I'm happy to explain in detail all the psychological and spiritual damage abortion causes to all family members and those that take part in it.

If you truly knew the ramifications of "choice," you'd stop abortion now.

Here's a small sampling of abortion pain from the testimonial page of Rachel's Vineyard:

  • "I feel unholy, guilty and selfish. I feel I have failed the Lord and my upbringing. I still can't believe I could have done what I did. I want to feel I have been forgiven and I will be in Heaven with the Lord." (Gerry)
  • "My abortion has left me with an empty place in my heart and life. My family feels somewhat incomplete; when we are all home together, I get the sense that someone is so definitely missing. I have felt a great deal of sorrow and regret over the effect this has had on all of us. As a mother, I struggle with the reality that I destroyed my child." (Teresa) 

My story is a similar one, in which the pain and regret will last a brutal lifetime.

Why, bishops, do you ignore us?

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