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DENVER (ChurchMilitant.com) - As election day draws closer, an American archbishop is stressing the need to protect the unborn.
Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver posted a meme on Twitter Friday contrasting the nun who spoke at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) with the nun who spoke at the Republican National Convention (RNC).
Speaks for itself! Lord, help us embrace the Gospel of Life! pic.twitter.com/SjkwdbcWxL
— Archbishop Aquila (@ArchbishopDen) August 28, 2020
Sister Simone Campbell led a prayer invocation Aug. 20 for the DNC. She spoke of fighting to end "structural racism, bigotry and sexism" in the United States.
Before her appearance at the DNC, Sr. Campbell was asked about the issue of abortion. She refused to speak out for the unborn, remarking, "It is above my pay grade."
In contrast, Sr. Deirdre Byrne (name misspelled in the meme) said ending abortion is a central issue for people of faith.
"While we tend to think of the marginalized as living beyond our borders," she told the RNC on Wednesday, "the truth is, the largest marginalized group in the world can be found here in the United States; they are the unborn."
Sister Byrne went on to say, "As followers of Christ, we are called to stand up for life against the politically correct or fashionable of today."
The meme contrasts Sr. Byrne's pro-life testimony with Sr. Campbell's refusal to stand up for the unborn.
It also contrasts Sr. Byrne's work as a surgeon and missionary with Sr. Campbell's work as a "lobbyist."
"A tale of two nuns," the meme reads. "One follows Church teaching, one does not."
Archbishop Aquila said the meme "speaks for itself," adding, "Lord, help us embrace the Gospel of Life!"
The Denver archbishop again wrote about the meme in a follow-up Tweet, saying, "This is about Catholic teaching, the seriousness of abortion, and never to be dismissive or flippant with so serious a matter. Catholic public persons and every Catholic has the responsibility to be faithful to the Gospel of Life."
This is about Catholic teaching, the seriousness of abortion, & never to be dismissive or flippant with so serious a matter. Catholic public persons & every Catholic has the responsibility to be faithful to the Gospel of Life. https://t.co/1CNm7KeQhO— Archbishop Aquila (@ArchbishopDen) August 28, 2020
Archbishop Aquila has spoken out strongly on the right to life in the past.
In 2016, he wrote in a voting guide for his flock, "Catholics in good conscience cannot support candidates who will advance abortion."
Sister Byrne said during her RNC speech, "While what I have to say may be difficult for some to hear, I am saying it because I'm not just pro-life, I'm pro-eternal life — and I want all of us to end up in Heaven together someday."
She highlighted the Rosary as a "weapon of choice" for pro-lifers.
Sister Byrne's religious order is the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Her speech at the RNC prompted a strong, positive response from conservatives, faithful Catholics and pro-life leaders, with video of the speech and quotes from it circulating widely on social media.
Bryan Kemper, a pro-life speaker and Youth Outreach Director for Priests for Life, tweeted Thursday, "Everyone needs to watch this video of Sister Deirdre Byrne."
He dubbed the nun's remarks the "best speech of the night."
Kemper said in another Tweet, "I want to see her speech sent to every single bishop in America."
A Thursday piece for the American Conservative stressed the contrast between Sr. Byrne's speech at the RNC and Sr. Campbell's invocation at the DNC.
In that article, Collegiate Network Fellow Declan Leary said of Sr. Byrne, "A nun in a habit is not consumed by the political party whose convention she attends — does not, in the familiar phrase, render herself unto Caesar."
But according to Leary, the fact that Sr. Campbell lacked a nun's habit meant she did not seem above the political fray the way Sr. Byrne did.
"A nun in a cardigan, meanwhile, suggests a religious contingent that can't bring anything to the table but votes," Leary opined.
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