Catholic Bishop Calls Out ‘Pro-Life’ Groups Who Are Just Anti-Abortion

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Bishop Robert Lynch is sick and tired of the attacks by so-called pro-life groups on the humanitarian work of the Catholic Church. He’s firing back, and helping the cause of women’s rights.

In a blog last week, the bishop specifically took aim at the ‘pro-life’ Population Research Institute and the lies it spreads about Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The Institute issues accusations against the CRS of not adhering to Church policy in other countries where, they allege, contraception is actively promoted. The bishop is clear about the motivations of the Institute in attempting to create controversy. He writes:

From time to time, I suspect when these organizations need money, they try to stir up a hornet’s nest or storm by attacking a Catholic organization, usually falsely accusing them of being anti-life, pro-contraception, either pro or soft on abortion, etc., etc., etc. The storms start small enough and then occasionally grow in size. It’s simply a money-raising scheme with little regard for the human lives which they allege they seek to protect – well maybe it is only pre-born human life in which they are interested.

Lynch is clear in defining groups like the Population Research Institute as not ‘pro-life’ but as being narrowly ‘anti-abortion’. He explains a perspective that many in the pro-choice movement have also articulated when he says:

We heard nothing from the heavy hitters in the pro-life movement in the last week when Florida last night executed a man on death row for 34 years having been diagnosed as a severe schizophrenic. Which personality did the state execute? Many priests grow weary of continual calls to action for legislative support for abortion and contraception related issues but nothing for immigration reform, food aid, and capital punishment. And, this is a big one, priests don’t like unfair attacks on things they highly value and esteem, like the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services.

On this point, the bishop and the pro-choice movement agree: we also grow weary of and don’t appreciate these unfair attacks–especially when the sources are stealthy. Lynch further points out that the Institute will identify neither the sources of its allegations nor who is on its Board of Directors. You can read the Institute’s unsubstantiated claims here –and note that only the man who is the organization’s president and founder is identified.

Exposing the lies and manipulations of those who falsely claim to be ‘pro-life’ is an area on which the Catholic Church and women’s rights groups can come together. The bishop ends his blog with these words:

Keep on doing the good work of Christ and be an instrument of mercy to the world.

Christian or not, we can all agree on the importance of bringing mercy to the world–and exposing the dark forces that would like to take away our right to act in accordance with our conscience.