Catholic World News

Arkansas bishop: right to life, religious liberty, immigration most important issues

October 31, 2012

Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock said in a recent homily that “some of the moral and social issues to keep in mind this year are, in descending order of what I consider to be their importance and urgency: 1) the right to life, 2) religious liberty, 3) immigration, 4) marriage and family, and 5) economic justice.”

“Human life is sacred and must be protected from conception to natural death ... no abortion, capital punishment or euthanasia, no embryo-destroying research or cloning,” he said. “Remember also that many on the Supreme Court are elderly and the next president may have a big role in deciding who will sit on the Court in the future and judge issues of great importance to us going forward.”

“Government cannot licitly require us to do what conscience forbids!” he added. “The Health and Human Services mandate requiring all employers to provide health insurance that includes free artificial contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs is a direct attack on our practice the Catholic faith, with which Catholic employers cannot in good conscience comply. And not just Catholic institutions, which is all we hear about in the news.”

“We have the right to immigrate when circumstances so require and to participate fully in the society in which we live,” he continued. “Our current laws deny people these God given rights, exposing 12 million current residents to economic exploitation and fear of deportation. As you decide how to vote, consider also justice for immigrants.”

“Those of us who can vote must keep in mind the needs of those who can’t. Immigrants and babies in the womb have no voice in our elections, but they will be affected profoundly by the decisions of our legislators, as will the poor in other countries.”

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  • Posted by: impossible - Nov. 02, 2012 7:36 AM ET USA

    Per Archbishop Chaput: Jesus tells us very clearly that if we don’t help the poor, we’re going to go to hell. Period. There’s just no doubt about it. That has to be a foundational concern of Catholics and of all Christians. But Jesus didn’t say the government has to take care of them, or that we have to pay taxes to take care of them. Those are prudential judgments. Anybody who would condemn someone because of their position on taxes is making a leap that I can’t make as a Catholic. ...

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Nov. 01, 2012 4:00 PM ET USA

    Immigration before marriage and the family? I'm not so sure of his priorities.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Nov. 01, 2012 2:45 PM ET USA

    The good Bishop has it half right. The foremost priorities should be pro-life, pro-marriage not same sex marriage, and religious freedom. We should be against every politician who by action does not support these. Everything else is secondary. Immigration is a right but legally. What he sponsors is illegal and probably pure open borders. It is the confusion he sows that influence Catholics to vote for Obama and others like him.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Oct. 31, 2012 7:06 PM ET USA

    It's nice that he can prioritize.