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USCCB: statement on Gosnell conviction

May 16, 2013

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued a statement on the conviction of Kermit Gosnell, who had performed late-term abortions under appalling conditions in a Philadelphia clinic.

Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder, one count of infanticide, one count of involuntary manslaughter, and 208 violations of informed-consent law.

“Dr. Gosnell’s trial brought much-needed attention to the tragedy of abortion,” said Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston. “His murder convictions of newly delivered infants have caused many people to reexamine their positions on abortion.”

“In addition to the violence against defenseless unborn and newborn children, women’s lives were endangered by his unethical practices,” he continued. “I hope and pray that Dr. Gosnell will come to regret and repent for his many crimes.”

“Our nation needs great healing from the culture of death, of which this sad story is only one example,” Cardinal O’Malley added. “Let us pray for the children who have been lost and the many mothers and families who silently grieve their loss. Our Lord longs to heal every person affected by the tragedy of abortion and other violence.”


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  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 18, 2013 1:44 AM ET USA

    Gosnell was not a bishop..., the Most Reverend John Myers of Newark is... Gosnell has already been tried, convicted and sentenced (as was appropriate) by his peers... We the American laity do not need nor seek their views one way or another on this matter as they (the bishops) seem to be incapable of effectively "judging" their own. Strange as it might seem, it would appear to me that they should know that we need them to follow our example.

  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - May. 17, 2013 3:53 PM ET USA

    Card. O'Malley's statement while saying the right things seems to me quite restrained and sanitized like a charitable press release. Given that abortion is the black plague of modernity and we are complicit as a nation in serial killing, a little bit louder now is more than in order.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - May. 16, 2013 8:29 PM ET USA

    I hope that the Bishops don't let this teachable moment about the evil and grave sin of abortion slip away. I think every church in the nation should be preaching about this horror and how deeply it offends our Lord.