The following comes from a February 4 Catholic News Agency article:

Efforts to combat social injustice cannot forget that the right to life is foundational, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said January 30 at the Hispanic Pro-Life Congress in Santa Ana, California.

Pro-life questions are not just one issue among many, the archbishop said, criticizing the effects of a “seamless garment” approach advocated by some Catholics, or what is sometimes called “a consistent ethic of life.” These views mislead people in practice, he said, and result in “a mistaken idea that all issues are morally equivalent.”

“So in everything we need to be clear that the root violence in our society is the violence against those who are not yet born and those who are at the end of their lives,” the archbishop said.

“If the child in the womb has no right to be born, if the sick and the old have no right to be taken care of – then there is no solid foundation to defend anyone’s human rights.”

The archbishop noted the problems of violence, drugs, “scandalous” prison conditions, the death penalty, deportations and injustices in the immigration system, racial discrimination, unemployment and homelessness, and environmental pollution.

“I am not trying to say that all of these issues are ‘equal.’ They are not. And we always need to be clear about that,” he said.

However, he continued. “In the face of the suffering and human need in the world, we cannot compartmentalize our compassion or draw lines between those we will care about and those we will not.”

The archbishop said the pro-life movement’s vision is “spiritual, not political.” This means it does not make sense for pro-life efforts to be separate from social justice efforts.