The California Future of Abortion Council issued their report last week on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. In it, the Council outlined a 45-point plan for expanding abortion access in our state, which already boasts some of the most liberal abortion policies in the world.
We celebrate two significant Marian feasts in December, the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe, both highlighting God’s plan for salvation through maternity. St. Ann’s maternity gave us the Immaculate Mother of God. Mary’s maternity, so beautifully portrayed in the apparition of Guadalupe, brought us Our Savior. The juxtaposition between our faith’s reverence for motherhood and the report’s veneration of abortion could not be more clear.
The report’s 45 legislative recommendations include spending state tax dollars to bring out-of-state women to CA for free abortions, paying medical students’ loans if they become abortion doctors, and forcing Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. There is stated support for these recommendations from Governor Newsom and many in our state legislature.
The Catholic response looks different, like my own family. I was blessed with a wonderful example. My mother, after having six children went back to college for her master’s degree so that she could help other women in our community receive an education to become nurses. Many of these students would not have otherwise had the chance to obtain their degrees if it had not been for my mother and her example and convictions of life and children. I also watched my father support her every step of the way. All of us kids pitched in too. It was wonderful that she could pursue her career while being a loving mother to us. It was a blessing for us, too, that we learned how a family works together.
It is a great blessing when families care for one another. In my role as pastor and bishop, I hear from so many women who are alone and frightened. They do not have the privilege of the family life that I had. My heart goes out to them as they wonder how they can be a mother to a child when they have no one in their lives to support and comfort them. So many women have been treated in a way that they don’t understand they are worthy of love and help.
It is here that Catholics can do our best work of mercy. We can step in and become family through our parishes and ministries. In California, over 150 pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics help women every day with medical care, community referrals and material resources. Most of these centers are heavily supported by Catholic parishes and families. I have visited many here in Orange, including recently. I was very involved in such a center entitled The Care Center in Springfield, Illinois which was founded by three Catholic women who were good friends of mine. This center was also supported by St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois. This is a beautiful work of mercy in our Church.
At the same time, we call upon the state to solve systemic poverty for women. In neighboring Los Angeles County, over 5,000 women living on the streets become pregnant every year. We need homes and services that provide hope to them and their children. Hundreds of pregnant women are jailed in California, and not allowed access to their newborn babies, even if they will be released soon. We need legislation to allow women and their children to be placed on a path of success. Thousands of women and families live in cars in California, trying their best to keep children safe. We need affordable homes built and family placement prioritized.
There are countless other ways California could be serving the needs of women and children. Women regret abortion. Women change their mind about abortion. When offered real help and companionship, few women ever regret having a child. In my experience, most people will choose to be generous if given the opportunity. Now is the time for Catholics to recommit to generosity.
In the Gospel story, we hear of Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary, frantically looking for a place to stay and for help delivering their baby. We read of their flight to Egypt with a newborn, in need of shelter, friendship, work. In my own family, I learned first-hand what it takes to pull together and support every member. By extension, our Catholic family is called to reach out in love to women and families in need, as we would have had we been in Bethlehem or Egypt at the time of the Nativity. We call upon our California family to prioritize the needs of women and children, providing support and care for women that will allow them to be the mothers they want to be.
In these days of Advent, as we contemplate the Holy Family, we ask the intercession of St Joseph, our Mother Mary and the Infant Jesus as we proclaim the beauty and dignity of every human life through both word and deed.
+ Kevin V. Vann
Bishop of Orange
Vice President of the
California Catholic Conference
From Diocese of Orange.
Must be another fruit of consecrating the state to Mary a few years ago.
How would you’ve responded if you lived in Elizabethan England or in Poland under communism. A persecution is well on its way; either toughen up or leave…
bohemond, I think he already got persecuted.
That is why he is so bitter.
St. Januarius’ sacred blood liquified today. All will be well in the world! No way is that a Medieval hoax. It’s the true blood of a person whom nobody knows whether he actually existed or not, and his “blood” didn’t show up until more than 1,000 years after his purported death. Never mind that the church doesn’t permit the “blood” to be tested to see what its chemical composition is. It’s real. Just believe it! Just like what this bishop says. Just believe it! They need you to believe otherwise what are they, really? Nobodies.
Recommit to generosity? Runaway inflation is eating away at my wages, purchasing power and savings. What ivory tower does the bishop live in? I want to live there.
There are a lot of people in Orange County who have the means to be generous even with inflation.
You can be generous in prayer and in spending time with those in need.
Our country was founded upon Biblical Judeo-Christian beliefs– taught and formed by the clergy of various faiths– same Bible. All of our Founding Fathers were church-goers, and read the Bible. You can only have a good country, that truly benefits all its citizens, by our clergy forming good citizens, in church– teaching them to love and obey God, and lead good lives. Otherwise, the whole country will eventually fall apart. Gov. Gavin Newsom, like President George Washington, should be in church with his whole family, every Sunday. And our clergy should be teaching and guiding him, just as they did, in Washington’s day. And like St. John the Baptist– “bad Catholic” leaders such as Pelosi, Newsom, Biden, etc. — should be sternly called to repentance, by our clerical leaders.
A lot of the founding fathers were not Christians. Deism was a prevalent belief. as well as rationalism.
John Adams is quoted as saying “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
sorry but… No. Pres. John Adams, a Universalist Unitarian, meant that in America, we have separation of Church and State– no national religion, as in England and other countries. No official religion of our country can ever be declared. But everyone knows very well, that America was originally founded by Christian Protestant groups, such as the Puritans, Quakers, and others, who dissented from the King of England, and his Church of England. They came to America to have the freedom to worship God the way they wished. And oh, yes! — we are a Christian country, with beliefs, laws, customs, etc., all built on a bedrock of Christian beliefs– not atheist, Communist, Muslim, Buddhist, or anything else!! Yes, there were Deists, Unitarians, and other denominations, among our Founding Fathers! But Deists, for example, had their own brand of “rational” Christianity, just like any denomination has its peculiar beliefs. Deists believed in Jesus Christ and the Bible, too! So did Unitarians! And they interpreted Christ and the Bible in their own way. The Christian faith prevailed, and Biblical beliefs were the solid rock upon which America was built, with many different denominations– and Catholics and Jews, too.
America…I think we have a very different idea of what constitutes a Christian religion, of what constitutes the founding of America and who the founding fathers are, probably on what constitutes Christian beliefs as well.
I am not going to argue with you.
Adams did indeed say what you claimed he said, in the course of establishing a treaty to prevent Muslim pirates from plundering American merchant ships and kidnaping American sailors, who were mainly Christian. Article 11 of this treaty, ratified during Adam’s presidency:
As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, – as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims], – and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
By removing the religious motivation for Muslim piracy, Adams sought to remove the piracy. It is seems clear to this reader that no other formulation about America’s founding would have undercut the pirates’ religious motivation. Later, when the new American navy transported marines overseas to quell tensions – the event memorialized in the first line of the famous song “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.” A new treaty was eventually negotiated in 1805. Though similar to the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, the new treaty did not replicate Article 11. Jefferson evidently thought this article no longer necessary. Why is a matter of debate. With the American navy now carrying a big stick and the previous treaty already treating the religious aspect, he may have thought it no longer necessary.
It must be said that historical studies are plagued with difficulties. It is easy to quote one man, in this case Adams, or one Treaty, to pretend to exhaust the entire discussion of Christianity’s influence on the founding of the nation. We should not attempt to do it here.
Thank you for that insight and information.
History should be accurate and it does not fit into the neat little boxes that people with agendas want it to.
Additional info as to your point about the treaty:
Begun by George Washington, signed by John Adams and ratified unanimously by a Senate still half-filled with signers of the Constitution, this treaty announced firmly and flatly to the world that “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
There is not a single Christian thing in the Constitution. There is not even a morality requirement for people elected. If you want to see Christian government you need to look to Europe and that is what the founders of America were rebelling against.
I understand if evangelical Christians do this stuff, but Catholics should know better.
Eight of the thirteen American colonies originally had established churches, and taxes were required, to support them. Later, this was abolished, for separation of church and state. American colonizers were mostly of a European, white Christian cultural and religious background. This background shaped the future country. English became the official language, as America was an English colony, under the King of England.
sorry, but… Beware! There are many anti-American, anti-Christian, radical liberal-leftist crackpots in our universities today, who are lying, fraudulent “historical revisionists,” who seek to “re-write history,” with radical, liberal-leftist lies. Don’t listen to their garbage.
They are not the only ones.
Called to … you need to study your history a litter deeper. A whole bunch of our Founding Fathers were Deists, we did not all use the same Bible and Catholics were considered anti-Christ. If you read the Declaration of Independence you will see “the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them.”
Bob One, I meant that in Colonial times, everyone read the Bible– and actually, Protestants and Catholics have only minor differences. It is basically the same Bible– and the Jews had the Old Testament, the Torah. Same, basically, as our Old Testament. American way of life, beliefs, and culture, was based on our Biblical, Judeo-Christian, Western Civilization. That is all true, and that is all I meant to say. America is formally classified as a Christian nation, of Western Civilization. Very simple thing! And all Western Civilization has a strong Biblically-based, Judeo-Christian foundation– with a few other influences, like the ancient, pagan Greeks and Romans, etc. Our nation’s deep cultural and religious heritage is not based on Confucian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or any other non-Western heritage– although America grew as a “melting pot” of peoples (most were Europeans). Regarding the colonial-era Deists– many Deists, as Deism was only a philosophy— also belonged to other churches, such as Unitarian or Episcopal churches, etc.– and had their own personal mix of ideas. Deists highly respected Jesus Christ as the greatest religious Teacher– but did not believe in Christ’s miracles, or any supernatural events. They preferred a “rational” explanation. And one night in deep prayer, at Valley Forge, George Washington– an Episcopalian, a Deist, plus, a highest-rank Masonic Order member– had a vision of Our Blessed Mother, who assured him not to worry, that all would turn out well, and America would be a great and blessed country.
Oh– to be even more specific–America is classified as having a mainly Protestant Christian cultural and religious heritage.
Hate to break it to you but America has been a pagan nation for a long time, and it gives me no joy to say it. Faithful Christians of all stripes will soon be tested and persecuted for the Faith. Satanic people are running things
Yes, there are nany individuals who are hypocrites and “pagans” in America. But America is formally designated as a Christian nation, of strong Protestant background. “God Bless America,” not “Allah” or “Buddha” Bless America” — “foreign gods,” not recognized or comprehended here, culturally and religiously. And we celebrate Christmas and Easter, on the calendar– not some foreign Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim holy day.
Our American Constitution reflects the background and character of the American colonizers. The thirteen colonies were originally under the King of England. Constitutions written in a Hindu-dominated country like India, a Muslim-dominated country like Pakistan, Iran, or Afghanistan, or a Buddhist-dominated country like Myanmar, Thailand or Sri Lanka, will reflect the cultural and religious background and character of those peoples.
A good sermon, but much more work is needed by Church leaders, to aggressively combat sin, promiscuity, and abortion.
Dear Bishop Vann, we hear your pain with this abortion expansion…
Sadly, we knew that this “plan for expanding abortion access” was coming with the election of Joe Biden.
We had the option of continuing with a Pro Life candidate.
Many in your flock are disheartened because the Church ignored the impact that electing a pro abortion candidate (Biden) would have in the killing of millions of children in the womb. We appealed to you and our leaders to speak clearly about this back then.
The “Preeminent Priority” of ending abortion should should have been STRONGLY EMPHASIZED by our Church leaders during elections…. it was diluted with everything else and we now lament the consequences.
Lets learn from this and moving forward speak clearly and corageously about the Preeminent Priority and the impact of choosing a Pro Life and Pro Abortion politician.
After reading Bishop Vann’s article, I am feeling frustrated, and concerned.
I have always thought that abortion was the most intrinsically evil sin above all others. How can anything be more evil than killing a knowingly innocent, defenseless, and voiceless baby?
Direct abortion is the only thing that allows one to be excommunicated. So, how in the world can it be morally permissible for a catholic to vote for a pro-abortion candidate??…
Bishop Vann & other leaders in our diocese are partly responsible for this, because they told Calif. Catholics that it was morally permissible to vote for pro-abortion candidates – even though there was a pro-life/anti-abortion candidate available –
So, I just can’t help but put blame on you, Bishop Vann and other “leaders” in our diocese for helping to cause this of which you lament!
Half of Catholics in your diocese believe abortion should be legal! I feel this is bc you have failed as a leader – misguiding your flock – telling us that it is ok to vote for pro-abortion candidates!
I would say voting for a pro-abortion candidate is actually being complicit in the act itself. In fact, in 2008 when you were in TX, you stated: “to vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion would be to cooperate in the evil – and, therefore, morally impermissible.”
Prior to the last election, when we asked you to republish your statement – you ignored us – and the response from representatives at your diocese said that this anti-abortion statement was “meant for a different place & a different time.” Sorry, but do you think we are that stupid?? Really???!!
Now, all of us, including the innocent babies will suffer even more, because of your “approval” of Biden and your disapproval of President Trump (the most pro-life/anti-abortion President we have ever had).
Abortion is now only one of the issues among many which you will have to fight, because this pro-abortion president is also anti religious freedom, pro-same-sex “marriage”, pro-SB360, anti-Little Sisters of The Poor, pro-assisted suicide… Biden is anti-everything that that is traditional catholic moral teaching! But yet, you supported him by your actions or lack thereof – so maybe now you will speak the truth in future elections!
All human life is equally sacred, but all issues are NOT equal! Abortion is the preeminent priority issue of our time!
If 24% of abortions are procured by Catholic women, that is over 200,000 abortions per year. If California is going to be The Abortion Place, they need to be preaching the immorality of abortion and its eternal consequences every Sunday.
I know it is tempting to think that the Catholic women who have abortions are not attending Mass but they might be. They might go to Mass looking for divine guidance (or divine permission) for what they are thinking about doing. They might go to Mass because they feel bad about what they did and are looking for forgiveness or justification.
There is a phenomenon known as “The only moral abortion is mine.” where people can see the wrong in abortion but believe that their circumstances make it licit. It never is.
I suggest putting in a special prayer in the petitions for the women of California who are tempted to abort a baby or those who are coming for a destination abortion to be given the grace to resist the temptation and seek support for their special circumstances that bring a mother to the point of considering ending the life of her child.