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Roman Catholic Leader Rejects Plan For

Such a facility is being planned for 1611 Peach St., just across the street from the old Erie Central Mall.

Text of a letter dated Oct. 27, 1999
Diocesan Vicar General
Erie Catholic Diocese
Addressed to "Dear Friends in Christ"

Our nation is blessed in so many wonderful and marvelous ways. We enjoy immeasurable personal freedom, a democratic spirit that would rival any nation in the world, significant economic growth, an abundance of material goods and a religious liberty that allows us to live and share our faith without fear of reprisal.

Despite all this and much more, there exists in our nation, a notable and noticeable vacuum in the human and spiritual values that guide and direct our lives. As the bishops of our church tell us: "Our prosperity does not reach enough…. We are still falling short of the American pledge of 'life, liberty and justice for all,' our declaration to defend the inalienable rights of the human person."

The Oct. 26 Erie Morning News carried the following headline: "Erie Might Get An Abortion Clinic." The accompanying story mentioned that a pseudo-medical professional who opened an abortion clinic in State College, Pa., and currently oversees several abortion clinics in New Jersey has purchased four suites at a downtown Erie office building for possible use as an abortion clinic.

"Now it's our time as a community of faith to make justice a reality for God's children in Erie."

How tragic to realize that there are some who fail to understand the truth that human life is a gift from God, sacred and inviolable. Unfortunately, because of their lack of understanding, 1.5 million innocent, voiceless, children suffer the deadly consequences of their abortive madness each year. Those so blind are now in our own backyard. If they succeed in their deadly deeds, many more children will fail to know and celebrate their day of birth.

We cannot allow this to happen. Now it's our time as a community of faith to make justice a reality for God's children in Erie, in our diocese, in our nation and throughout the world. For the Word of God in whom we believe, Jesus Christ, and the word he speaks, challenges us to "choose life," calls us to care for "the least among us," commands us "to hunger and thirst for justice for all," and charges us to be "peacemakers" who salt the earth with his life and light earth's darkness with his love. There is no room, no place, no bargaining and, certainly, no compromising human life in our Catholic faith or the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Bishop Trautman has asked me to assure you, the Catholic faithful and members of all faith traditions, that he will use every peaceful and legal means available in opposing the establishment of a "death clinic" in the city of Erie or anywhere else. Early next week, he will join other civic and religious leaders in calling a news conference and asking for your help and personal and prayerful support in countering this violent assault on human life.

Our response to the violence of abortion must never be more violence. We shall overcome, but only in ways that are peaceful and faithful to the teachings or our faith. Christ, who responded when the world's poor and oppressed cried for help, must serve as our guide. In him Who conquered even death, so too shall we overcome this senseless killing of our young and five back to them, once again, our nation's foundational promise of "life, liberty, and justice."

People for Life urges all people of good will, regardless of their religious affiliations or lack thereof, to congratulate and support religious leaders, as well as other community leaders, who speak out publicly and fearlessly in opposition to the deliberate destruction of living human beings -- innocent children -- in their mothers' wombs. Do not take these people for granted! Pick up the phone or pick up a pen today, and thank that religious leader for coming to the rescue of the innocent and the powerless! He or she DESERVES your support. Someday, the powerless person who needs a friend might even be YOU!

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