The hot-button issue of abortion and the "disrespect for human life" it represents will be a key issue in the upcoming presidential race, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, D.C., tells Newsmax TV.
"It remains the fundamental basic issue," the influential Roman Catholic leader said Monday on Newsmax Prime.
"One reason it strikes me, one reason why we are so casual in our country with violence, we see violence exercised with such ease, such disrespect for human life."
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Wuerl, who is archbishop of Washington, DC, said that a generation growing up in the wake of the notorious Roe vs. Wade decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion, has been "taught since they were infants, that it's alright to kill."
"It's all right to kill as long as the person is inconvenient to you and fits into a certain category. This category is nine months or less," he told Newsmax Chief Political Correspondent John Gizzi.
"What we have done is create a mentality that so depreciates the value of life, that all these other things follow very easily. You can't say to someone, life only has the value you give it and expect that they're not going to apply that principle in areas where you might differ."
Wuerl's archdiocese is currently embroiled in a lawsuit involving the church’s Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, which has challenged the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that some religious-affiliated organizations provide insurance that includes birth control.
"We're challenging the government on two points. One, we don't believe the government has the right to tell us what we should or shouldn't be doing when it comes to activities that we consider immoral," he told Gizzi.
"And secondly, we don't believe the government has the right to tell us that there's a distinction between what the Gospel tells us to do and how we worship. That's all part of being Catholic, of being part of a religious community.
"So we're in court for multiple reasons and we have to wait and see what the court actually decides. It's outrageous that we're even forced to this point and I know there are those that suggest maybe you should just all shut down."
Wuerl said he is hoping the Supreme Court will come to a decision that "recognizes that the right to religious freedom, the right to religious liberty is every bit as much our right as is the government's right to impose contraceptives."
Wuerl — the former Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle and Bishop of Pittsburgh before being promoted to the cardinalate by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 — is author of "Ways to Pray: Growing Closer to God,"
published by Our Sunday Visitor.
Note: Part 2 of John Gizzi’s Newsmax TV interview with Cardinal Wuerl will air Tuesday at 8PM and 11PM ET – see Newsmax TV on Directv 349, Dish 223, Fios 115 or More Info Here
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