6 January 2009
Dear Brother Priests,
I pray that this letter finds you well and enjoying a blessed Christmas Season. During this time of year, when we celebrate the light of Christ coming into the world, it is necessary to consider an area of darkness in our country — the continued practice of aborting our unborn brothers and sisters.
Although there are several reasons to be optimistic as we come upon the historic inauguration we are about to experience, there are several reasons also for very real concern — not least of which is President-elect Obama’s promise to sign the proposed “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA) as soon as it reaches his desk. It is of paramount importance that this legislation NEVER reaches him. This legislation would effectively remove any and all restrictions on abortion, restrictions that have been the hard work of people of good will ever since Roe vs. Wade. With the enactment of FOCA, even modest restrictions, such as informed consent and parental rights, that now exist in Wisconsin would be gone.
We should certainly pray this month for the faithful from our diocese who will travel to Washington, D.C., on the day after the inauguration to join with hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters at the 36th annual March for Life. And while many people in the diocese are not able to sacrifice the time and money to travel to Washington for the March for Life, we can also join with Catholics from across the nation who are initiating a postcard campaign to stop FOCA.
I am calling upon you to help educate the faithful of your parish on the devastating impact FOCA would have on our state and nation and to provide volunteer leaders to help children, teens, and adults peacefully protest by signing postcards later this month. I know you have many responsibilities and that your time to undertake an additional project is limited, which is why I am asking you to choose two parishioners and return their contact information on the enclosed sheet to Susanna Herro, director of our Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach.
Your volunteer leaders will receive all the materials they need and can be assured that their time commitment will be only a few hours. Susanna has ordered postcards for each of our parishes and if all goes smoothly, each parish in the Diocese of Madison should be prepared to sign cards on January 24 and 25. Susanna will be assisting you and your volunteers to carry out the campaign and she will be available to help you overcome any obstacles.
With gratitude for your commitment to teaching, preaching, and living the Gospel of Life, I am,
Sincerely yours in the Lord,
The Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino
Bishop of Madison