To be read from the pulpit, Sunday, March 22, 2009; the Veneration of the Holy Cross. And to be disseminated to all parishioners through appropriate parish media.
March 19, 2009
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago
As we pursue the struggle of repentance and holiness during this season of Great Lent with the renewal of our commitment to Christ our Lord, we have become aware of a threat to the freedom of our spiritual and religious lives in the State of Illinois, though such dangers are appearing more frequently throughout our nation.
The Illinois General Assembly is considering a bill (HB 2354; “Reproductive Health and Access Act”) that would affect all health care workers by removing their right to conscientious objection to abortion and related procedures, forcing them to participate in or provide abortions or face legal punishments. This bill would basically make the right to an abortion a fundamental human right in the State of Illinois.
Not only will this severely impact health care providers, especially the many excellent Catholic hospitals of our State where the sanctity of life is always respected and many Orthodox Christian doctors and nurses, but it will also contribute to the ever-increasing callousness of our society when it comes to all perception of life’s sanctity at all ages, from the pre-born children in the womb to the elderly.
In our nation, the right to conscientious objection on religious grounds has always been respected in times of war and for those who choose to refuse to participate in acts of capital punishment. It seems now that some Illinois lawmakers want to infringe on this hallmark of our democracy. It seems such lawmakers have forgotten the “weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith” (Matt 23:23) just as our Lord pointed out so long ago. This proposed law is unjust and violates the very principles of our faith in Jesus Christ, the Life of the world.
With Paternal Blessings,
Metropolitan IAKOVOS of Chicago
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