Is Ohio loosing her soul? It sure seems so. This past Tuesday, August 8th there was a special election in Ohio. Issue 1 was an initiative to raise the majority standard when proposing an addition or change to the state constitution. The goal was a conservative effort to raise the standard to a majority vote of 60% rather than 50% for this type of amendment effort to pass. This effort was important because of the initiative we anticipate to be on the November ballet that enshrines abortion as a right as defined in our state constitution. We've seen what has happened in other states with similar initiatives, and the pro-life contingency recognized the best way to thwart this type of amendment to the constitution was the increased majority percentage for passage. We failed. Issue one failed and so now in November we get to vote on whether or not it will be a state constitutional right to kill unborn babies, all the way up to the time of their birth. A 51% approval will declare this a constitutional right in our state. So effectively making murder legal in Ohio to an even greater extent than it already is.
This is a radical and pivotal moment for Ohio. This is the moment when our state may lose her soul. If this happens we can prepare ourselves for darkness and destruction. What else is to be expected if the majority of her citizens are in favor of killing human beings, who are created in the image of God, in the womb. This is a foundational issue for a society. I see every day, fellow Ohioans complaining about gun violence, crime and an utter disregard and respect for others, yet those same citizens vehemently support and advocate for the brutal dismemberment and murder of fully developed unborn babies. It is not rational. It totally demonstrates the foothold Satan has on our state and on most of our nation, and it will end with our own destruction.
The only time in Scripture that Jesus goes "mafioso" on us, is when he speaks of those who harm children. He states it would be better for them if a millstone was tied around their necks and they be cast into the sea. Yep, that nice Jesus actually said that. We have lost the "Fear of the Lord", we have lost our fear of Hell. Many are not only openly rejecting God and Heaven but embracing Satan himself. Is it a wonder that our society is spiraling out of control?
The bishops of Ohio were silent on this special election, my own Archbishop of Cincinnati wasted no time sending a letter out to the Archdiocese addressing the issue coming up in November though, the very Sunday after the failure of Issue 1. Is this too little too late? My parish read this letter, out loud to the congregation, as was the Archbishop's intention. I know this didn't happen in every parish though, and that is the problem.
The Church is very specific on the issue of abortion. If you are Catholic and supporting these initiatives in Ohio, you are swimming in very dangerous waters. There is absolutely NOTHING on this earth more important and vital than our eternal salvation. That so many of us disregard the Church's teaching on so many moral issues demonstrates the total lack of understanding and ignorance of her members. There is no excuse for this ignorance in our day amd age, when the information and knowledge is literally at our fingertips. Also, in a world where we have Mike Schmitz and the Bible and Catechism in a Year programs, among many others, we should all be very aware of these teachings. Most of us simply reject these teachings because of our pride, arrogance and total disregard for humility. Those who do not hold to all the teachings and Dogmas of the Church are putting themselves outside the Church, even though that teaching itself, is one they disregard. But just because we don't believe or disregard these teachings, it does not make them not true, and does not mitigate the damage to our hearts and souls. St. Paul makes this very clear in Scripture, those receiving the body and blood unworthily or outside the Church, are condemning themselves. I guess it is no surprise that those who don't see any problem with condemning their own souls because of their pride and arrogance, won't think twice about condemning a helpless and vulnerable preborn baby to mortal death.
It all goes hand in hand.
I will be leading a weekly Rosary Rally to pray for the defeat of this initiative. I have faith in God that even if it passes, it does so within his permissive will, and he will work it for the good of many. That doesn't mean though that many souls are being lost as we travel down this rocky road. That is the true tragedy of all this. Bottom line, those innocent, beautiful preborn babies being destroyed every day in Ohio, and throughout our country will go to be with God. Eternally, they will be safe and okay, and find happiness and glory. They will rise above the blood and gore of their unjust executions. That won't be the same for all of us who perpetrate and condone this evil. God is just after all, and the blood of these innocents cries to Heaven for justice and vindication. It's not yet to late for us. We need to get this vote right!
A link to Arch Bishop Schnurr's letter to the faithful of Cincinnati
August 12, 2023
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
On November 7, 2023, Ohioans will have the opportunity to demonstrate how our state views the sacredness of life and the dignity of women. On the November ballot will be a proposed amendment (deceptively named “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety”) to the Ohio Constitution that would enshrine the “right” to take the lives of innocent children in the womb while harming women and families in the process.
An expectant mother of any age can face many challenges, including lack of support from the father, financial strains, concerns about her own health and that of her child, and pressures from family and friends. Every woman, regardless of circumstances, should be able to depend upon a community of support. That is why Catholic social service agencies, in collaboration with many other faith-based and secular organizations, assist pregnant women in need with material resources and personal accompaniment, both during pregnancy and after their child is born.
By contrast, the proposed amendment does none of that. If enacted, it would amend the Constitution of Ohio to effectively:
Put women at risk. This amendment would enable elimination of some of the most basic, fundamental safety regulations on abortion clinics, including the current requirement for an abortion to be performed by a licensed physician.
Threaten parental rights. The vague language in the amendment opens the door to anyone under 18 having an abortion, or even beginning cross-sex hormone treatment, without parental consent or notification.
Allow abortion through 9 months of pregnancy. The amendment provides caveats such that a healthy, fully-formed infant in the womb who otherwise could be delivered with no issues would still be a candidate for a surgical dismemberment abortion.
We must reject this extraordinary and dangerous attempt to radically reshape Ohio through a constitutional amendment that does nothing to aid women or promote life.
The amendment’s supporters will claim that its passage is necessary to preserve medical treatment for women who experience miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies. This is not true. No Ohio laws – or the laws of any U.S. state, for that matter – prevent such treatment. Hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, and physicians have always provided comprehensive miscarriage care, and will continue to do so regardless of the outcome of this vote.
Some may insist that the Catholic Church should not be involved in politics. However, the defense of life and care for women compels our participation in this critical moral issue. As Catholics, we are morally obliged to uphold the dignity of life of all vulnerable humans – immigrants, the poor, preborn children. We cannot remain silent on a direct ballot question like the one in November. The Church must not remain on the sidelines when confronted with such a clear threat to human life and dignity and the primacy of the family.
Ohio does not need a constitutional amendment that only perpetuates violence and a culture of death. I urge Catholics and all people of goodwill to pray earnestly for the defeat of this extreme amendment; to educate yourselves and your family and friends about the dangers of the proposed amendment; and to vote NO on November 7. Beyond that, we must continue our commitment to caring for women, children and families.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of our Lord and Savior, and St. Joseph, protector of the family, intercede for Ohio and its families in the weeks ahead.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati