Deepen your understanding of the sanctity of human life.
Educate yourself and inform others about all the pro-life issues.
As Catholics, we are urgently called to promote respect for the dignity of all human life from natural conception until natural death and to defend our right to teach, believe and act on these principles. Being educated about important pro-life issues and principles is key to effectively defending and promoting them.
Protecting the Unborn; Ending Abortion
Catholics stand in support of laws that protect human life. The Catholic Church has always recognized the importance of humane policies that promote human flourishing at all stages of life while at the same time recognizing the primacy of protecting those who cannot speak for themselves. As St. Teresa of Calcutta said during her 1979 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, “The greatest destroyer of peace today is the cry of the innocent unborn child. For if a mother can murder her own child in her womb, what is left for you and for me to kill each other?” She recognized that a society that does not value and protect the inherent worth and dignity of the innocent unborn cannot be relied on to adequately value and protect anyone.
Protecting the Unborn Educational Resources:
End of Life Ethics
The Catholic Church opposes physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, strongly affirming that life must be valued not only when it brings pleasure and well-being but also in times of suffering and death. True compassion calls us to embrace those who are dying, not provide them with the means to end their lives.
End of Life Ethics Educational Resources
- Vermont Catholic Advance Directive
- Vermont Advance Directive Registry
- U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Policy Statement on Assisted Suicide and other resources
- Comprehensive resources from the USCCB on assisted suicide and euthanasia
- To Live Each Day with Dignity: A Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide (USCCB)
- On Holy Ground: A Catholic Instruction on Christian Death
Assisted Suicide in Vermont
Despite determined opposition from a broad-based coalition of Vermonters, physician-assisted suicide became legal in the State of Vermont with the passage of Act 39 in 2013. No amount of safeguards can make Act 39 acceptable or safe. Doctor-assisted suicide is at the top of a slippery slope that will move from “choice to die” to “duty to die” and enable the elimination of people who have been deemed dispensable, burdensome and too expensive to care for in our society. If any one person is vulnerable because of age, illness, disability or financial need, then we are all vulnerable.
Other Pro-Life Topics
While protection of the unborn and the dying are of key concern to the pro-life community, there are a number of other topics under the pro-life umbrella including:
- Abstinence and Chastity
- Conscience Protection
- Death Penalty/Capital Punishment
- IVF/Reproductive Technology
- Post-Abortion Healing
- Stem Cell Research
Find a more complete listing at the USCCB: pro-life webpage.
Respect Life coordinator Carrie Handy offers actionable ideas for promoting a culture of life in her Vermont Catholic article “21 pro-life ideas for building a culture of life.”
Ask the experts: our Respect Life Speakers are here to help.
The Respect Life Ministries’ Speakers Bureau includes priests, bioethicists and other experts who can help educate Catholics to be better prepared to evangelize the wider culture about critically important topics related to human sexuality and the dignity of the human person. Check out our suggested topics. If you do not see a topic in which you are interested for your parish program, organization or youth group, contact Respect Life Ministries with your suggestion and your request may be accommodated.