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Letter to the Faithful Regarding the Passage of Issue 1

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November 8, 2023

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Yesterday’s passage of Issue 1 is deeply disturbing.  The people of Ohio missed on this important opportunity to demonstrate that the health and safety of women, the fundamental rights of parents, and the lives of preborn children deserve protection.  Despite this outcome, we are grateful for all of you who prayed, educated yourselves and others, and voted NO on this horrific amendment.  And we praise God for the gift of His great love and mercy which He continues to pour out to us in good times and in bad.

The passage of Issue 1 shows that there remains a desperate need for conversion of hearts and minds to a culture of life in our country, one that respects the inherent dignity and sacredness of every human being from conception to natural death.  This conversion will come about only through earnest prayer and the witness of our compassionate care for the most vulnerable among us – immigrants, the poor, the elderly, preborn children, and women in need.

Expectant mothers 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.  In such times, every woman should be able to count on a community of support, both during pregnancy and after a child is born.  Thank you to the many pregnancy centers, Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul conferences, Catholic healthcare systems and other wonderful pro-life ministries that create that community of support, lovingly walking with women in need and helping them navigate difficult circumstances.  I urge everyone in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to redouble support for these Catholic ministries that provide material resources and personal accompaniment to women, children and families so that abortion, legal or not, ceases to be even a consideration.  For a listing of such ministries in our archdiocese, please go to https://catholicaoc.org/forlife.

The passage of Issue 1 in Ohio is part of what appears to be a coordinated state-by-state attack on life.  Please pray for our sisters and brothers in Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, and South Dakota who likely will face proposals similar to Issue 1 on their respective state ballots in 2024.  We must not become disheartened by setbacks.  As Catholics, we are called to trust always in God’s providence and be courageous in our defense of the health and safety of women, the inviolability of the family, and the inestimable value of each human life.

May the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, graciously help us build a culture of life and a civilization of love to the praise and glory of God, the Creator of all.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr

Archbishop of Cincinnati