Bishop Boyea Urges Michigan Faithful: ‘Fight Like Heaven’ to Reject Abortion Proposal

COMMENTARY: With calls to ‘fight like hell’ from the pro-abortion regime, the Lansing, Michigan shepherd invites Catholics to take part in a 54-day novena utilizing our greatest weapon: prayer.

Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing, Michigan, shown at his 2008 installation, has called for a 54-day novena to turn away a Michigan abortion proposal.
Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing, Michigan, shown at his 2008 installation, has called for a 54-day novena to turn away a Michigan abortion proposal. (photo: Al Goldis / Associated Press)

Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing, Michigan, has launched a full-throttle challenge to the pro-abortion forces of Michigan with his pastoral letter “Fight Like Heaven: Bishop Boyea’s Response to Proposal 3” of Sept 10-11.

The pro-aborts have managed to put on the ballot a so-called “Reproductive Freedom for All” initiative (Proposal 3 on the ballot), which seeks to amend the Constitution of Michigan to include a so-called “right to abortion” and which will likely lead to overturning many laws regarding abortion already on the books — all without explicitly identifying what laws will be jettisoned.

Elizabeth Kirk, in her Aug. 26 “Overview of Michigan Ballot Initiative: ‘Right to Reproductive Freedom” for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, lists the following as changes in the laws that would likely follow adoption of the proposed constitutional amendment:

  • Parents would be prohibited from having a role in decisions regarding abortion made by their minor children;
  • Abortions based on gender, race or disability would become protected;
  • Abortions would be legal throughout all 9 months of pregnancy;
  • Premature babies or babies with health problems could legally be denied “extraordinary health care”;
  • Public funding for abortion would become a constitutional right, reversing long-standing Michigan prohibitions on use of public funds to pay for abortion;
  • Protections for victims of medical malpractice would see their legal rights curtailed and the definition of medical professionals would be broadened in such a way that there would be a high risk of unqualified persons actually performing abortions.

These and other likely consequences are listed in Bishop Boyea’s letter. Those who want unbridled freedom to kill unborn children are certain to challenge these claims since the changes are not stated explicitly in the amendment. One doesn’t need to be a respected legal scholar (as Kirk is) to easily see through their subterfuge. Any sane person knows the proposers of the amendment are seeking just such changes and have written the amendment in such a way as to allow them.

Kirk has also written a superb piece on the right and obligation of the Church to be involved in public advocacy. She states the simple and obvious truth that the Church is defending no distinctive Catholic teaching but is “following the science” that has established that human life begins at conception. The Church seeks to advance the common sensical view (“supported by religious, philosophical and atheistic persons”) that all human life is of equal dignity.

What is distinctive is how Catholics fight battles. Yes, we have every right to use all the means any citizen uses but we have greater “weapons” at our disposal. Bishop Boyea exhorts us to “fight like heaven” against those who are going to “fight like hell” (the pro-aborts’ words) to prevail on this measure.

How wonderful these words are! Too often Church officials speak of the means of spiritual warfare as means of last resort, but Bishop Boyea puts spiritual actions first and asks a lot of spiritual warriors. He called for a 54-day novena! I actually get goosebumps writing that. Not just a holy hour or just a single Rosary but a 54-day novena beginning on Sept 15 and ending on Nov. 8, polling day. My parish has already determined to keep the Church open for longer hours so we can pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament and pray together. Bishop Boyea also urges fasting and almsgiving and the action of working to persuade others of the sanctity of human life.

An excellent way to give alms at this point is to donate to the Michigan Catholic Conference and Michigan Right to Life for placing ads that will help save Michigan from becoming a state where mothers have unprecedented access to means for killing their unborn children.

Nearly 20 years ago, the Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) and other pro-life organizations performed the heroic act of defeating a proposal to legalize assisted suicide in Michigan (home of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, aka “Dr. Death”). The MCC on Sept 14, 1997, on the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, published a statement by all the bishops of Michigan against assisted suicide and provided outstanding materials to parishes to educate parishioners on the evil of assisted suicide. I was told by one of the persons intimately involved in the fight that the Catholic Church had priests give homilies every Sunday in October that promoted the sanctity of life and the need to provide compassionate care for the dying; she said she was confident that the effort of the Church was “a” if not “the” major factor that defeated the proposal.

I am one of those who has been particularly hard hit by the constant stories of corruption in the Church that I love. It was tremendously heartening to hear Bishop Boyea’s letter read at Mass — the best call for pro-life action by a bishop that I remember hearing.

We have the means — the supernatural means — to defeat evil. How marvelous to be directed by a bishop to use those very means!