Protection of Life

Shepherd Advocates for Life at Every Turn

At every opportunity, Bishop Robert McElroy advocates for the sacredness of life, from conception to natural death.

He’s led every one of the San Diego Diocese’s Walks for Life since arriving in 2015, in rain or shine.

Before COVID-19, attendance at this event had gone up every year, numbering several thousands, including a greater participation of young people.

The bishop called for this public testimony to continue as a car caravan in 2021, during the teeth of the pandemic, instead of canceling the event altogether.

“Those who say life in the womb is not human life are testifying to a lie,” Bishop McElroy declared at the 2018 Walk for Life, “and we are here because we want to be witnesses testifying to the truth of God’s grace in the womb, and from conception until natural death.”

As president of the California Catholic Conference, Bishop McElroy promotes the Whole Person Care Initiative. Developed in partnership with the state’s Catholic health care systems, the initiative aims to create an environment where the ill and dying feel loved, worthy and cared for. This project calls for parishes to receive information about the Catholic teaching on the end of life and how to better support their members who are chronically ill or face terminal diagnoses and their families.

On Jan. 15, 2022, Bishop McElroy led the annual San Diego Walk for Life. Though the U.S. Supreme Court had not yet overturned Roe v. Wade, he predicted it would happen and called on the faithful redouble their efforts to protect the unborn:

“This is a great moment of hope, and it is a moment to give thanks to God and all of those who have worked this past half-century to bring this about.

“I was in college when the Supreme Court first issued its decision in Roe v. Wade. I remember being tremendously saddened by it and wondered: Would we ever see a day when the rights of the unborn were affirmed by the court again? …

“In California (where no change will occur), this is a moment not to downsize our efforts but to re-double them.

“We have to convince the people in this state — and I believe we have the capacity to do that over time — that the unborn child in the womb is precious and that, as we know, God is the author of all life, and we’re merely stewards of life on this earth.

“We have to continue to educate and to convert minds and hearts, to point to the unborn child and help others see the preciousness of that life. 

“In an ultrasound, parents see their child and know that it’s a human life. We need to bring home that sense, and the implications for it, in terms of how our laws can protect the unborn.”

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