Cardinal Dolan Launches 2016-17 Program with Respect Life Month Statement

September 29, 2016 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—In a statement to mark Respect Life Month, October2016, Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York called for all human life to be "cherishedand protected." Cardinal Dolan chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities ofthe U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

TheCardinal's statement launches the year-long Respect Life Program (, which exploresthe theme, "Moved by Mercy." As Pope Francis said in calling for the JubileeYear of Mercy, "We are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shownto us." Cardinal Dolan said: "When we let our hearts be moved by God's mercy,it shapes everything."

CardinalDolan emphasized the need to protect human life at every stage. "From each tinychild waiting to be born, to individuals nearing death, all are precious anddeserve our care and protection."

"Womenand men suffering after abortion, individuals tempted to end their lives,couples longing to conceive a child, people pushed to the margins of society bya 'throwaway culture', expectant mothers facing challenging pregnancies, andevery other person—each 'has a place in God's heart from all eternity'," hesaid, citing the 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (TheJoy of Love).Cardinal Dolan called for every person to be "treated with the dignity theydeserve. No one should ever be treated callously or carelessly – everyoneshould be cherished and protected!"

Begunin 1972, the Respect Life Program highlights the value and dignity of humanlife throughout the year. It is observed in Catholic dioceses throughout theUnited States. Tools equip leaders across the spectrum of Catholic work,ministry, and education to integrate the message of mercy on life issues.

The2016-17 Respect Life Program features six articles highlighting ways to put mercy into action.They address the tragedy of assisted suicide, navigating infertility, facilitatinghealing after abortion, end of life care, attentiveness to God's creation, andsupporting birthmothers. Thisyear's program offers new prayers, toolkits for clergy, social media, and press, and other resources for parish bulletins,religious education, RCIA, marriage prep, and Catholic high schools.

The full text of Cardinal Dolan's statement is available along with manyother resources at


Keywords: Pope Francis, USCCB, U.S. bishops, Timothy Cardinal Dolan,Committee on Pro-Life Activities, pro-life, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), RespectLife Month, Respect Life Program, human dignity, women, pregnancy, birthmothers,adoption, abortion, the elderly, end of life care, advance medical directives, infertility, physician-assisted suicide,euthanasia, prayer, social justice, environmental justice, post-abortionhealing, Project Rachel, #MovedByMercy

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Media Contact:Judy KeaneO: 202-541-3200