Feast of Our Lord and Giver of Life 2023: A Letter from Patriarch Craig Bates

Dear brothers and sisters,

On June 24, 2022, the political landscape radically changed regarding the legalization of abortion in the United States. When the Supreme Court ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, legalization of abortion was sent back to the States. This, however, was not a “victory” for the Pro-Life Movement, but the proponents of “States’ Rights.” In essence, every state can now have different laws, regulations, and restrictions. The Federal Courts cannot regulate abortion, and it is questionable as to whether or not the legislative branch of the Federal Government can regulate abortion. Right now, five states have unrestricted abortion availability and twelve states have banned abortion at every stage of pregnancy. The other states all vary, but most have implemented some restrictions or limitations.

It must be clear that abortion, which is nothing less than the murder of an unborn child, is still legal in the United States. And, in the name of “Women’s Rights,” “Reproductive Health Care,” and “Reproductive Rights,” the abortionists are crying out for unrestricted abortions, even to the time of birth, and, in some cases, even moments after birth. Some suggest that in the recent midterms the Democratic candidates were able to use this battle cry to their advantage and many women came out to vote Democrat because of “a women’s right to choose.” It is suggested that these women feared the loss of their “right” to an abortion.

This battle will continue in the political marketplace and I applaud those who are working to make abortion illegal or, at least for the time being, to restrict abortions. It will save lives. I will continue to vote for Pro-Life candidates and will never ever vote for anyone who would support unrestricted abortion. The political battle will only end when abortion is completely illegal and every child in the womb is fully protected.

We rejoice at Dobbs, but we do so knowing abortion is still here, and that now we must take the battle to the States.

Abortion is also a moral and ethical issue. We need to teach our people, particularly the young, how to apply morals and ethics. Otherwise, they are going to be held captive by the lies of the psychological revolution, which says, “I feel, therefore I am,” as well as the sexual revolution, which proclaims, “I am a sexual being, and I have the right to have sexual relationships with whomever I please without facing the consequences of my behavior or the impact on the other person, or even a possible child.” We need to drill into the minds of our young people (and adults) that we are children of God and our purpose is in God. We need to unfold what it means to believe in the sanctity and dignity of every life.

Essentially, however, abortion is about spiritual warfare. Abortion is undoubtedly an attack on the soul of our nation. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “A nation that kills its children in the womb has lost its soul.” But it’s even more than that. Abortion is the murder of children sacrificed to the “god” of materialism, consumerism, hedonism, humanism, genocide, pride and selfishness. Abortion is a satanic attack against God, who is the Giver of Life. We know that every pregnancy is a participation in the loving and creative heart of our God. It is God who gives life, and all life is in the hands of God. We are to receive from His hand and heart that gift of life in the womb of every woman.

This satanic attack has deceived and hurt so many. The aborted child is just one of the victims of abortion. There are millions upon millions of women whose heart and soul have been scarred by the decision to terminate their pregnancy. Yes, they do regret their abortion. And, men regret their decision to participate in abortion. Thank God the Church has a message of repentance, forgiveness, and the unconditional love of God.

Fr. Terry Gensemer, and Sarah Neely, have been at the forefront of this spiritual war. They have led thousands in praying regularly at abortion mills around the United States, Canada, and Europe. They have trained and raised up an army of young men and women who are equipped to fight this battle into the next generation — the generation that will end abortion in America. The battle still rages and we all need to be a part of the fight.

First, we must be a people of faith and prayer. Our parishes need to make prayers to end abortion a regular part of the “Prayers of the People” during the Sunday Eucharist. We must organize and have regular visits to local abortion mills and pray the Liturgy at the Time of Death. We must teach our people to stand on God’s Word to stand up for the preborn.

Finally, we must be generous in our financial support of CEC for Life. I have been involved in lots of organizations and I can tell you CEC for Life has incredible integrity and financial accountability. Your gift will be used to fight against sin, the world, and the devil in the Name of Jesus and in His love.

On the Feast Day of the Lord, the Giver of Life (January 15, 2023), be ready to give to the special offering. Clergy, prepare the hearts of your people and encourage them to sow into this ministry. Planting a seed of faith into CEC For Life will undoubtedly bring blessing, not only to you and your family, but to our whole communion as we continue to uphold and defend the sanctity of Life.

Under His mercy,

The Most Rev. Craig W. Bates
Patriarch, ICCEC