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Priest urges Catholics to pray, fast, vote against ‘extreme’ proposal to enshrine abortion in Ohio constitution

by | Aug 1, 2023

‘This is extreme, it’s radical, we have to defeat it, period,’ said Fr. Daniel Dury, pastor of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Sunbury, Ohio.

By Ashley Sadler

SUNBURY, Ohio — A priest in the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio had strong words for the “extreme” and “radical” ACLU-drafted ballot initiative to enshrine abortion as a “right” in the state constitution, calling on pro-life advocates to pray, fast, and vote to defeat the proposal at the ballot box. Specifically, he urged Catholics to vote “no” on the proposed amendment in November after voting “yes” on Issue 1 in August to strengthen the process for approving constitutional amendments.

“You may be aware that radical, out of state pro-abortion groups are trying to change our constitution in Ohio … ” said Father Daniel Dury, pastor of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Sunbury, Ohio, said in a video posted to social media Monday.

The proposal referenced by Dury would amend Article I of the Ohio state constitution to enshrine a “right” to “one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care and abortion,” as LifeSiteNews previously reported.

“This is extreme, it’s radical, we have to defeat it, period,” Fr. Dury said.

The priest offered four things that the pro-life faithful can do to help “defeat” the proposal.

“Number one, pray,” he said. “We pray that the Holy Spirit may come down upon us, this state, and soften hearts and minds to the will of God.”

He mentioned the words of Diocese of Columbus Bishop Earl Fernandes, who has previously expressed appreciation for attendees of the Traditional Latin Mass, and who recently responded to criticism about the Church being involved in “politics” in its opposition to the measure by pointing out that “abortion is a fundamental moral issue.”

“The amendment attacks the fundamental understanding of the human person, made in God’s image and likeness; undermines a fundamental anthropology; removes rights from parents; could potentially jeopardize the conscience rights of medical professionals; and represents an assault on human life and the human family,” Bishop Fernandes wrote earlier this month. 

“The issue of abortion is a fundamental moral issue, touching upon issues vital not only to our lives as Catholics (and the lives of vulnerable, unborn children) but also to the common good,” he said. “Once more, I urge all Catholics to register to vote and to vote No on the proposed amendment in November.”

In his homily, Fr. Dury echoed Fernandes’ words that opposition to the radical amendment “is not a political issue … ” but “a moral one. It’s a gospel of life issue.”

Secondly, Fr. Dury encouraged the faithful to fast. Joking that he “hate[s] fasting because I like to eat,” he highlighted the fact that fasting is nonetheless “very powerful, as our Lord says.”

As a third point, the priest urged parishioners to share information about the proposal on social media.

“Tell others about the extreme nature of this amendment,” he said.

Lastly, Fr. Dury encouraged pro-life Catholics to “go out and vote.” 

“You must vote. It’s an obligation we have as citizens of this state,” he said.

Specifically, the priest encouraged the faithful to vote “yes” on Issue 1 in August, which will harden the constitutional amendment process by requiring a 60% supermajority to approve any proposed amendment rather than the current 50%-plus-one majority. 

Editor’s note. This appeared at LifeSite News and is reposted with permission.

Categories: State Legislation