Joint statement reaffirms shared teaching on respect for human life
ST. LOUIS – The leaders of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) released an unprecedented joint statement today which reaffirms their shared teachings on the respect for human life and expresses shock over the content of recently released Center for Medical Progress undercover videos.
The statement from Archbishop Robert Carlson and Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison says, in part: “Like millions of Americans, including those in the Roman Catholic Church and The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, we have been shaken to the core by what we have witnessed: intact babies, at times still alive, having their body parts harvested as a commodity. We are shocked at the image of tiny hands and feet seen in a glass pie plate. We are horrified at what we have seen and heard. Such actions and attitudes have no place in our society.”
In addition to speaking out against Planned Parenthood’s commoditization of aborted baby body parts and tissue, the joint statement also speaks of both churches’ commitment to provide alternatives to Planned Parenthood’s abortions.
“Together, we stand firm and repeat that every human life is worthy of dignity and respect,” the statement reads. “We affirm our continued commitment to offer resources to help parents of any faith background who are in need of medical, financial or social service assistance both during pregnancy and after. We stand ready to assist any parent who wishes to make an adoption plan for their child.”
The statement also extends Christ’s mercy and forgiveness for men and women who suffer after having participated in an abortion:
“Our commitment is to all life in all its stages from conception to natural death. For those men and women who participated in an abortion, we extend to you the words of Jesus: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden …” (Matt. 11:28), and we invite you to experience hope and healing from your experience.”
Over the past few months, the Missouri Synod has responded to the CMP’s videos, including statements from President Harrison and other LCMS church leaders, and the Synod also released a video calling for an end to abortion