Cardinal says 40 years of legalized abortion has demoralized U.S. society

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—Forty years of legalized abortion have profoundly demoralized American society, not only weakening respect for human life but undermining marriage, parenthood and individuals’ sense of duty to others, said U.S. Cardinal J. Francis Stafford.

The cardinal, a former archbishop of Denver and former head of two Vatican offices, said that the legalization of abortion was itself a result of flawed ideas about freedom deeply rooted in American history.

Cardinal Stafford, 80, spoke with Catholic News Service shortly before the Jan. 25 March for Life marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that lifted most legal restrictions on abortion.

He said that Roe was one of a series of cultural, social, political and legal upheavals during the 1960s and early 1970s that left him deeply disillusioned with his native land and alienated from a country that he said once offered unparalleled openness to the proclamation of the Gospel.

“I don’t really feel as at home now in the United States as I did prior to the ’60s,” he said.

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