Kansas City’s Archbishop Naumann decries slaying of Tiller

? n response to the slaying of Dr. George Tiller, the Roman Catholic archbishop for northeast Kansas has written that violence is unacceptable in the fight over abortion.

“The pro-life movement is about saving lives, not taking them,” Archbishop Joseph P. Naumann, of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., wrote in a column in The Leaven.com, the online version of the official Catholic newspaper of the diocese.

The Leaven is a weekly newspaper that reports a total paid circulation of 52,800 and enters more than 75 percent of Catholic homes in 21 counties in northeast Kansas, including Douglas County.

“Undercutting the authority of the law by acts of vigilantism is an absurdity for a movement that is trying to gain legal protection for the lives of unborn children,” Naumann wrote.

Naumann’s comments come as Scott Roeder, the man accused in the shooting death of Tiller, has said more violence will occur “as long as abortion remains legal.”

Roeder made his comments from the Sedgwick County Jail in a telephone call to The Associated Press. Roeder is being held on charges of murder in the May 31 slaying of Tiller, whose Wichita clinic provided late-term abortions.

Naumann decried violence, saying those who perform abortions aren’t evil.

“We need to treat those involved with performing abortions and advocating for abortions with the respect that is due to every human being. We need to love them out of their abortion clinics,” he wrote.

Naumann has been an outspoken critic of abortion.

He criticized former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who is Catholic, several times over the issue, saying she should refrain from taking communion until she repudiated her support for abortion rights. And he said he found her nomination to become secretary of health and human services “particularly troubling.”

He has also criticized Sebelius for her political ties to Tiller.