Fr. Gorges a driving force for VTB
Pastor of St. Peter’s in Schulte evangelizing about the Aug. 2 election
About the Value Them Both bill
The abortion industry in Kansas is virtually unregulated. Value Them Both is the name of a state constitutional amendment that would help regulate the killing of the unborn. For details about Value Them Both and how to promote it, visit KansasCatholic.org.
When the Kansas Legislature last January approved a bill allowing voters on Aug. 2 to amend the state’s constitution to regulate abortion, Father Bernie Gorges knew he had to act.
Fr. Gorges, the state chaplain for the Knights of Columbus, asked Bishop Carl A. Kemme if he could use the infrastructure of the Knights of Columbus to help educate Kansans about the amendment.
“We have 55 district deputies in the state of Kansas and we have a year,” he said. “Doing a little math I needed to visit 55 districts in 52 weeks.”
Father hit the road last August
He began his state-wide quest last August in Northwest Kansas when little was known about the proposal.
“What I do is go to the district deputies – each district deputy has four or five councils or parishes. They come together at a big parish and I give a presentation encouraging them to go back into their community and parishes and touch their whole community.”
Fr. Gorges said he hopes speakers will be able to visit every two to three months to continue to educate about the amendment up until the election on Aug. 2.
One of the challenges is that Kansas is about 15 percent Catholic. “So there is no way we can pass this as Catholics. We need to have every single one of our Protestant friends – everyone who has a certain Christian worldview – recognize the dignity, the sanctity of the child, and the dignity of the mother to be able to go and spread that word to every single Christian in their community.”
Father has help now
He’s not alone, though. At the beginning of last year, there were 10 persons trained by the Kansas Catholic Conference and the Value Them Both Coalition to make presentations about the Value Them Both Amendment. Now there are about 45.
Fr. Gorges’ vehicle has been racking up the miles since the beginning of his quest. In his first visit he was based in Colby when he covered 19 counties in six days, he said, “like spokes from a hub.”
Dodge City was the next hub with spokes that included stops near the Oklahoma and Colorado borders. His third trek was to north central Kansas where he operated out of Hays. His next stop was planned for Salina but changed it to western Sedgwick County because of a conflict in the Diocese of Salina. In November Fr. Gorges visited Manhattan for presentations.
Heading to SEK
Fr. Gorges plans to visit nine counties in Southeast Kansas this month and use Salina in February as a hub for northern Kansas stops.
“The message is pretty strong in Wichita,” he said, explaining why he focusing on other areas of the state.
Fr. Gorges said he believes we will be held accountable for the blessings we have received and the freedom we have. “We, of course, know how quickly because of human nature that freedoms can turn into licentiousness – and that’s basically what we’re experiencing now.”
The world is watching Kansas, he said, for the sake of the unborn and human dignity.
“We have immigration issues, we have poverty, and issues with welfare. These are all fine and we must pay attention to them. But the preeminent issue as the church teaches us is abortion and euthanasia because of the direct attack on life.”