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House pro-life caucus co-chairman addresses Lawyers Guild at Red Mass luncheon

Cardinal O'Malley and U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., pictured at the Red Mass Luncheon sponsored by the Catholic Lawyers Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston, Sept. 28, 2012 at the Seaport Hotel in South Boston. Pilot photo/Kevin Blatt

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SOUTH BOSTON -- Too often cheap sophistry shrouds pure evil, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., told a room full of legal professionals. He urged them to fight for justice and not to allow manipulated language to obscure injustice.

Smith, who is co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, made his remarks to members of the Catholic Lawyers' Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston at the luncheon following their annual Red Mass. He spoke at South Boston's Seaport Hotel on Sept. 30.

In his remarks, Smith held up the character of St. Thomas More, patron of lawyers, who was beheaded in 1535 by King Henry VII after refusing to accept the king as Supreme Head of the Church of England. St. Thomas had clarity in his convictions. As a statesman, he sacrificed his very life to stand firm for his faith, he said.

"St. Thomas More once said he was the King's servant, but God's first. How many of us have so personalized and marginalized our faith in God -- at one time or another or as a habit -- so as to render it meaningless in the public square?" Smith asked.

He called on those gathered to put aside their preoccupation with being liked, honored, popular or elected. They should promote compassion for all without fear of the consequences.

"Today, there is a beguiling tendency in our society, especially in the political arena, to accept the euphemism -- choice, death with dignity -- over a difficult truth," he said.

He called abortion a "serious, lethal violation of fundamental human rights" that requires immediate attention.

"Abortion methods rip, tear and dismember, or chemically poison the fragile bodies of unborn children. There is nothing benign, compassionate or just about an act that utterly destroys the life of a baby and often physically, psychology or emotionally harms the woman," he said.

This year, Smith authored the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and supported the national Sex-Selective Abortion Ban. He has a long history of opposing abortion; in 1984 he helped defund organizations that support forced abortions.

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