Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Spirit & Life - Regaining Conscience
This week's Spirit & Life is by Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International.
Spirit & Life is the weekly e-column of
Human Life International.
Church has long understood that a properly functioning conscience
appeals to an objective set of moral norms outside itself: "Conscience
is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral
quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process
of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man
is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right."
manipulation of language, promoters of the culture of death have
successfully accomplished numbing the moral sense of a majority of
people around the world. We have become increasingly indifferent to
evil. The natural moral law which commands us to do good and avoid evil
has given way to mere subjectivism -- if you feel good about it, then it
must be good.
mentality has become pervasive in the culture, fueled by mass
communications and directed toward undermining the natural moral law in
order to create a society freed from any moral tradition, a so-called
free society that chooses its own destiny. The result is that people
simply don't know how to react, what to say or how to answer and defend
themselves against the violence that is becoming commonplace.
Addressing this mentality in Spe Salvi,
Pope Benedict XVI drew attention to the foundational problem of Marx
and Lenin and the utopia they proposed for the salvation of humanity:
[Lenin] forgot that man always remains man. He forgot man and he forgot
man's freedom. He forgot that freedom always remains also free for
evil... man in fact is not merely the product of economic conditions,
and it is not possible to redeem him purely from the outside by creating
a favorable economic environment. (22)
needs an objective truth outside himself that serves as a compass
guiding him in his daily language and decisions. If man's sociological,
political, technological and economic advances are not equally matched
in his ethical formation and inner growth, then, "It is not progress at
all, but a threat for man and the world." (22)
our desire to shift hearts and minds away from the language of the
culture of death and reignite man's conscience, we must use language
that upholds and proclaims the origin and dignity of the human person.
The success of the culture of death depends primarily upon its ability
to persuade many that terms like "pro-choice" or "the right to choose"
are just about one person's freedom, with no one else's life at stake.
Many have been denied access to common scientific evidence that
definitively attests to the fact that life begins at the moment of
conception. This new human being is an individual with his own genetic
code, separate from that of his mother.
well-formed conscience allows man to hear a voice, not merely his own,
calling him to love and to do what is good. This voice resonates in his
heart and provides the answers that he seeks, helping him distinguish
good from evil. Ultimately he sees and gratefully appreciates the
dignity and value of every life because he understands the worth of his
own. In freedom, he confronts his passions and decisions with a
conscience enlightened by a truth outside himself. He rejects the
seductive voice of evil and chooses the narrow path that leads to life.
Thus, he contributes to the transformation of his world and his culture.