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.
It has been my experience in my roles both as pastor and as president of HLI that most married couples are ill-prepared for the sacramental life they are called to live in Christ. There are a number of reasons for this unfortunate reality.
Foremost, parents and the
Church have failed to form souls to love God and his commands. In most
cases, the faith has not been passed forward to the next generation as
our Lord commands (Deut 6:4ff), bringing us to this current crisis within the Church and society. As a result, the Culture of Death has made great strides in corrupting the intentions of many adults
seeking marriage because they do not comprehend the core requirements
of fidelity, exclusivity, permanence, and fruitfulness within the
marital union. In many cases their experience of sacramental marriage is limited or non-existent.
Because of the high rate of
divorce, many young adults seeking marriage - or even those discerning a
vocation to the priesthood - come from broken homes, which affects
their understanding of sacramental marriage and family life as God has
constituted. There are also a very high percentage of young adults
engaged in premarital sex, exhibiting and worsening their
misunderstanding of sexuality. Moreover, many couples approaching the
Church are cohabitating as if they're married. When -- and if they do marry -- they are more likely than ever to marry outside their faith, as indicated by a recent poll from Pew Research.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, this tragic confusion continues to affect all of us today. Young people are not being raised in the same faith-based culture as many of us received from our grandparents and parents. We
cannot compare the preparation of couples of that generation to the
drastically needed preparation of couples today. If we are going to
reclaim a proper understanding of natural marriage, then we must
challenge and confront the ideology and environment in which our youth
are being raised. We must lovingly and firmly assist them to live their
duty and responsibility in Christ and to strive for holiness in their
It is true that several
dioceses have designed robust marriage preparation programs, and bishops
have raised standards for those who hope to be married in the Church.
Unfortunately, however, many marriage preparation programs are
inadequate, as they are not focused on assisting the couple to
faithfully live out their vocation. Instead of focusing on marriage,
many couples focus exclusively on the details of the wedding: the bridal
attire, flowers, and banquet.
Catholic bishops and priests
around the world must take seriously this responsibility to prepare
young couples for a sacramental life in Christ. If we can reclaim this,
then we can change the future! Children raised in homes open to life are
more likely to receive the proper formation they need; these same
children will influence the culture around them and transform it as they
become husbands and wives, religious, and priests. If we do not see the
larger picture -- the serious crisis in front of us that we must
address -- then divorces will continue, the number of cohabiting and
same-sex couples will increase, and a childless society will usher in
the death of traditional and natural societies around the world.
Finally, we must recognize
that for many of those approaching the Church hoping to marry are not
ready. We must be proactive in promoting chastity programs for young
people. We must, as the Church faithful, claim the duty and
responsibility to assist souls. This is the work of Human Life
International, which began with Fr. Paul Marx's vision to defend life,
faith and family.
Therefore, pray that our bishops and priests will engage these issues and proactively support them whenever you can. Please
pray for the success of HLI's efforts to defend faith, life, and
family. Finally, pray for a deeper love of God's gift of natural
marriage as the lifetime and faithful union of one man and one woman
open to the transmission of life - and love.
As a student in my
third year at Christ the King Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of
Nyeri, I am grateful for the training and inspiration I have received
from Human Life International Kenya. Despite being a faithful
Catholic who attended Mass regularly and was catechized at my parish, I
had never had any priest share with me the importance of defending life
and family. - continue -
As we embark on the annual Fortnight for Freedom,
an initiative of the U.S. Bishops that takes place from June 21-July 4,
we observe a focused period of prayer, education, and action to address
the many current and grave challenges to our religious liberty in our
midst. This year's theme is "Freedom to bear witness" is
a prayerful response to the government's HHS mandate-forcing employers
to cover contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs in their
health plans. -continue -
Send a reminder: Catholic=Pro-Life!
Delightful book about the journey of a tiny unborn baby -- from conception to birth. Great read to cherish life and family.