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.
This is it! We have one week left to make Him room.
Please take time and care during these final days of Advent to step back from any busyness in your life, making time for prayer and contemplation. Think of that midnight in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold, when Our Lord Jesus Christ was born of the most pure Virgin Mary.
If you haven't yet during Advent, as part of making Him room, get to confession! The last gift you want to give the Christ Child this Christmastide is an ill-prepared soul and unworthy Communion.
Toward this end we offer two fine meditations from our Truth and Charity Forum. First, Father CJ McCloskey reviews the US bishops' fine letter "Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography." Second, Stephanie Pacheco considers from the perspective of a young mother the importance of honoring Advent traditions in the home, drawing from Bishop Jean Laffitte's excellent book "The Choice of the Family."
Just two more things: thank you all who have been praying with and for HLI Kenya, which finds itself in the middle of a strange situation. As we reported earlier in the week, Father Wanjohi's team displayed a banner that was "confiscated" by Kenya's National Aids Control Commission. The banner graphically portrays the fact that one out of twelve condoms fail, which is why the condom profiteers don't like seeing it in public. Well, the NACC denies confiscating it, but they admit having the banner and won't return it.
Yes, they actually said that.
As bad as this is, it isn't as bad as the fact that this Western-funded population control agency, disguised as a public health agency, was founded to convince Kenyans that a product that fails on average with every twelfth use is "safe." They ignore the experience of Uganda, which suffered terribly early in the AIDS pandemic, but switched to an abstinence and fidelity campaign where condoms were silently set aside, but available. They saw what is still the largest and most dramatic decrease in HIV/Aids transmission following their campaign. Yet the population controllers returned, sending hundreds of millions of dollars to promote condoms in Uganda, and the infection rate, as night follows day, is beginning to increase again.
This is criminal. Our loving Creator made us in His own image, giving us teachings as a guide to our true flourishing. These are throughout Holy Scripture, and are codified in the social and moral teaching of the Church. Using condoms, as with all contraception, is certainly immoral, and turning from this moral teaching leads inevitably not only to serious spiritual consequences, but to serious societal and health consequences. That so many would profit off of this immorality and public health abuse is unconscionable.
(As we were preparing to send out this email, we just received notice that the pro-abortion and -contraception Guttmacher Institute is trying to raise money so it can expand its version of sex "education" in Kenya. No doubt a large part of this education is convincing children that all sex is good and safe as long as condoms are used. We certainly have our work cut out for us!)
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently issued a letter addressing the plague of pornography. Entitled "Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography," it has been a long time coming. This is an important document that should be read by every family and discussed in all Catholic schools and universities. The Bishops Conference makes it quite clear that pornography is an offense against chastity and human dignity and that it also is a link to other sins. Pornography has a range of victims and is pervasive; it is addictive, destroys marriages, and exploits both men and women. Pope Francis noted in 2014, "How much pain is caused in families because one of their members-often a young person-is in thrall to alcohol, drugs, gambling or pornography!" - continue -
And this is no accident: in families, we transmit an understanding of reality, of good and evil, of values and truth. It is so abstract sounding that words often fall short, but it is real. So the arrival of our children and the role of parenthood, which we inherit, are immensely transformative, and they should be for both us and our little ones. As parents, we will build the framework that forms their entire lives, even if we cannot always see it. - continue -
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