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 was a great day in Washington, D.C., and you can't
always say that. The federal government shut down due to the storm, and
tens of thousands of pro-lifers braved the same storm to stand for
As we discussed last week, the March for Life is
never an empty symbol, though many couch-sitters like to characterize
it as such. It is important to make the most of the chances to meet with
other leaders and network, to be inspired, and to give the media
another chance to ignore the fact that the momentum in this country is
against abortion. One classic example of this intentional ignorance was
the New York Times's report that "hundreds" of people attended the March.
As canonist Ed Peters retorted on Facebook: "Don't underestimate the influence of the New York Times. Hundreds of people read it."
see many of those whose work has directly led to the saving of
thousands of lives and conversion of many, many hearts at the March,
full of conviction and encouragement.
If the March -
and others like it around the country and around the world - were the
goal of the pro-life movement, or just some chance to pat ourselves on
the back while the slaughter continues, I would understand the
criticism. But the reality is that the March and all the events around
it are quite valuable for those actually in the fight.
Attendance was certainly down this year as many cancelled flights or
buses who would normally have been there. At the expo, HLI's staff were
still able to engage many in conversation and, for example, show why
contraception is the gateway drug for abortion and why true marriage is
essential for a Culture of Life. I was honored to concelebrate Holy Mass
at the Franciscan Monastery with fellow pro-life priests, bishops and
meet with other pro-life leaders. I was also pleased to be able to
celebrate Mass for those who were trapped by the storm in our own and
neighboring hotels, and to give a couple of spontaneous talks to groups
who remained. You can see photos of some of the events on HLI's Facebook page.
the March is a chance to begin again the essential work of fighting the
greatest cause of death and suffering from which our nation and the
world suffers. This is why HLI has always engaged in so many different
ways in the fight for life.
In HLI's mission field, we are
seeing yet another push to expand abortion "rights" for poor women, who,
we are told by the abortion profiteers, are having babies that they
don't want to have.
I'm sure many of you have heard of
the Zika virus, which is spreading throughout Latin America, and has
been especially widespread in Brazil. People are starting to use the
word "pandemic", though this designation is still premature. Basically,
people are linking this virus with a burst of cases of microcephaly in
Brazil, a condition suffered by newborns whose mothers contracted Zika
Following the raised concern about
the Zika virus and its effects, we put out a statement yesterday that
called for caution on several aspects of this troubling situation. We
also warned, in part:
expects the call to avoid pregnancy to be exploited by population
control advocates who are always telling poor women and families to
avoid pregnancy, most likely with renewed fund raising campaigns and
anti-natalist propaganda. We also expect this very difficult situation
to result in demands for radical expansion of access to abortion in law,
as if killing a child is tantamount to curing a disease.
Well, it didn't take long. This is from an NPR interview with an abortion activist:
why the [abortion] debate should be on the table. In countries like
Colombia, women have the option of using emergency contraception or
interrupting the pregnancy legally if they are infected with the Zika
virus. However, most women - especially those in the most affected areas
- do not have clarity over these laws. There is a lack of information
and access to these services. And that is for the countries where these
kinds of reproductive health services are legal. In some other
countries, like El Salvador, these kinds of reproductive rights are
illegal. This might lead to women getting more unsafe abortions, and
putting their health and life at risk.
progressives like to say, never let a crisis go to waste. Possible viral
epidemic? More abortion. Natural disaster? More abortion.
all want to see women and families getting the best possible care, and
to see this virus stopped in its tracks. We are all against women being
harmed by abortion, but abortion is never safe for the baby who is
targeted for death. These death profiteers refuse to look at Chile,
which has seen great improvement in maternal health outcomes even with
increased and strong restrictions on abortion.
What does all of this have to do with events like the March for Life?
There is now a network of pro-life warriors throughout Latin America in
large part because a priest named Father Paul Marx met a great woman
named Magaly Llaguno at an HLI conference. From this great meeting came a
great friendship and collaboration, and a network of others who
attended conferences, were educated, met new friends who challenged and
inspired them - all of whom have had many silent and not-so-silent
victories. Another meeting at an HLI conference, this one between HLI's
founder Fr. Marx and Jorge Serrano, has led to many victories in Mexico
and over 150 crisis pregnancy centers throughout Latin America. This
network, which continues to grow and adapt, will be fighting for moms
and babies who will be under greater pressure as the abortion industry
exploits the real concerns of those faced with the Zika virus.
fight for life is certainly and primarily a spiritual battle. It is
political. It is cultural. It is a battle in which human beings are the
soldiers, and human beings need to be nourished, to be energized, and to
be introduced to others in the fight. What began decades ago with
Father Marx continues today both through HLI networks and other
wonderful pro-life organizations that continue to pop up with creative
ways to stop the Culture of Death and recover a Culture of Life.
it's far from over. But this is why we need to stick together. I am
deeply grateful for your prayers for HLI's pro-life missionaries and for
our other friends and warriors in the pro-life and pro-family movement.
PS. - I encourage everyone to share our Truth and Charity Forum's series
on the upcoming election. It's been an odd political season, to say the
least, which only highlights the need for clearer thinking and
formation for Catholics who want to exercise well their responsibility
to vote. See below, or click here for the series as it develops.
Another presidential election season is upon us. This may fill you
with dread, hope or anticipation, depending on your interest in
politics and this year's candidates. For myself, it is easy to
experience election fatigue, wherein I tire of the endless parodies,
smear campaigns and the ubiquitous political platitudes found on social
media. Regardless of our personal feelings-be they positive or
negative-we have a responsibility not only to vote, but to vote with
knowledge and discernment. - continue -
We share the concern of our brothers and sisters in Latin America
who are worried about the spread of the Zika virus, and who wonder
about its cause and its effects. Much is still not known, but there
seems to be a growing concern that the mosquito-borne virus is linked
to the serious birth defect of microcephaly in infants born to mothers
who contracted the virus during pregnancy. With this elevated concern
have come calls for the postponement of pregnancy for entire nations
for as many as two years, although some nations are still debating what
measures to be taken and what duration to advise couples to postpone
pregnancy. - continue -
Of the several key questions MacIntyre poses, one of the most
crucial is "Nietzsche or Aristotle?", the title of the chapter in which
he grants these two giants the honor of having the most coherent moral
programs on offer. The Enlightenment dismantled, on MacIntyre's view,
the framework of traditional Aristotelian morality which had dominated
after Aquinas, but it failed to present a coherent framework as an
alternative. That Nietzsche realized this and exposed the errors of the
Enlightenment and remaining Christian attempts at creating a moral
obligation is to his credit, but where Nietzsche left the conversation
should trouble us all. - continue -
Send a reminder: Catholic=Pro-Life!
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