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.
What a blessed time we have had in Hawaii, traveling to several
of the beautiful islands and sharing the Gospel of Life with priests,
seminarians and lay people who are hungry for the truth. Our friends
with the Diocese of Honolulu's Pro-Life Office and Bishop Larry Silva's
team have kept an ambitious schedule, which is normal for mission
Also normal for such trips is the blessed lack of
connectivity to the internet. Of course, this doesn't always feel like a
blessing when you have many things going on, but the Lord always does
provide what you need. Thank you all for your prayers for the
"Catholics Reaffirming Life" campaign through the Hawaiian archipelago
-- we are already seeing great fruit from our conversations and we pray
that it continues to grow as we prepare for the trip home.
As you know, we at HLI have strongly expressed our concerns about
the contraception statements coming from the Vatican. Most of the
feedback we're received has been positive, but I wanted to address a
complaint that has been expressed; namely, that with our statements we
have expressed "dissent" and have thus caused scandal. Since specific
quotes are not offered with these charges, my guess is that some have a
general sense that our efforts at clarifying teaching are
disrespectful, or worse.
I have great respect for those whose heartfelt impulse is to
defend the Church and the Holy Father. I feel the same way, which is
why like so many of my brothers in faith, I have made it my life's
vocation to be a priest and serve the Bride of Christ, His Church. And I
have made it a key aspect of my vocation to take a leadership role in a
pro-life missionary organization and defend some of the most essential
but least popular teachings of the Church. In my experience of a
pastor, I've seen too many times that to neglect these truths for any
reason is to create division in families, communities, and nations.
Human Life International has defended these teachings for decades,
often with the support of the pope and bishops. We have suffered
criticisms from bishops as well. That is the nature of the fight for
life and family -- it's not about being popular, but about engaging on
these vital questions in season and out of season.
If you look at the purveyors of abortion and contraception -- they
are always closely linked -- you see that they see this as a battle.
They are well organized and coordinated, and are extremely well funded.
They hold the heights of political and cultural power, and hold up the
most vulnerable -- women and children -- as human shields for their
assaults. As more and more women fall and babies are killed, their
allies in the media somehow twist these catastrophes are reasons to
increase the assault. This is demonic, yet it is actually sold as an
imperative of "justice."
They have always recognized that it is the Catholic Church and her
teaching that represented their ultimate obstacle. They've confused
many millions of Catholics -- even, as Pope Francis and his
predecessors have noted, many bishops -- into indifference, but they've
never laid a glove on the truth, the Revealed Word of God as
proclaimed by the Church's Magisterium. Because they can't. All they
can do is remove support and cause confusion and destruction. Sadly,
they've been deadly effective at this.
As a priest, my only authority is that which comes to me through
the Church established by Our Lord Jesus Himself through the Holy
Father, my bishop, in harmony with the truths of the faith. None of us
in the Church can change these truths, we can only conform our minds
and wills to them, to the Will of God, and go forward in love and
truth, hopefully with courage. I have absolutely no desire to oppose
the Holy Father, his faithful shepherds, or the truths that I have
sworn to uphold.
This is why we praise good statements that come out and
respectfully do our best to clarify statements that are used to
undermine (not change) Church doctrine in the minds of the faithful.
That is how we serve the Church in love and truth. To characterize this
as "dissent" is to demonstrate a fundamental confusion about the
nature of authority and Church teaching. And as was said previously,
some others who have no intention or history of dissent have also sought
to clarify the same teachings over the last weeks.
In times of
confusion, this is often what love in truth looks like. It will be
unpopular, it will be cast as disrespect by some, even if offered in a
spirit of obedience. It is HLI's mission to engage on these issues and
educate all of good faith who will listen. If we do this with pride and
haughtiness, we fail; if we do so with a servant's heart, we may not
win every battle, but we more closely conform to the will of God. This
is what we are trying to do, no doubt imperfectly.
May God bless
the Holy Father, our bishops and priests, our religious and lay
people. May He bless them as only He can, in absolute love and truth.
Let His will be done, not ours.
"We are grateful to see the logic of the Sacrament of Anointing of
the Sick presented with such clarity and charity by Archbishop
Prendergrast. This truth spoken in love serves as a corrective against a
false mercy, or any presumption that the Church's sacraments are
simply empty rituals that exist to validate the choices of those who
reject God's law. We hope that this clear position presented by
Archbishop Prendergrast will save lives and souls by turning the
confused away from choosing the terrible sin of suicide." - continue -
The Tribune, Clavius, is an aspiring Roman military official. And
after his bout with the Zealots, he is commanded by Pontius Pilate to
oversee the crucifixion and burial of Yeshua, the Christ who made the
bold prediction that he would rise in three days' time. Truly, this was
been a day of Death and as a way to wash off the blood of death we see
both Clavius and Pilate relax in a Roman bath that very evening. It is
during this time Pilate ask his Tribune what he most desires, and
Clavius responds cautiously, "A day without death." At the surface, it
seems that he merely means he wishes to go through one day without
having to witness the loss of life. Certainly, given his positon in
life, it is understandable why he wishes for this. However, Clavius'
statement should be explored a little more deeply because it is not as
simplistic as it sounds. - continue -
Send a reminder: Catholic=Pro-Life!
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