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, October 6, 2017
From USCCB: Life Issues Forum: 2017 Respect Life Month Statement
from prayers to digital resources, and from quick reference information
to action ideas, there are many new tools for building a culture of
life across the breadth of Catholic life, work, and ministry.
This edition of the Life Issues Forum is available in English and Spanish, and has been posted to our website.
The Life Issues Forum is a bi-weekly column by Pro-Life Secretariat staff addressing the latest issues on the culture of life. Columns may be reprinted as they appear here (in full and without alteration) without further permission.
The Pro-Life Secretariat
LIFE ISSUES FORUM FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2017 Respect Life Month Statement: Be Not Afraid October 6, 2017
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Chairman
USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities
My dear friends in Christ:
again, we mark the month of October as Respect Life Month. Looking back
over the last year, there's been a lot of uncertainty, suffering, and
heartache. Between tragedies that occur in the public eye and trials
that take place in our personal lives, there's no shortage of reasons we
cry out to God.
such times, we may feel alone and unequipped to handle the
circumstances. But we have an anchor of hope to cling to. With words
that echo through thousands of years into the corners of our hearts, God
says to us, "Do not fear: I am with you" (Isaiah 41:10).
The 2017-2018 Respect Life theme, "Be Not Afraid," reminds us of this promise.
isn't a detached, distant observer to our pain; the Eternal Son became
man and Himself experienced immense suffering-for you and for me. His
wounds indicate the very essence of our identity and worth: we are loved
are times we may doubt the value of our own lives or falter at the
thought of welcoming and embracing the life of another. But reflecting
on the healed wounds of the Risen Christ, we can see that even our most
difficult trials can be the place where God manifests his victory. He
makes all things beautiful. He makes all things new. He is the God of
That's powerful. That's something to hold onto.
And, He is always with us. Jesus promised this when he gave the disciples the same mission he gives to each of us: Go.
followers of Jesus Christ, we know that our identity and our mission
are two sides of the same coin; like the apostles, we are called to be
missionary disciples. We are not only invited to follow and take refuge
in God, our stronghold, but we are also commissioned to reach out to one
another, especially to the weak and vulnerable.
a culture of life isn't something we just do one month of the year, or
with one event or initiative-it's essential to who we are. It happens
through our daily actions, how we treat one another, and how we live our
do we respond when our aging parents are in failing health? Do they
know how much we love them and cherish each day given? Do we ensure they
know they are never a burden to us? In our own challenging times, do we
ask for support? When others offer a helping hand, do we receive it?
When our friend becomes pregnant in difficult circumstances, do we show
compassion that tangibly supports her and helps her welcome the life of
her new little one?
we may not be sure exactly what to do, but let's not allow the fear of
doing the wrong thing or saying the wrong thing keep us from living out
our missionary call. We don't need to have everything figured out all at
once. Let's remember the guidance of Our Blessed Mother, the first
disciple: "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5).
Also, I encourage you to visit www.usccb.org/respectlife
to see the U.S. bishops' new Respect Life materials centered on the
theme "Be Not Afraid." There are articles, bulletin inserts, prayers,
action ideas, and more!
Respect Life Month and always, let's walk with each other; let's help
each other embrace God's gift of human life. Whatever storms or trials
we face, we are not alone. He is with us: "Behold, I am with you always,
until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
Cardinal Dolan is Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Archbishop of New York. Please visit www.usccb.org/respectlife to learn more about this year's Respect Life Program.