Archpastoral Statement on the Annual March for Life 2001
To the Very Reverend and Reverend Fathers, Monastics, Clergy and Pious Faithful of this God-Saved Diocese:
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!
Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ--born as a Child 2000 years ago-was ushered into this world surrounded by the murder of thousands of children by King Herod. This deranged despot was concerned more with his own political survival than the lives of the people who were entrusted to his care. According to the writings of the Evangelist Matthew, as well as the sacred tradition of our Holy Orthodox Church, some 14,000 Holy Innocents were slain by Herod in a diabolical attempt to keep his power and continue with the lifestyle of excess that marked his reign of terror. These senseless slayings stand in stark contrast to the "self-emptying" of the Son of God, Who became Man for the sake of our salvation. As St. Paul reminds us: "The Son of God emptied Himself and took on the form of a ser- vant and humbled Himself, even to the point of death (Philippians 2:7). Herod sacrificed so many children for himself-Christ sacrificed Himself for all mankind.
Sadly, we are preparing to mark the anniversary of our nation's most tragic judicial decision: the Roe vs. Wade ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, which made abortion legal and, in effect, provided us with a "license to kill." How distressing it should be for all of us to note that the slaughter of innocent children continues today for the same reason it occurred in Bethlehem at the time ofHerod: an affinity for a philosophy of hedonism. We, the wealthiest nation on earth, find it easier to follow the example of Herod and abort our unborn children so that we can maintain our lifestyle rather than follow the example of Christ and offer them love and care. Until we, as a nation, learn to make sacrifices again for others rather than thinking solely of ourselves, the slaughter of "holy innocents" will continue. Christ is born... yet Herod' s wickedness continues to perme- ate our land! Christ is born...yet Rachel still weeps for her children be- cause they are no more! Christ is born... yet our children must search for refuge in a foreign land!
While we are yet basking in the brilliance of the Birth of our Lord according to the flesh, we must not sit idly by. I urge our Diocesan faithful to converge on our nation's capital in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, January 22nd for the annual "March For Life." We must lift our voices in protest with countless others, showing the world that we can never accept or con- done a law that undermines the very fiber of our Orthodox Faith-a law that violates one of God' s most basic commandments: THOU SHALT NOT KILL! We must speak out for those who are not yet able to do so.
Our dream must be that our nation can become a place where all children may grow up and become strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and with the grace of God overshadowing them. We cannot rest until this becomes a reality again.
Praying that our God will give us the strength to continue our relentless crusade for "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for all-even the unborn, I remain,
Sincerely Yours In Christ,