Archpastoral Statement on the Annual March for Life 2002
Prot. N. 144
To the Very Reverend and Reverend
Fathers, Monastics, Clergy and Pious Faithful of this God-Saved Diocese:
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Christ is born indeed, but many, many children are not. Since the disastrous
Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling in 1973, literally millions of children are
simply not born.
Tuesday, January 22nd, will be the 29th anniversary of that tragic ruling.
And as is our sad custom, I invite you to walk with me in Washington, D.C.
on that day. There we will join thousands and thousands of other concerned
participants in the National Right to Life March.
I am happy to say that at this March, Orthodox Christians demonstrate a
strong and undeniable presence. Our many, many participants testify mightily to
the unbroken veneration of human life in the Orthodox Church-a veneration that
is not measured in decades or centuries, but millennia.
There are some who might say that such a witness, nowadays, is not so
crucial. They point to a number of truly encouraging signs that indicate a
small decline in the frequency of abortion. Indeed, we are thankful for this
trend, however slight it might be.
Nevertheless, in pointing to the slight decline in abortions, they neglect
the terrible, looming threat of other, less obvious forms of abortion-forms
such as euthanasia, human stem cell research and human cloning. Years ago, when
we protested against abortion, and we warned repeatedly that abortion would
bring with it monstrosities like genetic manipulation, human cloning and
euthanasia, the national public dismissed such possibilities as fantastic
But take a good look around you. Euthanasia is no future nightmare: it is
very much in the present. The State of Oregon
legalized physician-assisted suicide in 1994. Human stem-cell research has been
going on for several years. And against all our expectations to the contrary,
human cloning has begun in earnest: on October 10th, at 3:15 am, cells from a
40-year man were transferred into another embryo, in a bio-technology
laboratory in Massachusetts.
And this transfer, unfortunately, was successful.
Why do I call this another form of abortion? Because like the killing of
pre-born infants, the destruction of human embryos is the destruction of not
just a body, but a soul. There was a life that should have been lived out-but
instead, that life was obliterated by a scalpel-not in the womb, but on a
So instead of declining, abortion is increasing. Human life is seen more and
more as a commodity, something to be manipulated and enhanced, marketed and
At the beginning of our bor'ba against the abortion industry, we often
remembered the lament of St. Matthew regarding the slaughter of the innocents
in Bethlehem: A
voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her
children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more (Matthew
2.18, quoting Jeremiah 13.15 LXX).
Beloved, be very sure that Rachel continues to weep. She weeps for the holy
innocents slain in their mothers' wombs. But now she also weeps for the elderly
and infirm, who are told in their weakness that they should choose suicide over
the divine gift of life. She weeps for each human life that perishes with every
So walk with me, beloved, in Washington
DC this year. Contact your local
pro-life organizations for information about the January 22nd Right to Life
March (or contact the National Right to Life Committee at 202-626-8800, or
Walk with me in the strong and fervent hope that this nation might respect
human life again. Walk with me in the strong witness of the ageless Church.
Walk with me, so that one day, Rachel need weep no more.
With prayerful regards and blessing,
yours in Christ,