Archpastoral Statement on the Annual March for Life 2004
Prot. N. 159
January 22, 2004
Dear Fathers and Faithful:
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Once again, we are compelled to remember, at this time of year, the tragic reality of abortion.
It is now 31 years since that infamous day when the Supreme Court executed the legality of expedient infanticide, for that is really what abortion is.
But in the minds of most people today, abortion does not appear so ugly. It has been dressed up and masked. It is regarded as a political issue, a litmus test, a mere survey question.
Many see it as an inalienable right, as a necessary part of the equality of women. In particular, abortion is often described as a "reproductive right", as if "rights" had anything to do with the mystery of conception and birth.
The insistence on rights and freedom has often brought liberty and real goods to humanity. But in this instance, it has brought murder on a cataclysmic scale -- today, millions of children do not breathe, do not talk, do not play or sing in church because abortion was camouflaged, and the murderous element of abortion was masked ... the terms were changed and made more attractive and polite. Today, human beings die by the thousands every day, but few seem to care
This month, many in society pay attention to this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, & if it is surprised at all, it is surprised not at the number of victims -- instead, it is surprised that anyone would be so backward as to question its morality.
That is the position today. At one time, the burden of proof was on the side of the abortion movement: it was up to them to defend the contention that killing unborn infants should be legal. But now, the table has turned: the world demands from us an explanation as to why we would ever interfere with a person's right to choose.
We cannot answer such a false question: the mystery of birth and life is sacred at its base, and the whole issue is predicated on love ... the beginning of life is all about self-sacrifice and exchange. That is why the insistence upon one's rights is meaningless in the Church -- in the realm of Christian love and peace, there are no rights at all: there is only grace, privilege, and humble contentment. In the communion of Christ, we are bound together by cords of kindness, respect, gratitude, mutual obligation and hope.
In the Church, there are no "liberation movements." Our Liberator is Jesus Christ Himself. He has liberated - or saved - us from the only bondage worth fighting against, and that is the bondage of sin and death.
There is, in the natural life of Christianity, no possibility of demand for self-advancement ... there is no mention of reproductive rights, or liberation agenda ... there is instead a quiet, mutual assurance: "my life for yours ... I give myself away for your sake."
Abortion is simply one of the many inversions of this Christian ethic -- it is, essentially, "I take your life for my sake ... it is your life sacrificed for mine." For many tragic reasons, this civilization has seen fit to make this act of murderous selfishness the law of the land -- perhaps this is so because civilization is finding Christianity more and more intolerable.
But society must hear clearly the witness of the Church. That is why I am calling you to attend the 31st March for Life in Washington DC, on Thursday, January 22nd, 2004. Join me in marching for those who have no rights, who have no liberator except the Saviour of all.
I am calling you also to minister to the unwed pregnant women in your parish neighborhood, and to the unwed mothers as well.
Let us minister with confident compassion to these young women. Let us bring to them -- instead of the cold realities of the hell of abortion -- the bright realities of Paradise. Let us give them, following the example of the Good Samaritan and the Good Shepherd, the kindness, the care, the sacrificial love of Christ.
Let us give them this love that goes beyond all rights - a love that brings eternal life, and peace that passes all understanding.
Be assured that I remember you in my prayers, and I ask that your prayers be united with mine, that the unborn will be born.
Sincerely yours in the light of Newly Born Saviour,