February 2019 Four County Catholic
“My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
January 22, 2019 marked the forty-sixth anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. This year, as has become a tradition, hundreds of thousands of the faithful gathered in Washington, DC for the annual March for Life. This year's March, held on January 18th, was themed: " Unique from Day One: Pro Life is Pro Science." It was inspiring to see young and old gathered to witness to life – a sign of hope that Life is winning in America.
The teaching of the church on human life has been consistent and clear, especially as it refers to the unborn. "Since the first century the church has affirmed the moral evil of procured abortion.” (CCC 2271) Pope Francis echoes these statements in his Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate. He writes: "Our defense of the innocent unborn, needs to be clear, firm, and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development."
Since 1973 over sixty million lives have been lost to abortion. These are appalling statistics! Recent studies suggest that abortions in the U.S. are going down. Abortion clinics are closing, lives are being saved. Recent news events have shown us, there is still much work that needs to be done.
It was heartbreaking to see the lost souls celebrating the signing of a late-term proabortion rights law in the bordering state of New York or to hear Virginia’s governor, a pediatric neurosurgeon, describe the infanticide of a baby born alive during a third-trimester abortion. Death of babies is not a healthcare solution! Late term abortion is the devil’s work — destructive to a civilized society. Depriving a voiceless pre-born child of his or her personhood is more than a slippery slope, it is diving off the cliff of human decency and God’s moral law. These actions are not compassionate for the child or the mother.
Yes, it is important that we work to change laws. However, it is more important to change hearts – prayerfully and with compassion toward those who are on the wrong side of this issue. Love not hate will overcome. Light not darkness will win. So, speak out when and where you can; in your homes, churches workplace and social media. In his landmark encyclical Evangelium Vitae, the Gospel of Life, Saint John Paul II, stresses the importance of prayer in transforming our culture from a culture of death to a culture of life.
Through prayer, sacrifice, education and efforts such as the March for Life we will once again cultivate the sense of wonder surrounding the gift of human life. It is a message of great joy, as Saint John Paul II wrote, "Inspired by this contemplative outlook, the new people of the redeemed cannot but respond with songs of joy, praise and thanksgiving for the priceless gift of life."
Thank you for all that you do in the service of life here in the Diocese of Norwich. Life is winning! Let us continue to cultivate a deep and rich appreciation for the wonder of human life and the many gifts with which we have been blessed.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop of Norwich