The following is from Mike McMonagle, President of the Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania.
An Opportunity to Repent and Renew
The Catholic Church in our area – and throughout America – has led the pro-life movement’s response to the vast Culture of Death, particularly the killing of children before birth by abortion. She has equipped and exhorted many of Her Members to save millions of lives, mitigate God’s Judgment for this unspeakable crime, and provide realistic hope of ending this deadly injustice. The current coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns offer challenges to overcome and opportunities to assist the Church efforts to build a Culture of Life.
I propose that our spiritual and temporal responses include the following actions.
- Re-open the Churches for voluntary attendance with social distancing
- Call for repentance, healing not normalcy, nurturing, and renewed pro-life activities
- Urge our civil leaders to act consistently with their own directives and close the surgical abortion facilities
The efforts of most Catholics involved in the pro-life movement receive tremendous benefits from regular Mass attendance and receipt of the Eucharist. However, because of COVID-19 concerns – and despite the ease of social distancing at almost all daily and Sunday Masses – Churches are closed, even though civil authorities allow for “life sustaining” services to remain open. The Mass and the Eucharist remain an essential life-sustaining service. The COVID-19 crisis offers an opportunity for Catholic clergy to proclaim their faith in the power of the Mass and Eucharist – and for the laity to make prudential judgments about attending Mass and receiving the Eucharist.
Our spiritual responses to COVID-19 concerns also need to include a call to repentance for the continuing vast practice of killing children before birth in our nation and Archdiocese, which is, respectively, about one million and 30,000. Our nation is witnessing heroic actions by our relatively few medical providers in an effort to save those most vulnerable to COVID-19. Yet, our nation continues to overlook – and even applaud – the intentional killing, in far greater numbers, by other medical personnel of the most vulnerable among us – those children conceived but not yet born. Perhaps God is allowing our COVID-19 concerns and hardships to awaken us from this inconsistency and apathy – and make some reparation for our Culture of Death.
For certain, Scripture teaches us that God allowed the destruction of Israel and the Babylonian Captivity because Israel sacrificed their children to the pagan god, Moloch. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that God allowed the vast death and destruction of the Civil War as a chastisement for our nation’s practice and toleration of slavery.
The distortion of human sexuality and freedom into license has caused most of the manifestations of our nation’s current Culture of Death, particularly killing children before birth. The COVID-19 crisis is resulting in reduced physical contact and loss of individual freedom.
Meanwhile, leading pro-abortion public officials, such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who champions a “right” to kill children until birth, proclaims that our COVID-19 response should be guided by the need to “protect the sanctity of all human life.” The Church clergy and laity have an opportunity to respond to such brazen inconsistency.
While our Churches are closed, abortion facilities remain open because abortion industry personnel remain committed to provide their “service” despite COVID-19 concerns. Their directive to their “escorts” to stay away indicates that they are fully aware of the risk of COVID-19 exposure from their “patients.” Catholics have an opportunity to match or exceed this commitment by publicly praying, while socially distancing, at our area’s seven abortion chambers. Our area’s April 10, 2020 Good Friday Prayer Vigils offer an opportunity to launch this renewal.
Some other pro-abortion public officials, such as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Tom Wolf, are attempting to use COVID-19 public policy responses to expand abortion. Meanwhile, most pro-life Governors, who have ordered a halt to non-elective surgical procedures, are still allowing abortion facilities to commit surgical abortions.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, through our actions and urging our legislators to act, we can resist Gov. Wolf’s attempts to abuse expanded Telemedicine services that could effectively eliminate Pa.’s informed consent and waiting period requirements for chemical abortions. Finally, our actions can include a massive turnout for the Pa. March For Life in Harrisburg, when it is re-scheduled.
Finally, let us pray for healing for individuals, our nation, and the Church – and not just a “return to normalcy.” America’s normalcy had become a vast Culture of Death. The COVID-19 crisis has already closed many abortion chambers, reduced the number of abortions being committed, and caused people to re-evaluate their priorities. The COVID-19 crisis provides the Church with an excellent opportunity to promote a Culture of Life.