The Pro-life Counter-Witness to Roe v. Wade

The following is a column from the National Right to Life that was published yesterday. Originally it was written by Archbishop Charles J Chaput a week prior to the 41st anniversary of Roe v Wade. 

Charles J. Chaput is the Archbishop of Philadelphia, and (as anyone who reads NRL News Today already knows) someone from whom I have learned a great deal and quote frequently. The following is excerpted from his weekly column and was written just prior to the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.


January 22 marks the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, legalizing abortion on demand. Thanks to Roe, abortion has killed more than 57 million unborn children [now over 61 million] over the past four decades – the equivalent of roughly one in six living Americans; an entire generation extinguished. But alongside the killing spree, and despite the contempt of abortion activists and unfriendly media, the pro-life counter-witness of millions of Americans has also continued.

The “March for Life” this January, like every January over the past several decades, reminds the nation that killing an unborn child is never a private matter. Abortion is a uniquely intimate form of violence – but violence with bitter public consequences. Catholics eagerly join the March for Life each year because we believe in the God of life and joy; a God who creates every human being with innate dignity and rights, including above all the right to life.

What we really believe, we conform our lives to. And if we don’t at least try to conform our lives to what we claim to believe, then we’re fooling only ourselves, because God cannot be fooled. When we claim to be “Catholic” but then don’t advance our beliefs about the sanctity of the human person as the basis of law, it means one of two things.

We’re either very confused, or we’re very evasive.

All law involves the imposition of somebody’s beliefs about the nature of truth, charity, and justice on everyone else. That’s the reason we have marches, debates, elections, and Congress–to peacefully turn the struggle of ideas and moral convictions into laws that guide our common life. …

There’s a very old Christian expression that goes like this: “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”

Are we troubled enough about what’s wrong with the world — the killing of millions of unborn children through abortion; the neglect of the poor, the disabled and the elderly? Do we really have the courage of our convictions to change those things?

The opposite of hope is cynicism, and cynicism also has two daughters. Their names are indifference and cowardice. In renewing ourselves in our faith, what Catholics need to change most urgently is the lack of courage we find in our own personal lives, in our national political life, and sometimes even within the Church herself.

Every year in these weeks between the end of Christmas and the beginning of Lent, I reflect on what the Church means when she talks about the season of “ordinary time.” Ordinary time is where we spend most of our lives — raising families, doing our jobs, helping others, making the daily choices that shape the world around us. Ordinary time is the space God gives us to make a difference with our lives. What we do with that ordinary time — in our personal choices and in our public actions — matters eternally.

As Alexander Solzhenitsyn once wrote [in “The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956”], “the line separating good and evil runs not through states, nor between classes, nor even between political parties, but right through the center of each human heart, and every human heart.” That includes you and me.

Next week hundreds of thousands of good people will march for life in Washington. It’s an opportunity to prove the strength of our convictions; to show to the world what we really believe about the sanctity of human life. I’ll be there. And I ask you to join me.

Blogger’s Note: If you are planning to be in DC next week and decide to stay for the weekend, here is a post that breaks down a few worthwhile events and additional ones hosted by Priest for Life that are in DC and West Coast. 

Additional Events Hosted by Priests for Life in DC and West Coast

The following is from an email blast sent out by Fr. Frank Pavone. Accommodate these events if you’re attending the March for Life or Walk of Life.

Here are the main events – for more details and exact event locations see www.PriestsForLife.org/MarchForLife.

Washington, DC

Wednesday, January 22: 7:00-8:00 pm: Pro-life Candle Light Prayer Vigil at the steps of the Supreme Court

Thursday, January 23: 9:00-11:00 am: Prayerful protest at Planned Parenthood killing center

Friday, January 24: 8:30-10:30 am: National Prayer Service at DAR Constitution Hall

Friday, January 24: 2:30 pm (approx.): Once the marchers begin to reach the Supreme Court, Silent No More Awareness Campaign testimonies begin

Priests for Life will have our exhibit booth at the March for Life Exhibit Hall at the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel on Thursday, January 23. We will be booth numbers 118, 120 and 122.

 

San Francisco: Saturday, January 25

8:00-9:30 am: Prayerful protest at Planned Parenthood killing center

8:30-9:30 am: Fr. Frank on the steps of St. Mary’s Cathedral greeting people before the 9:30 am Mass

10:45 am-12:15 pm: Silent No More Awareness Campaign testimonies

12:30 – 1:30 pm- Walk for Life Rally. Fr. Frank Pavone will deliver a keynote address during the rally regarding the political responsibility of the pro-life movement.

Once again this year Priests for Life is offering pro-life products free of charge for buses traveling to the March for Life in DC. Our 2020 bus kit includes two videos we’ve made especially for the buses – one for the ride to DC and one for the ride going back. The kit also includes prayer cards and books. The bus kit can be requested by the bus captain or a designated representative at www.PriestsForLife.org/BusKit. Please place your order no later than January 10.

Two Major Pro-Life Events from StandUp4Life Foundation to Take Place this January

 

Pastor Hoye

 

Below are links to two pro-life events  sponsored by Pastor Walter Hoye and  Issues4Life Foundation that will take place this month. 

The first is a webcast on January 15th at 9:00 pm (EST), commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Featured Speakers:

– Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, Archdiocese of San Francisco
– Dr. Alveda King, Niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
– Dr. La Verne Tolbert, Former Planned Parenthood Board Member
– Father Joseph D. Fessio, S.J., Founder and Editor of Ignatius Press
– Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests For Life
– Tegra Little, CEO, No Longer Bound Abortion|Miscarriage Recovery Ministry

 David Bereit, Former C.E.O. of 40 Days for Life is the moderator for this webcast.  Addition information  can be found here.  

The second is a Stand Up For Life Rally/Walk taking place in Oakland, CA on January 24th.  This event begins at 12:00 noon at Oakland City Hall.  For more information, please use this link. 

 We encourage everyone from the Oakland area to participate in the Rally/Walk, and hope pro-lifers from across the county will join and promote the Webcast.