Reflections

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday – January 19, 2020

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday – January 19, 2020

The third Sunday of the Month of January, the Sunday often closest to January 22, the day in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (and with its companion piece, Doe v. Bolton) legalized abortion on demand in the entire United States. It was President Ronald Reagan who issued a proclamation in 1984 designating January 22 as the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day, in an attempt to dampen the fires that surround the desire for abortion on demand, and to highlight the dignity of human life in the womb. At that time it was only eleven years since Roe v. Wade, and since that time while the number of abortions in the United States have decreased, they have by no means disappeared. Indeed, since 1973, abortion is responsible for taking more than 50 million innocent human lives.
After President Reagan’s bold proclamation in 1984, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, decided that they would call the Sunday closest to January 22, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, giving churches all over the country an additional opportunity (with the first Sunday in October, and the entire Respect Life Month) to stand behind the pulpit and defend human life at all of its stages, from womb to tomb. While the October commemorations are designedly intended to speak about the entire range of life issues, the January commemoration is specifically tied to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, making it more pointedly about the abortion issue in particular. Because of the recognized volatility surrounding the issue of abortion, in most churches this weekend there will be few whispers about abortion. Most clergy, while feeling strongly about the issue of abortion, fear saying anything about abortion from the pulpit lest ‘someone’ be offended. Anyone with even a modest exposure to life issues is not afraid of offfending people, since it so often seems to be the natural outcome of any abortion discussion.
Like our politics these days, abortion is a very polarizing issue, and those with the loudest voices often get the last say. Yet I would like to believe that the decrease in abortions is because we have been more successful than imagined at changing the hearts and minds of those who favor, promote, seek, or perform abortions. And changing hearts and minds is going to become all the more important as we approach a political horizon which is decidedly less red. While recognizing the abortion issue as an extremely important issue when voting, the changing of hearts and minds is far more important, and cuts across political boundaries. Some of those priests who have never spoken about the abortion issue from the pulpit, and there are many, are content to let elected politicians do the heavy lifting. But should there be a dramatic shift in our political arena, and I predict there will be, the preaching of ordinary priests about abortion, and all life issues, will become even more critically important.
Abortion is not woman’s health care, it should never have become constitutionally protected, it should never be written into political platforms as through all democrats believe in abortion on demand, and it should always be recognized for what it is – the termination of a precious human life! Most women choose abortion like a bear chooses to get caught in a trap. They are desperate and troubled, and do not deserve our scorn. Indeed, they deserve our prayers, and the help that was so evident at the San Cap Catholics Baby Shower on Thursday of last week. As tens of thousands of people will stand up for life in this week’s annual March For Life in Washington, D.C., and as we approach the sad anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22, may we increase our prayers, and strengthen our commitment to change the hearts and minds of all those who favor, promote, seek, or perform abortions.

 

3 thoughts on “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday – January 19, 2020”

  1. I had recently read a letter where the writer encouraged all members of P.F.J. to get together and have a meeting to discuss an agenda as to how they should proceed ;he listed 3 subjects to be discussed
    i would like to encourage P.F.J. to all, as one group attend a mass a ST. ISABELS ;pick a date and notify all that you will be at; ie; the 5:p.m. mass on Saturday February 1st 2020 A.D.
    they sing all are welcome,lets find out if they practice what they preach
    another person had dropped a penny in the collection basket;perhaps as a sign of our objections to the Bishops rulings all may do the same;some sort of passive protest

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  2. all life from conception until death is a gift from God……………….

     abortion is not the way to go should someone  think they are  unable to bring that little life into the world………….. there are other  far better -safer and more humane options…..adoption is a good option——-……the church can at least give a homily on those things that will help the woman  facing such a birth——-  should someone   face an unwanted pregnancy………tell them in a homily about places that will take your baby and raise if for you……or held educate you so you can raise it better——-……there should  be no such thing as an ‘unwanted child’…..what does the church teach about birth control these days??        Does the church teach about that  option?          Maybe the schools do it or  religious ed programs?     Is abstinence an  option??????????  If you do not want a child it i best to abstain from  sex!   Teach about the beauty of  marriage ——-of family …maybe the clergy can give a talk  like this  so as to get  people to realize how important  all this is.

    …..I am sure there are couples that would raise that child with love  especially with the help of the Catholic  community who would be willing to help in all ways…………. maybe the church can reassure a young frightened  person or any person that they  are there to support them and this new life  from birth until death—not easy  but better then stopping that childs chance at life too.

     everyone should be  there to offer their support and the Church can at last  assure  the one  with this difficult situation-  -that is why  we even have a church           –     to love people when they need help—–help them to know they have a community that does not   want any child aborted……thank your for being that voice  catholic church——–……if someone  is  in need of help– we are all obligated to help them !!   That is what Jesus would do.   we have to have empathy and we care …but do we catholics  actually do that  and help the people ??  Make sure we give time and money and good advice—-to help—- we must all do that!    I  care.  Mary Jo

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  3. MARY JO
    I agree with all you wrote regarding the church and abortion,35 million babies were murdered in 2019;think about that just for a moment;35 MILLION !
    unfortunately we have nothing more than a caretaker priest at ST.ISABELS ;who is not only boring, he does nothing but read the Gospel, then talk about that reading ,nothing sensitive or thought provoking ;at least Father Gates stirred passion in his homilies ,thought provoking if nothing else.
    He would have spoke out against abortion at our week end masses; but nothing was said by Father Martin.
    this culture we live in and how to deal with it is NEVER discussed let alone ,RIGHT TO LIFE ;I am going to start AFTER season going to St. Columkille,perhaps there I can find out why my grandchildren are required to attend sensitivity classes for transgender people;or at the very least something more than just the Gospel; this Sunday (today) perhaps they will address Abortion;i pray they do

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