Dear Parishioners and Friends,
As we observe Respect Life Month 2022, we do so with an answer to a decades-old prayer when the Supreme Court bravely revisited the Roe v. Wade ruling which allowed for abortion on demand, based upon the indefensible view that the government is forbidden to protect the unborn child from the violence of abortion. The Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization rightly returned the issue of abortion to be decided by the people’s elected representatives. What is described as a major paradigm shift in American law, a segment of our human family are again welcome to enjoy natural protections which belong to everyone.
But our work to promote a culture of life does not end with this important ruling. This is the time for recommitment to building a culture of life and civilization of authentic love. Justice is essential to this recommitment. However, as stated by the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, to build a world in which all are welcome requires not only justice, but compassion, healing, and above all, unconditional love.
To this end, we’re called to a Radical Solidarity where we live in a world that embraces the reality of belonging to one another. This is essential as we move away from a Roe world where the solution is to use lethal force against one human (the baby) while abandoning another (the mother). Radical Solidarity, therefore, embraces a culture of life that insists that a pregnant woman and her baby are fellow members of our larger human community. It is a call to friendship and compassion rooted in the truth that we are made to love our neighbor as ourselves (Saint Pope John Paul II).
As we observe Respect Life Month, therefore, let us consider the following words of Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’:
In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life. In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures.
Perhaps when we embrace an authentic culture of life for the most defenseless among us and participate in a community of radical solidarity with one another, all of creation – including our planet – may then be restored to God’s original design.
In Christ Our Life,
Words alone are not nearly enough to bring about the revolution of love necessary to create a world where all mothers, children, and families are welcomed and protected. For this we must have the courage to love—to act and bear witness by caring for the least among us, without condition or expectation of recompense. It is only through such radical witness that hearts will be softened such that they can receive the truth of the Gospel of Life.USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activity