Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver encouraged a gathering of pro-life University of Notre Dame students to be courageous in fighting for their beliefs and to always remember what being Catholic really means.
“(W)e need to learn that not from the world; not from the tepid and self-satisfied; and not from the enemies of the Church, even when they claim to be Catholic; but from the mind and memory of the Church herself, who speaks through her pastors,” he said in an April 8 speech at the university.
First, I was impressed that an orthodox speaker was at Notre Dame, though the fact that it was pro-life students who invited Archbishop Chaput to speak indicates why he was there. And that sentence above speaks very clearly about those who claim to be Catholic, yet promote anti-life issues and values, especially those in our government over the past decades.
The devil, the archbishop said, “works in the present to capture our hearts and steal our future. But he also attacks our memory; the narrative of our own identity.” This is because our memory of history conditions our thoughts and choices in our daily lives.
Also very impressed that he openly spoke of evil as a 'person' or 'being' -- the devil. His statement here not only reminds me of the saying by Edmund Burke, but also gives an insight as to one of the ways the enemy works in our everyday life. It is important to remember the past, but not a revised history, as some would give us today.
Archbishop Chaput encouraged his audience to participate in politics, saying, “Christ never absolved us from defending the weak, or resisting evil in the world, or from solidarity with people who suffer.”
Catholics cannot exclude their religious beliefs from guiding their political behavior, because God sees that this “duplicity” is a kind of cowardice. This lack of courage wounds Christians’ individual integrity and also discourages others who try to witness publicly to their faith.
Christians should act on their beliefs always with humility, charity and prudence, but also always with courage, he emphasized.
“We need to fight for what we believe,” he said. “Nothing we do to defend the human person, no matter how small, is ever unfruitful or forgotten. Our actions touch other lives and move other hearts in ways we can never fully understand in this world. Don’t ever underestimate the beauty and power of the witness you give in your pro-life work.”
The archbishop also described abortion as “the foundational human rights issue of our lifetime."
“We can’t simultaneously serve the poor and accept the legal killing of unborn children. We can’t build a just society, and at the same time legally sanctify the destruction of generations of unborn human life,” he added.
I could not agree more! MANY of our problems today are based on those missing people since before the 1973 Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton US Supreme Court decisions. Why before? Because those not here due to contraception are just as missed in society as are those that we can count -- the aborted. We will never know how many individuals were killed by the abortifacient birth control pills, IUD's, etc. Since the 1960's when the Pill was introduced, many things have changed, and most are not good. The stronger pills, in the beginning, may easily have never allowed conception, however, women also died from long use of them. I watched one as a young nurse...and even her MD knew it was his prescribing the Pill for nearly 10 yrs that was responsible for her intercranial hemorrhage. He kept asking other MD's, looking for any one who would say... "No, it didn't have anything to do with it", but that night, and that week, he didn't find any to ease his misgivings.
But the newer, less strong Pill does not always prevent conception, and can cause that pregnancy to be aborted chemically, because it is unable to implant. They are causes of chemical abortions, and we will never know how many children have been lost because of this.
He noted that people are discussing the need to return science to its “rightful place” in human life, warning that this can become a slogan to justify unethical research. Citing the Jewish bioethicist Leon Kass, he said the present day is an age of “salvific science” in which a “scientific savior” supposedly takes away the “sin of suffering.”
Yet science accountable to no moral authority outside itself leads to “a hatred of imperfection” in real human persons, and the simplest way to deal with imperfections is to eliminate the imperfect.
And that, my friends, is where our memory of history (first, the KNOWLEDGE of it) must enter into our formed conscience, especially today. For we MUST remember the kind of thinking that was taking place in Germany when th T4 Program was being implemented!! If you do not know what that program was, then you must educate yourself on it, for much of today's 'thinking' is fully in line with that thought which allowed mentally ill, cognitively disabled, physically disabled, and the elderly to be murdered, even before the killing of Jews and others ever began!!
We need to familiarize ourselves with people like Clemens August von Galen 1878-1946 who spoke out against this. We need to stop thinking 'I would not want to live like that', because it IS devaluing life. Many people are dying, pre-born and elderly, especially, but also young people who have had brain damage, but ARE NOT DYING, as Terri Schindler Schiavo.
"Virtue does matter,” the archbishop said as he finished his talk. “Courage and humility, justice and perseverance, do have power. Good does win. And the sanctity of human life will endure.”
The sanctity of life will endure, he said, because young men and women like those in his audience will remember that “God so loved the world that He gave his only Son” and “it’s worth fighting for what’s right.”
I truly hope that his message gets to MANY of the younger generation, and that they all begin to stand firmly for all life. I see so many younger people doing just this, and the number, hopefully, will continue to grow until NO ONE is put to death simply for being 'unproductive eaters', or 'flawed'... for right now, they are beginning to look toward MY generation as our retirement (and cost of care) is coming...