Speaking for ALL Human Life

The always brilliant Br. Dan Horan, OFM has an excellent piece today on the Boehner situation. He defends the Catholic Theologians against those who claim that they are simply a strike from the left-leaning side of the Church (and presumably not as Catholic as some others would like them to be) and that these people have never spoken up for life at all.

Really?

Is it true that the signatories of this letter have been silent in matters concerning moral teaching related to abortion? I’m not sure that is true. I suggest that one possibility has to do with who is “silent” when.

Could it be that amid the often loud and bombastic shouts of challenge from some Catholics in matters related to abortion, the said shouters are so focused on their own involvement in the debate and protest to examine the perhaps less-orotund voices now critiqued for their continued championing of Catholic moral teaching?

As Sidney said in the Lillies of the Field, A-a-a-men.

He goes on to elucidate an amazing argument. But the most brilliant line comes at the end:

It is not enough to defend the unborn at the expense of the living. While it may be easier and safer to march for the sake of a baby never born than it is to care for the poor and marginalized in our midst, we must work with as much vigor and determination — if not more — for the poor and marginalized as we do for the unborn.

Perhaps if those who are still shouting would be quiet for a while and listen to what these teachers and leaders have to say, they will recognize the call of the Shepherd from the Gospel; the shepherd who both cares for his sheep, but in the end separates the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25).

Perfect. This week at UB, the UB pro-life club (which is not run by Campus Ministry but we have given them support–it’s not a Catholic club—it’s open to all religions and is student run) has their cemetery of the innocents display vandalized. This came on the heels of swastikas and other anti-semetic hate words were written all over a bathroom near the Hillel Campus Ministry after a known Holocaust denier was allowed to speak on Campus.

Hate and vitriol has no place anywhere. And we stand in solidarity with our Jewish friends against those who would bluntly rather have them eliminated. It’s amazing that such hate still has legs in this broken world.

But with regards to the cemetery, I’ve never been a fan of a display that ONLY speaks for the unborn. Several times now I’ve advised the club to be more consistent and that their message for supporting the unborn will gain a wider audience and they will be able to keep the doors open to dialogue. A better idea would have been to have 10 crosses that stated a “life issue” and asked for prayers for all of them. For example:

“For the unborn, the most vulnerable in society”
“For victims of domestic violence”
“For innocent victims of war”
“For our enemies, that their heart can be turned and we can live in peace.”
“For the elderly, and victims of euthanasia”
“For children abused by clergy and other adults”

Etc.

That would’ve made someone think twice about vandalizing it and given us an opportunity to have an actual conversation instead of a one-way diatribe that only gets responded to with vandalism.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending the vandals and it was wrong for them to do what they did. But we need to be craftier in trying to speak with those who disagree with us. Because in the end, we still have to work with them in order to achieve our goals.

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