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Why March for Life?

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For the last 36 years, hundreds of thousands of people have travelled to our nation’s capital in the middle of winter to be a visible witness to the sanctity of ALL human life, born and unborn. Arguably, pro-lifers are the largest grassroots movement in our nation’s history.

The reason why we must march and speak up for life can be explained by the following true story:
Years ago a television talk show featured a debate on abortion. On the pro-life side was U.S. Congressman Henry Hyde from Illinois and Dr. Victor Rosenblum, a professor of law and political science at Northwestern University. In the course of the discussion, Hyde and Rosenblum repeatedly underlined the fact that the unborn child is a human being, ‘one of us’. Then someone from the other side asked Dr. Rosenblum if he would permit an abortion if it were medically established that the baby was defective or would be retarded. The questioner did not know that Dr. Rosenblum had a mentally handicapped child.

Dr. Rosenblum’s response was, “Do you believe in love? I don’t mean simple lip service to love, I am talking about life service. Do you really believe that we are here to love one another? If you do then you don’t say, ‘I will love you because you have your mental faculties, and you because you are healthy, but not you because you have only one arm.’ True love does not discriminate in this way.”

“If we really believe in love, and find that a baby will be born having no arms, we would say, ‘Baby, we are going to love you. We will make arms for you. And, baby if these arms don’t work, we will be your arms. We will take care of you. You are one of us, a member of our human family, and we will always love you.”

The questioner didn’t know what to do with that response. What do you do with someone who really knows what it means to love? So he asked Dr. Rosenblum if he thought the furore would die down if enough people have abortions and talk openly about them. Then the great, good, and decent man that was Victor Rosenblum lowered his head and whispered, “Yes. Yes, it will, and that will be the saddest day in American history.”

This story comes from the book, “Abortion, the Silent Holocaust” by Jesuit Father John Powell. Father Powell says: “We must be actors, not reactors, we must stand for something rather than against someone. One person who truly loves is somehow a majority and somehow invincible.”

Could this be what Jesus meant when he said, “All I ask of you is that you love one another”? As for myself, I want my life to be a voice for the voiceless, a defence for the defenceless, and a caring love for the unloved and the unwanted.

Joan Crown
Director, archdiocesan Respect Life Ministry

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Upcoming Respect Life Events:
  • Jan. 17, Walk for Life, Archbishop McCarthy High School and St. Thomas Aquinas High School
  • Jan. 24, Walk for Life, St. Bernard Church, Sunrise
  • Feb. 5, 10, 12 and 17, Chastity Days for 8th grade students
  • Feb. 7, Walk for Life, St. John Vianney Seminary, Miami
  • Feb. 21, Respect Life training workshop, Good Shepherd Church, Kendall
  • March 7, Respect Life training workshop, St. Bartholomew Church, Miramar

Comments from readers

Joan Crown - 01/17/2009 06:45 PM
Dear Tod,
I think what you are referring to are sins of "omission". Many times a local church's silence on an issue, deemed the fundamental issue of our time, the issue upon which all others depend, sends the wrong message to the congregation. There are many reasons offered for our silence '' Fear of tackling a contoversial subject, ignorance of the reality of the acts being perpetrated on the unborn, or, just not knowing how to defend our faith teaching. However, none of these reasons can be offered in our defense when we face our Creator and are asked, "Did you know?" "Did you do anything to stop the killing?" Our Holy Fathers, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have both been fearless warriors leading us in this battle between LIFE and death. Mother Teresa, as tiny as she was physically, stood tall when speaking up to a pro-abortion American president and vice president. It is our choice to act upon our Confirmation promises to engage in the battle or to retreat in fear. Let us pray for each other acknowledging our human weaknesses. And, may God grant us the courage to never back down '' laity and priest alike.
God bless you for caring.
Joan Crown
Tod Brown - 01/16/2009 04:52 PM
Joan- I agree with you but the church can and should do more. Luis points out just one example of how abortion is advocated WITHIN our churches. One of our priorites should should be to first cleanse our churches of any hint of support for abortion. I do not speak only of those churches within the Archdiocese of Miami. I often hear of Catholic churches throughout the country who are letting things "slip by".
Peggy McSoley - 01/15/2009 08:17 AM
Once again, you've hit the nail on the head ...Christ's message is LOVE. Sounds simple but we need to examine and meditate on just what it is and how we can truly live out His command. Thanks for this insightful real-life account.
Keep up the good work.
Peggy McSoley
Joan Crown - 01/14/2009 10:49 AM
Dear Fr. Honold,
Thank you so much for your support - you made me cry! Don't get too excited about out technological advancements, I'm still struggling with both e-mail and the web site. You were the person God sent to us to bring us into the computer age and we thank you. I will share your beautiful message with the rest of our volunteers. God bless you.
Rev. Tom Honold - 01/13/2009 09:47 PM
Dear Joan,

E-mail, no less! A web site? Remember back when we got our first computer? The way that we communicate has changed but the message remains the same: all life from the first moment of conception until the last dying breath is to be respected and protected.

Joan, God bless you for your life-time dedication to respect life! You have given at least 25 years of your life to Respect Life.

As January 22 approaches, our consciousness become even more sensitized to the dignity of human life and our responsibility to protect every unborn child. My prayer is that all unborn children may have life and life to the fullest. But equally important, my prayer is for you and all the Respect Life volunteers who have dedicated their lives, their time and talents, to helping pregnant mothers choose life, assisting parents who have aborted their children find forgiveness and reconciliation with God and community, and advocating for a just and humane country that does not allow for the abortion of innocent unborn life.

God bless you all!

Father Tom Honold
Pastor, St. Mary Magdalen, Sunny Isles Beach
Former ADOM Respect Life Direct, 1988-89
Jo Wagner - 01/13/2009 04:28 PM
WOW''If even 60% of the population truly understood the meaning of love abortion would be unthinkable. Great article-goes right to the heart of the matter.
Joan Crown - 01/13/2009 03:54 PM
Dear Tod,
The Archdiocese of Miami leads the way in the state of Florida in financial support of pro-life work through this the Respect Life Office. But, while we would all like to have a bigger budget, money is not always the answer. I believe that every one of us is called by God to engage in this modern day holocaust. Each one of us must stand up and speak out with family and friends. We must pray like everything depends on God and work like everything depends on us. Sometimes it just takes a simple act of kindness toward someone contemplating abortion that gives them the hope they need to go on. People are starved for love and acceptance and when they have it, abortion becomes the "unthinkable". God bless you.
Joan Crown
Joan Crown - 01/13/2009 03:43 PM
Dear Luis,
Thank you for your comments. The only way I can continue to be part of this battle between good and evil is first by the grace of God and second by believing that people still don't know what it is that we are doing. Abortion has just become a "word" among many others. Unfortunately, we don't seem to believe until we see. As with the case of Emmit Till, the young black boy beaten beyond recognition whose open casket launched the start of the Civil Rights movement, or the pictures that came out of the concentration camps of Nazi Germany; not until then will we understand what it is that we are doing to millions of unborn children every year. Each of us who does know must find a way, in love, to educate others and inspire others to join the fight '' one heart at a time. We also must understand what a privilege we have been given '' to defend God in His least ones. God bless you.
Joan Crown
Luis - 01/13/2009 10:39 AM
I applaud your organizations efforts on behalf of the unborn. It appears to be an uphill battle with a large percentage of Catholics in the "opposition."
Despite the clear and unambiguous instruction by the U.S Conference of Bishops in its political responsibility statement, "Faithful Citizenship," which emphasized the importance of abortion in voting, 54 percent of Catholics nationwide supported a candidate who announced his first act as president would be to sign legislation which would make it easier to get abortions.
While the document left open the possibility that Catholics might in good conscience support candidates who do not favor overturning Roe, "Voting in this way," it says, "would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil."
For those Catholics who supported the candidate who was staunchly endorsed an intrinsic evil such as abortion on demand, "sanctity of life" now includes poverty, war, genocide, and climate change. "Sanctity of life" becomes a relative term at the service of a clever dissident Catholic. This is a direct attack on the unborn and an attack on the Church.
Publications such as "Sojourner" rejoice in the recent "religious shift" resulting in the election of President Obama. They credit a "new generation of pastors and students..." "For those Christians, sanctity of life now includes poverty, war, genocide, and climate change. Healthy families are also still a top concern, but many Christians dont see gay and lesbian rights as a relevant cause of family breakdown."
I have found copies of "Sojourner" inside a local Catholic Church being offered along with "Our Sunday Visitor" and the "Florida Catholic" for distribution not more than a few feet from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. No doubt this is without the consent of the pastor but reasonable and otherwise uniformed Catholic might conclude that this contains official Church teaching.
Such distortions must stop if we are to see an end to abortion. I pray that you are strengthen and encouraged in your apostolate. May the Lord continue to bless you according to the perfect intercession of the Immaculate Conception.
''- Luis
[email protected] - 01/12/2009 10:44 PM
awesome article! :) -I sent it to all my friends
Tod Brown - 01/12/2009 12:36 PM
Why doesnt the church spend more money in support of the pro-life movement?

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