Repairing For Lost Time
by Monsignor Charles M. Mangan
In the February/March 2004 issue of the "National Jesuit News," the Reverend Thomas C. Widner, S.J., devoted his editorial (page six), entitled “Let's be consistent in our attention to life’s sacredness,” to noting the occasion of the one year anniversary of “Standing for the Unborn,” a statement issued by the United States Provincials of the Society of Jesus on the thirtieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s history-changing decision, "Roe v. Wade."
With admirable and inspiring candor, Father Widner wrote: “Among groups in the U.S. Church, the Society of Jesus stood singularly alone in not protesting this action of the court ("Roe v. Wade"). Over the years individual Jesuits here and there have made their opposition public but the Society in the U.S. as a whole has remained quiet.”
Father Widner continued: “As Johnny-Come-Latelys to the pro-life movement, the Society of Jesus has not achieved ‘cutting edge’ status as it has in other issues of justice. For some young Jesuits it is an embarrassment to learn that many Jesuits are indifferent to the movement. Still, the statement seems to have been welcomed as a forceful addition to the literature of many in the pro-life movement.”
I find Father Widner’s essay to be honest and edifying. If the Society of Jesus as a body has not been as active as it should have been regarding the battle to defend preborn human life, then this admission and further positive steps will help to repair for lost time.
An examination of conscience concerning the Herculean effort to uphold the right-to-life for those still in their mothers’ wombs is valuable—and necessary—for each of us. How have I participated in the struggle to secure legal protection for preborn boys and girls? Do I allow the prevailing politically correct attitudes to get in my way and stifle my attempts to defend preborn human life? Do I pray and fast for the end of abortion and use my power in the voting booth accordingly?
Human life is sacred at every level of development and possesses an incalculable dignity. The beauty and splendor of human life, which is created by God and whose procreation is participated in by man and woman, is non-negotiable. We know it to be the truth. And we must do whatever we can in our confused era to foster the spreading of this fact to a world that increasingly does not share this belief.
Father Widner concluded his piece thus: “The Church has a stake in proclaiming the sacredness and dignity of human life at every stage of its existence. If Jesuits fail to see this thread weaving through humanity, we cast doubt on the consistency on any position we hold on any issue.”
The same may be said for each of us.
Mary, Mother of Life, pray for us!
http://www.catholic.org , VA
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan - Official, 390 66616-1125
Society of Jesus; Pro-Life
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