To be a Christian means that where necessary, I have an obligation before God to encourage and even to correct others. (Who would consider as "good" the parents who never corrected their children?) But to be able to fulfill this task with integrity, I must begin with myself. I have to lead others or show them by my good example. There is no setting this aside. Only the good can do good.
I offer these thoughts to you on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a tragic Supreme Court decision the full impact of which we will know only in eternity,. The Church, under her titles of Mother and Teacher, judges that direct abortion is always gravely immoral, and she makes this judgment out of love. Yet while condemning the evil, the Church also extends her hand to the men and women who have been involved in this dreadful sin. One of the privileges of the priest is the God-given power through the Sacrament of Holy Orders to lift the burden of sin in the confessional--especially mortal sin like abortion.
We have given some consideration to Our Lord's teaching, "Judge not and you will not be judged." Now, suppose we briefly consider something else that Our Lord told us: "The tree is known by its fruit," meaning that we can form a judgment about the good or evil of something from what it produces or leads to. Notwithstanding the loss of an innocent life and the injury done to the souls of those involved, the consequences of abortion (in the natural order alone) can be terrible: long term clinical depression (which often comes from the shame or concealment of the abortion); drug and alcohol abuse; eating disorders; breast cancer (as much as twice the risk). Please inform yourselves of the results of sound medical research in this area, some of which is available in the form of pamphlets in the vestibuled of churches.
You should also know about Project Rachel, a program Catholic dioceses around the country which helps reconcile those involved in abortion with God, the Church, and themselves, Please check the pamphlet rack for further information.
A word to someone in difficulty (you. may know of such a person now or someday): Mother Teresa said that she would accept any child, help any pregnant woman in need, and so will we here at St. John's. A couple of our parishioners have already told me that they are standing by to provide material assistance confidentially, and I am sure that others besides will step forward in a quiet way to help. Any child, from anywhere, at anytime. That's the offer. We wish to save lives and souls.
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