Church of Saint Joseph
141 Ashburton Avenue
Yonkers, New York 10701
Tel. (914) 963-0730
STATEMENT FOR RESPECT LIFE MONTH
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo
Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
September 26, 2011
This October the Catholic Church throughout the United States will observe Respect Life Month, an annual tradition now in its fortieth year.
Beginning on October 2, 2011—Respect Life Sunday—Catholics across the nation will join together to witness to the inherent equality and transcendent value of every human being.
In countless liturgies and events we will give thanks to God for the gift of human life, and pray for his guidance and blessings on our efforts to defend the most vulnerable members of the human family.
We will voice our opposition to the injustice and cruelty of abortion on behalf of those victims whose voices have been silenced. At the same time, we will remind the living victims of abortion—the mothers and fathers who grieve the loss of an irreplaceable child—that God’s mercy is greater than any human sin, and that healing and peace can be theirs through thesacrament of reconciliation and the Church’s Project Rachel Ministry.
The theme chosen for this year’s Respect Life Program is I came so that all might have life and have it to the full. In this brief explanation of his mission (cf. John 10:10), Jesus refers both to our hope of eternal life, to be restored through his death and resurrection, and to our life in this world.
By following Jesus’ new Commandment of unselfish love, our lives can be richly fulfilling, and marked by joy and peace. In contrast, treating others as either means or obstacles to one’s self-serving goals, while never learning to love generously, is an impoverished way to live.
Viewing life as a “zero sum” game, in which advancing one’s interests requires putting aside the needs of others, can lead to callous unconcern for anyone who is especially weak, defenseless, and in need of our help. The unborn child, the aging parent who some call a “burden” on our medical system, the allegedly “excess” embryo in the fertility clinic, the person with a disability, the cognitively impaired accident victim who needs assistance in receiving food and water to live—each today is at risk of being dismissed as a “life unworthy of life.”
Jesus’ promise of “life to the full” is especially poignant today, when our culture and sometimes our government promote values inimical to the happiness and true good of individuals and society. We face increasing attempts to expunge God and religious discourse from public life. This promotes the dangerous proposition that human beings enjoy no special status by virtue of their God-given humanity. Some now even seek to eliminate religiously motivated people and organizations from public programs, by forcing them to violate their moral and religious convictions or stop serving the needy.
The same forces, aided by advertising and entertainment media, promote a selfish and demeaning view of human sexuality, by extolling the alleged good of sexual activity without love or commitment. This view of sex as “free” of commitment or consequences has no place for openness to new life. Hence contraceptives are promoted even to young teens as though they were essential to women’s well-being, and abortion defended as the “necessary” back-up plan when contraceptives fail. And fail they do. Studies report that most women seeking abortions were using contraception in the month they became pregnant. Again and again, studies show that increasing access to contraception fails to reduce rates of unplanned pregnancies and abortions.
Both these trends—a distorted view of sexuality and a disdain for the role of religion—are exhibited by the Department of Health and Human Services’ recent decision on the “preventive services” to be mandated in virtually all private health plans under the new health care law. The Department ruled that such mandated services will include surgical sterilization and all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices—including the abortifacient drug “Ella,” a close analogue to the abortion pill RU-486.
The decision is wrong on many levels. Preventive services are aimed at preventing diseases (e.g., by vaccinations) or detecting them early to aid prompt treatment (e.g., screening for diabetes or cancer). But pregnancy is not a disease. It is the normal, healthy state by which each of us came into the world. Far from preventing disease, contraceptives can have serious health consequences of their own, for example, increasing the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease, such as AIDS, increasing the risk of breast cancer from excess estrogen, and of blood clots that can lead to stroke from synthetic progestin. Mandating such coverage shows neither respect for women’s health or freedom, nor respect for the consciences of those who do not want to take part in such problematic initiatives.
The “religious employer” exemption offered by the Department is so extremely narrow that it protects almost no one. Catholic institutions providing health care and other services to the needy could be forced to fire their non-Catholic employees and cease serving the poor and vulnerable of other faiths—or stop providing health coverage at all. It has been said that Jesus himself, or the Good Samaritan of his famous parable, would not qualify as “religious enough” for the exemption, since they insisted on helping people who did not share their view of God.
All these misguided efforts to foster false values among our youth, to silence the voice of moral truth in the public domain, and to deprive believers of their constitutionally-protected right to live according to their religious convictions, must be resisted by education, public advocacy, and above all by prayer.
The founders of our nation understood that religion and morality are essential to the survival of a freedom-loving society. John Adams expressed this conviction, stating: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
Catholics must not shrink from the obligation to assert the values and principles we hold essential to the common good, beginning with the right to life of every human being and the right of every woman and man to express and live by his or her religious beliefs and well-formed conscience.
As Pope Benedict XVI reminded us last year in one of his Ad Limina addresses to visiting bishops, “a society can be built only by tirelessly respecting, promoting and teaching the transcendent nature of the human person.” That common nature transcends all accidental differences of age, race, strength, or conditions of dependency, preparing us to be one human family under God.
During this Respect Life Month, as we celebrate God’s great gift of life, let us pray and reflect on how each of us might renew our commitment and witness to “respecting, promoting and teaching the transcendent nature of the human person,” thereby shoring up the foundations of a society sorely in need of this guidance.
A must read to understand the contradictory world we live in with legalized abortion. Theresa Bonopartis published this latest commentary:
Here are some exerpts:
Rh Reality has a new post ,"Abortion, Small Towns and Young Lives" up on their blog by Paige Johnson, as part of their “Tsk Tsk: Stigma, Shame and Sexuality” series. Yet another in an attempt to remove the stigma of abortion...“Abortion is a life-giving, life saving, dream granting, mistake forgiving, medical procedure” Paige states...
Theresa counters: As a post abortive woman who has worked with thousands of other post abortive women over the past 20 years, her lack of empathy and acknowledgement for those of us who found abortion anything but these things is amazing.
Abortion is not life giving, it takes the life of an unborn child and sometimes, yes even “safe legal abortion”, takes the life of the mother as well. It is not life saving, it destroys life.
It is also not dream granting, in fact, for countless women their dreams are destroyed as they struggle with depression, anxiety, guilt, nightmares, addictions, and sometimes physical damage leaving them unable to have other children. No dreams deferred? I don’t think so. For many women all dreams have been deferred and life has become a living nightmare as a result of abortion. Relationships have been damaged, trust is destroyed, and most importantly our children are dead.
Maybe Paige chooses to hold abortion as some sort of an idol for women, but there are countless numbers of us out there who feel very differently. Perhaps Paige should check back with some of the girls from her home town. I am sure she would find that large majority of them would agree with me.
Thanks, Theresa, for trying to keep it real out there.
You can find an analysis in this news release from the USCCB
Here is an important excerpt -
Archbishop Dolan especially objected to the Justice Department’s legal arguments that equate those in favor of DOMA to racists. It is “particularly upsetting,” he said, when the Administration attributes to those who support DOMA “a motivation rooted in prejudice and bias.It is especially wrong and unfair to equate opposition to redefining marriage with either intentional or willfully ignorant racial discrimination, as your Administration insists on doing,” he said.
The letter is here -
This has to be seen to be believed. On Jill Stanek's website.
If you have not already done so, please sign up ASAP for The Children First Foundation's 1st Annual "Baby Safe Haven" Classic Golf Tournament on Monday, September 26, 2011 at the historic Siwanoy Country Club located in Bronxville, New York.
Elizabeth Rex reminds us that "if you don't play golf, or if you just can't get away during the day, please consider attending our 10th Anniversary Banquet in the magnificent Siwanoy Ballroom. Our elegant Banquet begins with a Cocktail Hour at 5:30 p.m. on the lovely Siwanoy Terrace overlooking the exclusive club's beautiful golf course." Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone will be honored at the banquet with the 2011 Distinguished Service Award.
Business attire requested. RSVP Children First Foundation at 877-386-3236 or check out their website at www.TheChildrenFirst.org for more information.
Now if you don't golf and don't eat or drink, the HVCL reminds you that you can still make a check payable to The Children First Foundation, PO Box 326, Eastchester, NY 10709 for this great cause!
CFF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are fully tax-deductible. The value of CFF's 10th Anniversary Banquet is approximately $100.00.
Executive Director of the Right to Life Party, Elizabeth Costanzo, writes "...we are not sending you petitions this year so that we might concentrate on several important races for the pro-life movement. The candidates that have our support are listed below...through the efforts of some of you, our loyal supporters, we overturned the pro-abortion leadership of the Conservative Party in Westchester County..."
These are the primary races that the RTL Party is involved in:
Yonkers Republican Primary - registered Yonkers Republicans need to come out and vote for:
Richard J. Martinelli for Mayor of Yonkers, and
Stephen A. Cerrato for Yonkers 5th District City Councilmember
Yonkers Democrat Primary - registered Yonkers Democrats need to come out and vote for:
Dennis Robertson for Yonkers 3rd District City Councilmember
Yonkers Conservative Primary - registered Yonkers Conservative need to come out and vote for:
Richard J. Martinelli for Mayor of Yonkers
Eastchester/New Rochelle Conservative Primary - registered Eastchester and some voters in parts of New Rochelle Conservatives need to come out and vote for:
Sheila Marcotte in the 10th County Legislative District
The RTL Party is also supporting the campaigns of:
Lisa Douglas in the Republican Primary - 2nd County Legislative District - her opponent is pro-abortion.
Terrence Murphy in the Indepdence Party Primary - 4th County Legislative District - he is waging a write-in and if you are enrolled in the Indepdence Party and are eligible to vote in his district, please give him a call at 913-224-8348 for instructions on how to write his name on the ballot.
Any other specific questions call Liz Costanzo at 914-478-1189 or Tom Byrne, RTL Party Chairman, at 914-523-8110.
IT IS VITAL THAT YOU VOTE AND GET OUT THE VOTE!!!
Carol speaks about Dr. Mildred Jefferson, pro-life activist, and the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School. She then discusses the new Susan B. Anthony birthplace museum and the clear fact that the original feminist movement was pro-life AND pro-woman.
Carol took questions from the audience -
England and the rest of the United Kingdom have similar regulations to the U.S. - abortion on demand throughout pregnancy (there are supposed to be some rules, but they are meaningless).
Now, a serious proposal in the House of Commons, as well as in the United Kingdom Department of Health:
The plan would introduce a mandatory obligation on abortion clinics to offer women access to independent counselling, which is run on separate premises by a group which does not itself carry out abortions.
The proposed change comes ahead of a Commons vote, due to take place next week, on amendments to a public health Bill put forward by Nadine Dorries, a backbench Conservative MP. The amendments would prevent private organisations which carry out terminations — such as Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) — from offering pre-abortion counselling. Women would instead be offered free access to independent counsellors.
Regardless of what happens in the House of Commons, the United Kingdom Department of Health, is promising to develop proposals to introduce independent counselling for women seeking abortion, seemingly accepting that the advice given by abortion providers is not independent.
We will follow this story closely.
Hit the link for the full story.
In a story with clear echoes of the now famous conversion of former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, four months ago a manager at a Planned Parenthood facility in Sherman, Texas resigned from her position with the abortion giant and is now speaking out about her pro-life conversion.
In a press release from 40 Days for Life-Dallas, Ramona Trevino explains that although the particular Planned Parenthood where she worked did not perform surgical abortions, she was struggling “with [her] conscience . . . on contraception, abortion and [her] role in it all.”
Just like Abby Johnson, Trevino credits a 40 Days for Life campaign outside her Planned Parenthood facility with helping her movement towards a pro-life way of thinking.
After the 40 Days campaign came to Sherman, she says she went from believing she was providing a service to women in need, to realizing that Planned Parenthood “treated women like cattle and how they only cared about making money” – a realization she says was “long overdue.”