February 1, 2013

Editorial

Life: Let’s all stand up for that four-letter word

Life.

As people of faith, we embrace what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us:

“Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end. No one can in any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being” (#2258).

The catechism also tells us, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life” (#2270).

Young people today, and we will include teenagers and even some children in that equation, get it.

They, like so many of us, are saddened to know that more than 55 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. since 1973. They are taking that message to their parishes, schools and streets of the communities in which they live because they want to transform our culture.

It has to do with the meaning of a four-letter word that some people in society have trouble comprehending, but many young Catholics understand.

Life.

When it comes to life’s sacredness, there are middle school and high school students—and so many others—who are not shy about sharing the tenets of our faith.

Adriana Perez, a member of St. Philip Neri Parish in Indianapolis and an eighth-grade student at her parish’s school, attended a Jan. 25 Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. The Mass began the third annual Local Solemn Observance of Roe v. Wade organized by the archdiocesan Office of Pro-Life Ministry.

“They should be against abortion and try to help out people who are [considering it] by giving them other options, like adoption,” Adriana said before she participated in the Mass and local March for Life.

Bobbie Wagner and Maggie Bruns, freshmen at the Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception in Oldenburg and members of St. Michael Parish in Brookville, attended the Mass and took part in the Indianapolis march, too.

“There are a lot of people who care about [the pro-life message]. They think about it instead of ignoring the gift of life,” Maggie said.

During the Mass, Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin said he sees youths’ commitment to the pro-life movement as a great sign of hope.

“ … The majority of young people express themselves as being pro-life—a generation that Cardinal [Timothy M.] Dolan of New York refers to as the ‘sonogram generation,’ ” Archbishop Tobin said during the Jan. 25 Mass.

“They’ve seen the pictures that their parents had taken of them while they were still in their mothers’ wombs. The humanity of that image cannot help but leave an impact on young, honest minds. They recognize what is carried in the womb is a distinct human being.”

But they are not alone.

People of various generations and backgrounds—black and white, Hispanic and Asian, Catholics, evangelicals and people of other religious traditions—have taken up the mantle and are sharing the “life” message, too.

They turned out by the hundreds of thousands in Washington for the annual March for Life on Jan. 25. Some estimates put the crowd at between 500,000 and 650,000 people.

An estimated 50,000 people turned out for the annual Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco on Jan. 26. And more than 400 people braved the cold in Indianapolis during the Jan. 25 march that followed the Mass at the cathedral.

Life.

Jeanne Monahan, new president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, rightly called abortion a “human rights abuse” during the march in Washington. But she also said there were signs the tide was changing as more pro-life measures have been introduced in state legislatures, and public opinions are changing. “Being pro-life is considered the new normal,” she added.

During this Year of Faith, let’s all make the commitment to continue educating our children—and all who hear our message—that, as Catholics, we will always value all life, from conception to natural death.

Life.

What a beautiful four-letter word.

—Mike Krokos

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