Friday, January 21, 2011

Agnus Dei...miserere nobis!

Saturday is declared, by the Catholic bishops of the United States, a day of penance for the sin of abortion as we come upon this sad commemoration of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing the abominable scourge that is abortion. What will you do in reparation? Might I suggest, in addition to your prayers and fasting (or at least abstinance from meat) that you seriously consider sending off a letter/e-mail/phone call to your state legislator and/or your congressman and senators expressing your support for their pro-life votes or encouraging them to open their hearts to the unborn and their mothers.

There are some numbers that have been running around in my head over the last several days along with a couple of truly shocking news stories. The first number is 4,408. This is the number of soldiers who have died in Iraq since 2002 (8 years). I know that many have wondered if that is acceptable. Of course, we then consider that in all of the wars since the foundation of our country we have lost 1,010,003 men and women. Rightly so, we set aside a number of days each year to memorialize these brave men and women.

I thought next of those who die from the three most talked about medical conditions. According to the US Centers for Disease Control these are the numbers for 2007: Men who died from heart attacks – 206,800; Women who died from breast cancer – 40,598; All persons dying with an AIDS diagnosis – 18,089.

Then I thought of the number of traffic deaths. It turns out that there are about 40,000 traffic deaths per year in the United States. The total since 1973 is about 1,646,486 deaths.

I thought about how much time and effort we put into becoming aware of these issues. The NFL, for instance, has an entire month where players and coaches incorporate pink into their uniforms in order to bring awareness to breast cancer. I still see billboards that proclaim the need to fight the “epidemic” of HIV/AIDS. I recalled how much effort is put into making our young people aware of just what kind of damage an automobile can do to them and those they love. We even consider it important sometimes to confront them with the horror of images of the aftermath of deadly auto accidents.

Yet, all of this pales in comparison to that for which our society fights tooth and nail and even tries to characterize as a constitutional right – abortion. PLEASE, don’t stop reading. I know many don’t want to hear it, but this is too important.

Since 1973 there have been about 50 million “safe, legal” abortions in the United States where our Declaration of Independence tells us that we “are endowed by our creator with certain inalianable rights, among these being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. In 1973 we were told that it was nothing more than a “blob of tissue”. In 2011, in the face of ultrasound images, we are simply told that it is a “choice”. This breaks down to 1.2 million abortions per year (a little more than the total number of war dead since 1775); There were about 137 abortions performed in the time it took you to attend Mass; there have been about 7 abortions in the time it has taken you to read this article thus far.

For over 30 years we have been told that it is important to make abortion “legal, safe, and rare”. Two weeks ago it was reported that 40% of all pregnancies in New York City end in abortion. So much for “rare”. Last week we read about an abortion provider (can’t bring myself to call him a doctor) arrested for the deaths of a woman and 7 newborns. So much for “safe”. The only thing we can say about abortion is that it is legal. That doesn’t make it morally right in the eyes of God.

There is so much more that could and needs to be said. However, I will leave you with this for now. Archbishops Dolan and Listecki, and our own Bishop Callahan have made it clear that this is THE moral, social justice issue of our time. If we don’t get this right, there is nothing that can truly be made right. Please, join me in prayer, fasting, and charity that we may put an end to this modern day holocaust.