Press "Enter" to skip to content

Upholding the dignity of all human life

There is an accusation often used by pro-abortion advocates against those who are pro-life. It goes like this: “you only care about the baby until the baby is born.” In other words, the accusation against pro-life people is that, although we are concerned for the dignity of the pre-born baby, we fail to be as concerned for the dignity of people who are in need.
This is a convenient denunciation but it is not founded in truth. If one is pro-life, then one must be concerned about the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death.
We Catholics realize that we are called to put our faith into action. We know we are not saved by our good works, but we also know that as St James wrote in the Bible:
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give him the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also of faith itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed, someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works….For just as the body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
(James 2:14-17, 26)
Or as Jesus said in the Gospel: “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Mt 7:19-20)
Catholics have a long history of serving the needs of others and the Catholic Church today is the largest non-governmental organization providing help to those in need. Here in the Archdiocese of Mobile, our people respond with extraordinary generosity to the annual Catholic Charities Appeal which serves the needs of many in the southern half of Alabama.
Yet, the accusation against pro-life people that we do not care about the baby once the baby is born, while an unfair complaint, is helpful. We know that the baby in the womb is a human life. For this reason, we have a passionate commitment to uphold the life of the pre-born child. The accusation against us reminds us that we must be just as passionate when it comes to upholding the dignity of all human life, especially those in need.
It is not the purpose of this article to advocate for one political approach or another. I try to the best of my ability to avoid taking political stands. At the same time, as a religious leader, and even more importantly, as a baptized Christian, it is necessary for all of us to remind ourselves that political issues are, at their foundation, moral issues. Society’s laws express society’s ethical values. Simply put, our laws reflect what we as a people consider to be right and wrong.
Our pro-life stance impels us to oppose laws which embrace abortion and to seek to change them. This same pro-life stance must also be demonstrated in all aspects of governmental laws and policies we either support or oppose.
For us to be truly pro-life, we must be concerned for the dignity of all human life. This carries over into a concern for those who cannot afford decent housing, food or medical care. It includes care for the homeless and the mentally ill; quality education for all, particularly for low and middle income students; and compassion for those desperately fleeing dangers in their home countries.
The list could be much longer. The point is this: Our pro-life stance at the beginning of life must carry though all of life until the end of life. This is based upon the understanding that human life is intrinsically precious because each human life, as Genesis teaches, is made in the image and likeness of God.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.