|Photo by Patrick McPartland, Western New York Catholic, Diocese of Buffalo|
As we look ahead to the 40th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 legalizing abortion in the United States and the annual March for Life, Blessed Sacrament Parish is preparing to welcome young people from the Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama and their Archbishop Thomas Rodi, a group from the Archdiocese of New Orleans and their Archbishop Gregory Aymond, as well as the new Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, Bishop James Conley.
Also visiting Blessed Sacrament this week for the March will be several Sisters of Life and friars from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
If you would like to assist the parish in preparing for and providing services for our guests, please contact Marie in the parish office at this email address or 703-998-6100 x104.
This somber 40th anniversary is an important time for prayer and reflection, and can be a new opportunity for us each to ask how we can help the pro-life efforts of the Church in our parish and diocese.
The U.S. bishops “Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage” Jan. 19-27, 2013 begins today. Join the Novena for Life by signing up for a daily e-mail or text message with the novena.
The following quote is from the Declaration on Procured Abortion, Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Nov. 18, 1974:
"Divine law and natural reason, therefore, exclude all right to the direct killing of an innocent man. However, if the reasons given to justify an abortion were always manifestly evil and valueless the problem would not be so dramatic. The gravity of the problem comes from the fact that in certain cases, perhaps in quite a considerable number of cases, by denying abortion one endangers important values to which it is normal to attach great value, and which may sometimes even seem to have priority.
We do not deny these very great difficulties. It may be a serious question of health, sometimes of life or death, for the mother; it may be the burden represented by an additional child, especially if there are good reasons to fear that the child will be abnormal or retarded; it may be the importance attributed in different classes of society to considerations of honor or dishonor, of loss of social standing, and so forth.
We proclaim only that none of these reasons can ever objectively confer the right to dispose of another's life, even when that life is only beginning. With regard to the future unhappiness of the child, no one, not even the father or mother, can act as its substitute - even if it is still in the embryonic stage - to choose in the child's name, life or death. The child itself, when grown up, will never have the right to choose suicide; no more may his parents choose death for the child while it is not of an age to decide for itself.
Life is too fundamental a value to be weighed against even very serious disadvantages."
More information on Catholic Church teaching on abortion can be found at CatholicAnswers.com. Additional information will be posted this week about local pro-life efforts going on here in our parish of Blessed Sacrament and in the Diocese of Arlington.