Skip to comments.USCCB Pro-Life Committee Statement for Respect Life Sunday, October 7, 2007 (Life Chain Sunday)
Posted on 09/27/2007 9:44:23 PM PDT by Coleus
PHILADELPHIA, PA, September 25, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As is the custom in the United States, the first Sunday of October will be honored by US Catholics as Respect Life Sunday. In honor of this, Cardinal Justin Rigali, the Chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities of the United States' Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued a statement to be made available at all parishes nationwide.
The statement calls for US Catholics to "again pray for - and renew their resolve to bring about - a culture of life and an end to the killing of innocent human beings, especially those who are vulnerable due to their age, size, health or dependency." The theme of this year's Respect Life Sunday is 'The Infant in My Womb Leaped for Joy' and is taken from the Gospel of St. Luke (1:39-56) when the Blessed Mother, bearing Christ in her womb, is welcomed by St. Elizabeth, who was bearing St. John the Baptist.
Cardinal Rigali's statement explained the theme and purpose of this year's Respect Life Sunday. "There was no confusion as to what and who were nestled under their mothers' hearts. Yet 2,000 years later, many well-educated people do not know - or claim they do not know - the truth about human life before birth." Rigali referred to the passage of the partial birth abortion ban and President Bush's veto of an embryonic stem-cell bill as positive happenings for the cause of life but warned that these victories are only partial as babies may still be legally killed in the womb and there are those who are still rallying to have the right to destroy human embryos in the name of research. He warned, "We will not see the day when all human life is respected and defended unless we address a deeper problem."
"Some ethicists suggest that patients who apparently lack conscious awareness - although otherwise healthy and not imminently dying - can be dehydrated and starved to death because their lives are not fully human but "vegetative." This ignores the insight expressed in 2004 by Pope John Paul II and recently reaffirmed by the Holy See under Pope Benedict XVI, that "the intrinsic value and personal dignity of every human being do not change, no matter what the concrete circumstances of his or her life. A man, even if seriously ill or disabled in the exercise of his highest functions, is and always will be a man, and he will never become a 'vegetable' or an 'animal'." We need truth (emphasis in original)."
The pro-life statement concluded by asking people of all faiths to stand up for life. "This is no sectarian creed. The 'recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world' (Preamble, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989). And that is the truth." The American Catholic bishops first initiated Respect Life Sunday on the first Sunday of October in 1972. The entire month of October is nationally recognized by US Catholics as Respect Life Month and many dioceses and parishes encourage a vast range of devotions and pro-life activities to promote the Culture of Life.
The USCCB prepares and distributes an annual packet that is made available to individuals and parishes across the country made up of assorted pamphlets on various life issues. Many parishes participate in an annual Life Chain, which has been known to attract hundreds of thousands of pro-life participants across the world, who peacefully pray and stand in witness to the sanctity of human life from the very moment of conception.
Read the entire text of the Respect Life Sunday statement
Access all pamphlets released by the USCCB in the Respect Life packet
Read Previous LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Hundreds of Thousands Join In Life Chain Demonstrations WorldWide
Life Chain: a public pro-life witness
Respect Life Sunday - Life Chain in Pittsburgh, PA.
National Life Chain Sunday 2007 - Life Chains 20th Year
On October 7
OnNational Life Chain Sunday, October 7, prolifers in America and Canada will, for the 20th year, line sidewalks in over 1,200 cities and towns to seek Gods forgiveness and His help to end abortion and related evils in our culture. Participants will hold signs that include Abortion Kills Children; Adoption: The Loving Option; Lord, Forgive Us and Our Nation; and Abortion Hurts Women. Frivolity and idle talk are not welcome.
Life Chain is a peaceful witness against a violent public enemy that has terrorized and killed probably well over 100 million preborn Americans and Canadians at surgical abortion clinics and through abortifacient birth controls that, tragically, few pastors will expose publicly. Said Life Chain director Royce Dunn, a Protestant, God declared that My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge [Hosea 4:6]. That truth is for today, when we the churchthe preborns only hope for an advocate and defenderare disgraced by our casual response to their horror and loss.
What seeded the assault on child and family? During the twentieth century, the spirit of child aversion invaded the conscience and integrity of the church and culminated, predictably, in legalized abortion and its close allies that include human embryo destruction (in the lab), euthanasia, homosexuality, divorce and cohabitation,illegitimacy, addictions, etc. The demotion of children in the Christian home ruptured biblical marriage and family values and stole the churchs will to shield the Unborn from mutilation. Stated Dunn, The religious spirit Christ exposed in the story of the Good Samaritan is a controlling force within church leadership today, much as it was in Germany during the Nazi persecution of the Jews. Today, the humanity of the Unborn is trifled.
What is termed Satans masterpiece (the abortion holocaust) is due less to what secular thought has done during our age of materialism than to what the church has forgottenthat children are wealth. Of the blessings God promised Israel for obedience in Canaan, the first blessing was abundant prosperity in the fruit of your womb [Deut. 28:11.]. God Himself sees children as wealth and prosperity, yet confusion reigns in the church today. Christian parents heartily assume they would not sell a child for, say $10 million or even $10 billion. Yet ask them if they want another child, especially a third or fourth child, and most are stunned, due largely to lack of teaching on Gods chief purpose for marriage and on fertility management in the Christian home.
Prolifes greatest need and what can end legalized abortion is a pastoral awakening that restores heart for preborn humanity.The laity must serve devotedly, but as Afro-American Pastor Clenard Childress writes in No Shepherds Cry, regarding the Unborns insufferable plight: The pew cannot do what the pulpit is suppose to do. Much innocent blood is on the pulpits today, pleading unceasingly for justice and mercy. It will plead until the church honors it in word and deed.
Life Chain welcomes everyone who deems human life sacred. Over 13,000 Chains have been built in North America, plus Chains in several other nations.Life Chain is but one step into a serious pro-life commitment. Much intensive follow-up is required to close the death centers. (for the time in each city, see www.LifeChain.net For a partial National Listing)
3209 Colusa Highway Yuba City, CA 95993 (530) 674-5068 Royce@NationalLifeChain.org
Thanks for the post. I will pass it to my peers.
Thanks for the reminder.
Where is Archbishop Wuerl of Washington D.C.and the other Bishops on the recent pro-abortion action of ‘Catholic’Georgetown University.For the first time Georgetown law students funded by Georgetown will be able to intern for pro-abortion organizations such as Planned Parenthood.Bishop Wuerl and the other U.S. Bishops must speak out against this program NOW!
Thanks for posting about Life Chain.
We are ready for ours. Made t-shirts available. Hoping for a decent turn out.