The Christian's Voice For Life

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

What does being a Christian mean in terms of daily behavior? If someone comes up to you and slaps you on the face, is that person acting like a Christian? Certainly we would say "no". Yet, while it is so clear that you can't be a good Christian by slapping people, some people say that you can destroy a baby within his/her mother's womb by abortion and still be a good Christian. Something is deeply wrong with this way of thinking. How can killing be OK but slapping in the face be wrong? To be Christian means to stand on the side of life. It means that we oppose the killing of the innocent at all times. It means that we respect human life at all its stages and in all its conditions.

There are many assaults on human life in our society. In large measure, however, people have recourse to the law to protect their rights and receive compensation for damages. There is an entire class of people, however, who are assaulted daily and have absolutely NO recourse to the law at all. In fact, the law doesn't even recognize them as persons. We are referring, of course, to the pre-born boys and girls in their mothers' wombs. They have nobody to speak up for them….nobody, that is, except us. Are we Christian enough to recognize their needs and to speak up on their behalf?

Blessed Margaret of Castello was a holy woman who is known as the patroness of the unwanted. She was born hunchback and blind and ugly. Her parents, who were prominent townspeople, were embarrassed to let her be known as their daughter, so they kept her hidden. They actually confined her to a dungeon twenty-four hours a day for thirteen years! There were people who knew of this injustice, but did they speak up? NO, they lacked the courage to come against Margaret's parents. If we were there and we knew Margaret's plight, would we have spoken up? Would speaking up be the Christian thing to do?

Brothers and sisters, we ARE there! It is not just the life of one, but of millions, that are at stake. Our pre-born brothers and sisters are destroyed by abortion at the rate of 214,000,000 a year in the world. Where is the outcry? Who will speak for these little ones who cannot speak or write or vote or protest or even pray!

Don't let anyone tell you these children are not human. They are human from the moment of conception. That is not an opinion, that's a fact. It can be verified in any embryology textbook. Whether someone is human or not is not a matter of preference or belief, but of fact. If these babies continue to be destroyed and we continue to be silent, we are betraying our Christianity and our very humanity! Furthermore, we betray the mothers of these children, because abortion harms women, physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially, and spiritually! To be pro-life is to be pro-woman! To save the child is to save the mother as well!

So do not be afraid to speak up for life! Do not be afraid to speak up against abortion! Never think that you cannot change a person's view on this issue. The truth is that you can, and when it comes to abortion, to change a person's view may mean that you save another person's life! Even if there is a person you feel you cannot change, speak up anyway! In this way at least you are being faithful to your respect for life! And speak up continuously! The importance of a matter is often measured by how much you speak about it. We must keep this issue before our eyes and the eyes of the public, whether by private conversations or statements at meetings or letters to the editor of a newspaper or magazine. One way or another, let us speak up! Abortion today is not the same as abortion yesterday, because the babies who died today never died before! Every abortion is a NEW tragedy and it demands a new response, a new voice of protest!

History will judge us on this issue. When future historians look back on the people of our day and on the incredible loss of 241,000,000 lives a year by abortion, what will their verdict be on us? What will they say about us? Will they call us cowards, who didn't speak up, or will they call us true Christians, who didn't keep silent?