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Litlte Rock, Arkansas
September 30, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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September 30, 1990

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PAGE 3 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC S ER 30, 1990 II This is the fourth in a four-part series of t~a~ on abortion by Bishop Edward T. Hughes of nudu.n, Ny. Bis ,p a,u .l. Mc.Do, ta of Little Rock has said: "I make my own the sentiments expressed by my fellow bisholg Eduamt q N]." Our Cod is a God of mercy and forgive- ness, of pardon and peace. His ~ercy is never Withheld when aincerely sought, but the seeking is always based on SOrrow and repen- tance. A heart These are questions for parents and for priests, for families and for Church. We need to be so filled with the gentle com- passion of Christ, that our youngsters will never hesitate to come to us-- not to seek an abortion, but for help to allow God's gift of life to grow. And surely there is so much that we can do to bring the young people through the trouble without the scarring of their lives or the destruction of the unborn children. We-need to be---and to be seen as--open, approachable, com- passionate, capable of helping, and always there for our young people. There is also a very real temptation that confronts many parents, desperately fright- ened for their teenage, pregnant daugh- prevent the tragedy. But we need to see abortion as the harsh and brutal killing of unborn infants. Always we must come back to the simple truth that such killing is against God's law. The rhetoric of our so- ciety will try to deceive us, but no rhetoric can hide the horror of the killing. The hypocrisy of the "pro-choice" protestations will try to disguise the fact that "pro-choice" means the right to kill the unborn child. But no disguise can deny that the choice is death. Finally, some words of encouragement for us all. God's grace is with us in our struggle to live as He wills. Surely, it is no easy struggle, but with love and compas- sion for one another, especially for our Unrepentant and ters. These parents are so afraid that scandal young people, His grace enables us to live tUrned towards sin or public exposure may harm their by His law. If we fail, there is forgiveness. its, lfa barrier to daughters' reputations and jeopardize their His mercy is never withheld from those who ~ulus forgiveness, futures that abortion seems the lesser of seek it--no matter what the sin. To those us, we who seek two evils. But it never is Perhaps we would who may have been scarred by the tragedy C, I's to mercy must always open our hearts see the truth more clearly if the question of abortion--directly or indirectly--God's that mercy, ur o nnem were put to troubled parents in this way: mercy is there in abundance. No sin is Abortion is a challenge to o pe Would you, in order to avoid possible beyond HIS powerful forgiveness, and our God's mercy, and perhaps it is most criticism of your daughter, counsel the Church is charged to bring that forgiveness ?enging in our private and family lives, killing of your grandson or granddaughter? to all with a repentant heart. For us who ,. e preservation of life demands our pub- This seemingly harsh and insensitive are Catholic, the Sacrament of Reconcilia- ~c commitment and persevering struggle, question is the real question for those of tion is God's gentle, healing gift. It brings the killing will never cease until we in us who believe in the sanctity of life and the fullness of forgiveness; nothing with- ~te silence of our hearts and the privacy of the teachings of our Church. Indeed, that held. Thus, there can be no despair for us ~r( families determine that it must cease. Churchnthrough its law--in order towho believe in the Lord and His Church. a" d So, there are personal questions for us safeguard God's gift of life, solemnly warns The teaching of our Church is clear, and u. Am I, is my family safe from the hor- that all who, being subject to and respon- it is life-giving. Its message is filled with , r0r of abortion? Am I so committed to the sible under its laws, deliberately procure or hope. We speak in and to a society di- Sa~cti o " Pe ty f life that nothing in my farmly or are actively involved in an abortion incur minished by a blindness that views killing Onal life could shake that commimaent? excommunication from the Church. Par- unborn babies as necessary or permissible. These are hard questions which perhaps ents who pressure or advise their children Death for millions is its choice. We in the who teach have not considered sympa-towards an abortion thus risk that extreme Church speak of life, God s life dwelling eticallyenough and, perhaps, not offered penalty. No Catholic in good conscience, within us. Our choice is life--life for all aOUgh help to answer them. First, does in public or private, can ignore the law of touched by the creating hand of a gentle ~e family know, does your spouse know, the Church. " God. To all of us, God has spoken His truth ca Your children know that you are dedi- Perhaps much of this article---and in- in the solemn warning in the Book of "ted to the sanctity of life? Then, does deed of the others---may seem harsh and Deuteronomy: "I have set before you life ~ur spouse know, do your Children know lacking compassion. That is not my pur- and death, the blessing and the curse. they can always come to you for sup- pose. Indeed, compassion is the reason for Choose life, then, that you and your de- e~rt and stren th to avoid the dan er of these articles. It is the child in the womb scendants may live. ahor-, g g :_ .uon? Would your teenage daughter or that demands our compassion. It is the We, too, must speak and live the truth. 'aVoived son feel'free and comfortable in troubled mother, pressured towards an Our truth must be life-giving. The Lord Press g to you for help in accepung the abortion by fear or ignorance or want, that will be with us. His grace will sustain us. Ures of an unexpected pregnancy? calls for our compassionate support to With Him, let us choose lifel Dear Editor: [Regarding a letter from Beverly Pearson, 9/9:] Not being married or not having sex is very far from being unhuman or unnatural. Marriage and sex are not an obligation, not manda- tory or a requirement, a demand or state of life. Sex starts in the mind not in the sex organs. There has never been recorded anyone who died because they didn't have sex, but there are some who do die while having or trying to have sex. It should be easy for people to give their lives to God - without some of the pleasures and responsibility God gives to married people for they put the love for God first. Joseph Hess Waldron "Curran," from page 2 one another the past week? Does the kids' increased fighting reflect our tension? Are we the projectors and they the screen? Even if it means we don't meet all our obligations or living with a less-than- perfect home, these signals or nudges from God call us to seize the moment and re-evaluate our use of time. I suspect the morn who wasted time with her son under the tree didn't cook as impressive a dinner as she would have otherwise, but she gave her son, herself and her family something of far greater value.., a relaxed wife and mother who had her priorities straight. Copyright 1990 Alt Publishing Co. S Yr. John Dtetzen in which Paul speaks of his own role as Christ was thus not an insufficiency in This council is for consultation and a missionary of the good news of Christ. his redemptive actions. Rather, that advice only, and is governed by what- t'Panl says somewhere we would Each new receiver of that message,work would not attain its complete ever norms are determined by the la. e._. . up in our sufferings what was and each suffering that Paul undertakes effect until all his disciples have carried bishop of the diocese (Canon 536). au lnlz. in. the for the sake of the people of the their cross with him. The only council actually required by ':ermg's of Church, moves the Church that much Church law is a parish finance council I thou :ht closer to its fulfillment in the preach- I recently moved to Illinois from (Canon 537). In this council "the ' rlst,s atone- ing of the Gospel to the whole human California. Most parishes out there had Christian faithful, selected by norms e.ent was suffi- race. parish councils; my parish here does established by the bishop or the pastor, and Another interpretation addresses the not. aid the pastor in the administration of super- it all ant" He did sufferings themselves, sufferings of Paul Could you explain the purpose of parish finances and possessions. and other Christians until the end of these councils? Is it required for par- Almost every diocese today has estab- ~oW could we tl t? anything to The passage aking for o anted, as you said, that re .t ord's sacrificial death and resur- tion Was absolutely and totally suffi- for -- h.. the redemntion of the world, -,v~ SO r ,,. rts of exvlanation seem to be ~St Corrl-- = -- ]flBon. . One relates this verse to the context the world, ishes to have one? Are there any guide- lished norms directing the formation Jesus makes clear that the sufferings fines according to Church law? Thank and operation of parish pastoral and of his followers, the Church, are his suf- you for your assistance, finance councils. ferings. Those who persecute his dis- Speaking legally, your question is not Norms for your diocese may be ob- ciples persecute him (Acts 9:4). difficult to answer, mined from the bishop or other offi- Thus the fullness of our Lord's sac- If the bishop of a diocese judges it cial of your diocese. ing work, the completion of the mis- opportune, "a pastoral council is to be (Aries brochure explaining Catholic regu- sion given him by the Father, will ar- established in each parish; the pastor lations on membership in the Masons and rive only when the last "daily cross" of presides over it, and through it the other organizations is available by sending which he spoke has been borne faith- Christian faithful along with those who a stamped, self-addressed envdop to Fr.John fully by each disciple and by the corn- share the pastoral care of the parish in D/etzen, Holy Ttnily pari 704 N. Main munity of believers, his body on earth, virtue of their office give their help in St., Bloomington, II.., 61701. What was "lacking in the suffering of fostering pastoral activity." Cop ght 1990 CN5