When Pope Francis was inaugurated, we all went scrambling to find information about him. One of the first quotes I heard from him was this:
In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptize the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage. These are today’s hypocrites… Those who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that it’s baptized!
Well, that was it for me. I was in love. Here is a man who loves the baby and loves the mother, and wants to make the world better for both of them -- wants them to be welcomed and cared for, both by the Church and by the rest of the world. Now he's Pope, and he has an even better chance of making that happen.
Today I heard a pro-life Catholic say, "Well, I'm glad the Pope isn't speaking out more against abortion. I don't even want to know what he'd have to say." Implying that, because he didn't incorporate tiny feet into his papal seal, he's not really pro-life. Implying that, because he says things other than, "Abortion is evil" every time someone sticks a microphone under his nose, he's not really pro-life. Implying that, even though he said that abortion is the death penalty, that pro-abortion candidates should not receive Communion, and that abortion is never the solution, he's not really pro-life.
News flash. The Church is against abortion. Everyone knows this. Everyone, everyone, everyone. Find me some stoner kid living under the boardwalk and ask him what the Church teaches about abortion. He'll know. Find me some juiced up Wall Street executive taking a four minute lunch before he dives back into the money pit, and ask him what the Church teaches about abortion. He'll know. Find me some half demented grandpa shuffling down the hall in a nursing home and ask him what the Church teaches about abortion. He'll know. And so will the nurse on call, and the secretary in the office, and the maintenance guy working on the drains, and the high school sophomore gloomily fulfilling his community service hours. Ask the Planned Parenthood escort. Ask the talking head who reads the news, or the nastiest combox troll. The one thing that everybody knows is that the Church is against abortion.
What the world doesn't know is why the Church is against abortion. What the world doesn't know is what the Church can offer instead of abortion. The world doesn't know why life is worth living. This is the message that every pope in recent memory has been preaching -- that life is good!
We're Catholics. We know more than the rest of the world. We don't need the press to spoon feed our faith to us. We know that the Church is against abortion, and more importantly, we know why. We know what the Church -- and what Jesus Christ, for His mercy endures forever -- can offer instead:
That is what the Church offers. That is what Christ offers. Being pro-life means saving the life of innocent children so that they can continue to live, to love and to be loved, to grow up to glorify God with their lives.I am so grateful to God for the pro-life witness of Pope Francis. The world needs to hear his pro-life message that your life, and every life, is worth living. That life is good.