“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will gather me up” (Psalm 27:10).
Reflection: Blessed Margaret of Castello (13th c.) is Patron of the Unwanted. When her parents, who were respected nobility, discovered at her birth that she was a badly deformed dwarf, hunchback and blind, they decided that they did not want anyone to see her. They refused to give her a name, locked her up in a small cell, and eventually abandoned her while traveling. Had we been among those who knew what Margaret’s parents were doing to her, would we have spoken up?
Prayer: Blessed Margaret, pray that we may speak up for the unwanted. Amen.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth” (John 14:16-17).
Reflection: Our Lord referred to the Holy Spirit as another advocate, the first one being Jesus (1 Jn. 2:1) Because we cannot save ourselves, we need an advocate to speak up on our behalf and plead for our forgiveness and salvation. What, then, does the Holy Spirit do when he comes to them? He makes us advocates for the helpless!
Prayer: Come, O Spirit Advocate. Give speech to my tongue, to always defend vulnerable human lives! Amen!
The first case, Zubik vs. Burwell, which included Priests for Life vs. HHS and five other cases consolidated with it, was one in which I am a petitioner, and which turned on the question of whether the government has gone too far in expanding abortion. At issue is an HHS mandate that would force me and my organization to be complicit in that expansion. The Court did not resolve the issue but hopes the petitioners and the government can come to a resolution in the lower courts.
The second case, Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, reviewed a Texas law (HB2) and the question of whether the government has gone too far in restricting abortion. Our organization filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of the State of Texas and of women harmed by abortion. The high court struck down the Texas law by a 5-3 decision that said the law posed an undue burden on women seeking an abortion.
The resolution of both cases, actually, should have been rather simple, and neither affects the legality of abortion. In the first case, the pro-life side has argued that the legality of abortion doesn’t mean the government can force someone to participate in it. That would seem to be reasonable. In the second case, the pro-life side has argued that the legality of abortion doesn’t mean the government can’t regulate it to increase the safety of the woman undergoing the procedure. That too, seems reasonable.
The Supreme Court is now the Supreme Medical Board, setting its own standards for patient care in the United States. This decision is an outrageous usurpation of legislative power and it only underscores the critical importance of electing a President who will nominate — and Senators who will confirm — justices to the Supreme Court who will adjudicate, not write the law.
The law resulted in the closure of over half Texas’s abortion clinics and was, of course, met with fierce opposition from such groups as Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the ACLU. In response to the law, the group Whole Woman’s Health filed a lawsuit in opposition to the law, taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
The case, Whole Women’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, was opened in March, killing HB2 slowly, far from its home state and people.
“Both when I met with Mr. Trump recently in Washington and in his remarks in New York, he said that Churches should not be afraid to speak their mind on matters related to politics. He is correct in his claim that religious leaders are ‘petrified’ of wading into politics because they are afraid the IRS will revoke their tax-exempt status.
“There are two problems here. First, the Johnson amendment itself has no Constitutional basis. And second, it is inherently vague, and the interpretation given to it by the IRS, and by many Catholic dioceses and institutions, makes things even worse.
“This is a message I have been spreading for years and is a focus of my book Abolishing Abortion (Nelson Books, 2015). There is no justification for either government censorship of the Churches or self-censorship by the Churches. I wrote the book, in fact, precisely to prepare Churches for this election year and to urge them to step up to the plate, stop the self-censorship, and open their mouths.”
“Having a memorial service at a gravesite where the mangled bodies of these children are buried brings home the truth that abortion is not an abstract debate; it’s a flesh and blood tragedy, and it must end,” Fr. Pavone asserted.
“Moreover,” he continued, “this year’s memorials occur amidst the Year of Mercy. The National Day of Remembrance is an urgent invitation to all who have been involved in abortion — moms, dads, other family members, friends and abortionists — to take hold of the gifts of repentance and mercy. We are ready to help them heal and embrace life.”
“One of the soldiers thrust a lance into his side, and immediately a flow of blood and water came forth” (John 19:34).
Reflection: We worship Jesus’ heart. It is the core of the pro-life movement, which is a movement of self-sacrificing love. Nothing can stop the love of the Heart of Jesus, which is the meaning of the flame we see. This love is met by rejection and hatred, symbolized by the wound in the heart.
Prayer: Lord, when my love for the unborn is met with misunderstanding, ridicule, and persecution , fill my heart with yours, that I may continue to love those who cannot love me back. Amen.
“Obviously, the Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt demonstrates that not enough people know and care about the fact that the abortion industry is an unscrupulous, unregulated industry that cares no more for women than for the children it kills and throws away,”