A FURTHER WORD...
I must admit I was a bit surprised by the number of responses to my post about Lila Rose and her tactics with Live Action. I appreciate some of the counter-points and reactions or statements from a variety of different sources.
Some have been sadly uncharitable. I say sadly not because I was hurt, offended and cried myself to sleep over them (I’m a big boy, been a priest 12 years and have heard worse). It’s sad because some responses were filled with vitriol, anger and questioned my fidelity to the Church, my obedience to the Church, my holiness - in short my priesthood. For those who so questioned, you can rest assured, “My offences truly I know them; my sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done” (Psalm 51)
I know that I do not hold a Moral Theology degree, nor do I work full time as a Professional, Full-Time Pro-Life Advocate. I am a Priest of Jesus Christ who works full-time at trying to be obedient to my calling. Right now, the Lord has me working full-time as a Campus-Minister. And the reasoning for me even bringing up Lila Rose was in response to some of what they heard and questioned at a recent conference we attended.
All that being said, a few people’s responses have caught my attention in this debate on Lila Rose and I just offer a few thoughts:
1- “What would Jesus Do”: I am sorry if you disagree with me on this, but I find it hard to imagine that our Lord would use methods of deception in order to call someone to conversion, to call someone to the truth. Look at all His encounters with “sinners” – well that’s all of humanity, let me be more specific - with people entrapped in lives of sin.
He being Fully Divine and Fully Human obviously he has a vision and a wisdom beyond our understanding. But you never see him going up to the tax collector and trying to “cut a deal” with him to point out how the tax collector is sinning and then calling him to conversion. He doesn’t proposition a prostitute in order to certify she is a prostitute, condemn her for her sinfulness and then call her to change her life.
People were attracted to Jesus because they were attracted, hungering, longing for the truth which he enfleshed.
For those of us wishing to see an end to the evil curse of Abortion, and call upon Jesus to help bring that curse to an end, I just don’t see doing anything that, at a minimum, is questionable is a way that will bring it about, or something that “Jesus would do.”
2 - The many different arguments from a variety of respected, distinguished theologians and philosophers offer thought-provoking arguments. But, as we often find in heated arguments, we can simply read those sides that we agree with. There’s just as many arguments from just as distinguished theologians and philosophers offering contrary, thought-provoking arguments.
My discomfort remains after reading many different thoughts on this. Many of the arguments offered seem to me to be looking for loopholes to some basic, central teachings of the Church from Scripture and tradition.
Examples that are being cited seem to me to be incorrect or applied wrongly in these instances. Again, people are free to argue differently on that. But the fact that there’s such a difference of opinion and lack of unity from Pro-Lifers, Catholic Theologians, Philosophers should give us pause before full-heartedly embracing what Lila Rose and Live Action is doing as “God’s work.”
This November I will turn 38. The year I was conceived and born was the first year that abortion was legalized in the United States. So I have lived my entire life under this dark cloud of sin that has skewered and altered our generation in countless diabolical ways. I would hope that as we continue to debate the best way we can bring Christ’s light and love to this plague, knowing that it is Him alone who is victorious over sin and death...that we can proceed in a respectful manner.
May we never forget that those of us committed to the Gospel of Life are united against the destruction and slaughter of millions of innocents. May our love for Jesus Christ, for life, and one another guide us.