ALL ISSUES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL
This Lenten campaign finds us in the midst of an election season. And while the issue of abortion rarely got a mention in previous election cycles, that’s clearly not the case today. So if there was ever a time when ardent pro-lifers like ourselves will be questioned on exactly why we hold this issue so dear, now is that time. After all, you might be asked, isn’t the environment, or the economy, or immigration, just as important as abortion? We can’t simply say: “No, it’s not as important.” In fact, I think we have an obligation to prepare ourselves with a good answer to that question.
On the question of how we prioritize moral issues, Fr. James Wehner, S.T.D., and Fr. James Farnan, S.T.D., of the Diocese of Pittsburgh have distilled the teaching of the U.S. Catholic Bishops in a very helpful way. They explain that in the realm of moral issues one can clearly see that a hierarchy exists. They demonstrate this by showing how you can divide moral issues into one of four distinct categories. Going from the gravely serious to the less serious they are:
Evils that DESTROY INNOCENT Human Life (e.g., abortion)
Evils that DESTROY Human Life (e.g., terrorism)
Evils that THREATEN Human Life (e.g., destruction of the environment)
Evils that DIMINISH Human Life (e.g., lack of education)
Does this framework for the prioritization of moral issues seem reasonable? Might a quick 30 to 60 second explanation of it the next time you’re challenged in some way about the importance of abortion be an effective response? If so, maybe it’s worth taking the time to commit it to memory.
Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.
1 Peter 3:15
AND NOW ON TO OUR REPORTS FROM THE SIDEWALK:
Tim managed the vigil from 7-9 and wrote:
God showered us with his blessings this morning – with sunshine and warmer temperatures and full and steady stream of prayer warriors. From the start, we had several sidewalk counselors on both sides of the clinic, plus across the street. The Choices Pregnancy Services mobile sonogram was present and parked directly across from the clinic. Father Tim and the Guardians For Life made a strong presence, lining both side of the sidewalk singing hymns and praying aloud. The Church of the Nazarene conducted a Jericho Walk praying and circling the clinic seven times.
There is a conference at the at the convention center attended by what appeared to be all college students. Most seemed interested in our witness and displays, and were pleasant and accepting of our greetings. I also noticed several of the newer clinic escorts looking closing at the fetal models. I’m certain we are planting seeds in their hearts. Last week one of the newer escorts said to us “Peace be with you”.
Tim B., 7-9
Jeannie was the shift manager from 9-11am and writes:
I happily joined the ever faithful GUARDIANS for LIFE who began during the earlier shift today. They come as a well organized, spirit filled group. I had the privilege of speaking with Barbara– a lovely “elder” of the group who uses a cane and was siting in a chair. She explained that she felt she would “be a burden” if she came, but we all knew, as does she, that EVERY LIFE MATTERS, and that she is a perfect witness for LIFE. I told her that folks like her inspire folks like me. They are wonderful examples of the work of God’s hands.
Members of St. Ferdinand parish were the “LIFE TEAM” for this shift, and they were supported by folks from nearby St. Gregory. Two scouts were working on a papal badge and joined in the rosary from those parishes as well. We had lovely Sidewalk Advocates with us like battling angels. Everyone who entered the clinic certainly heard there were other choices and that we were willing to help. At one point we felt we had a couple fully turn away, but sure enough— a “deathscort” came looking for them and hurried them into the building. Our hearts broke. Having worked a weekday afternoon/evening shift I have largely been spared the severe pain of watching helplessly as a couple gives up on life. As difficult as it is– it is a powerful affirmation that we NEED to be there to offer hope. Now, more than ever.
May God bless all who those wonderful folks witnessed on the sidewalk today, all those who passed the building , and all those involved with the sad, life-ending business that is Planned Parenthood. Keep us faithful!
Lindsay was the manager from 11a-1pm, and when she sends in a report it will be posted here:
Dean managed the vigil from 1-3 and wrote:
Thanks Linda, Tammy and Margie from Trinity Lutheran who were with me for my whole shift. Mike, Anthony, Katie and Luccia from Holy Assumption also came down to pray.
Kathy was the shift manager from 3-5. She wrote:
Praising God for beautiful sunshine. Thankful for women who prayed entire shift.
Grateful that Dean and Joe took pictures as i forgot my phone Two women took Healing the Hurt pamphlet which had pink resource sheet inside. Both looked sad and troubled but did not engage further. Other women coming out of pp refused it. I only offered to women coming out of pp as there was much foot traffic.
Rita came and shared her story of choosing adoption for third baby. nadine gave her much love and needed support.
Time went quickly!
Joe managed the final two hours. He writes:
Michele and I arrived to my shift and we were greeted by 3 joy-filled
ladies named Kathy, Rita, and Nadine( pictured).
On the other side, Linda, Margie, Gene and Tammy were dutifully praying.
Shortly thereafter, Steven and Kristen from Seton Hill U. and Tommy, Anna, Paul, and Teresa from St. Vincent College(pictured) showed up and stayed for my entire shift. What a gracious God to send me 6
beautiful, intelligent, enthusiastic lovers of Christ to pray with. Watching these young folk engage the young Christians, who were attending the Jubilee at the convention center, was very uplifting. I
wouldn’t be surprised if 40 days is graced with a few new faces. There presence was so positive that I did not see or hear any negative behavior directed at us.
What a sensational day, what lovely people, what a noble cause, and above all what a glorious and magnificent God.
Blessed Mother please help us,