In the last couple of weeks every time I tried to get down to write a post something popped up and distracted me, so apologies for the silence. I try not to leave it too long because I see this blog as part of my ministry, as suggested by Pope Benedict. Now it may not be a very successful ministry, but I try.
But what a couple of weeks! So much has happened, and is happening. First Dr Kermit Gosnell was found guilty - it was great news: a triumph, if only minor, for the pro-life cause. We have a long way to go: there are many other doctors, politicians and abortion rights activists who have yet to stand trial for their part in the mass extermination of the unborn and the destruction of women. It will take a major shift in society for that to happen, a major conversion in people's hearts and that is difficult.
That said, I was disappointed that some people who described themselves as pro-life were demanding the death penalty for Gosnell - that is not being pro-life! The late Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago spoke of the "seamless garment" when it came to pro-life issues. Now I know that has been used by liberals to distract and highlight social justice issues at the cost of the struggle against abortion, but he was right: to be pro-life means we seek to protect life at all stages. All people have the right to life regardless of what they have done. We believe in the mercy of God and the possibility of even the most hardened sinner to convert.
The pro-life movement is not about vengeance - it is about saving lives, even the lives if those who kill in the abortion clinic. Let us never forget that one of the great modern apostles of life was Dr Bernard Nathanson, a man who not only aborted tens of thousands of children, but was instrumental in the campaign to normalise abortion in the US. As Scripture reminds us, we must never take pleasure in the death of the evil person, but rather we should seek to rejoice at their turning back to God.
Our Taoiseach Enda Kenny is soon to receive his honorary doctorate at Boston College. Speaking as a Catholic Irishman and a priest, I am deeply disappointed at the Jesuits's decision to honour this man at a Catholic college. As with Notre Dame's honoring Barack Obama, this is a betrayal of our Catholic values. It will also be seen as support for Kenny's aggressive plan to impose abortion on our country. It is a scandal in many ways, but one of them is that it affirms Mr Kenny's view that you can be a good Catholic/Christian and still support abortion. He rejects the Pope and orthodox Catholic teaching in many areas and yet he still sees himself as a Catholic in good standing. In this honour from one of the main Catholic institutions in the US his error is reinforced and an opportunity to help his conversion has been missed. I also think that those in Boston College who have decided to defy the Church and confer this honour now share some responsibility for Kenny's actions.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley has once again shown himself to be a true pastor in the midst of this. He made the right decision, not only in not going to Boston College for the Commencement, but also in explaining why in a public manner. In doing this he is simply fulfilling his role as teacher in his diocese. He has been attacked for doing so, and some journalists have been scathing, among them Niall O'Dowd, founder of the Irish Voice, an Irish-American newspaper. O'Dowd, a confirmed Democrat and personal friend of the Clintons, said that the Cardinal broke his promise to Boston College. It seems the College did not want to create an issue and so while accepting the Cardinal's decision, wanted him to remain silent. Well, if the Cardinal had originally agreed to remain silent he was wrong to do so: as a pastor of souls he could not remain silent in face of this scandal. O'Dowd accuses the Cardinal of embarrassing Enda Kenny. Well, Kenny seeks to do worse to the unborn children of Ireland.
What O'Dowd seems to be saying is that we do not speak the truth for fear of embarrassing people, or embarrassing his pro-abortion allies anyway. Well, I think Jesus said and did differently in his ministry - he did not spare the Pharisees when he spoke the truth. Of course as any Irish person will realise it is quite ironic to accuse the Cardinal of breaking a promise to Enda Kenny - that same Taoiseach has left a trail of broken promises since his election, the most serious being that to the unborn of Ireland when he assured us he would not legislate for abortion if he were elected. Pro-life people believed him, and in the hindsight we see how foolish we were to do so; we know better now.
Silence is one the pro-abortion movement's great tactics. They hide the reality of abortion from the eyes of the general public; they are silent about the child which they refuse to acknowledge; they demand silence from those who oppose them; they attempt to silence public representatives through fear. They silence the women who fell for their arguments about "choice" and now suffer psychologically, spiritually and physically from the trauma of abortion - these most "compassionate" abortion providers have no time for the women hurt by abortion. And when things go wrong in the clinic, which they do at an alarming rate, they cover it up. The tragedy of the Gosnell case for them was that it broke that silence and so they had to come up with a feeble response and an objectionable accusation - it was the pro-lifers's fault.
No, Cardinal O'Malley was right not to remain silent, he was right to expose the fact that Boston College are defying the Church and defying Christ in honouring a man who seeks to destroy human life. Silent no more; lies no more, but truth. Time for people to see abortion for what it is.