A letter from Cardinal George:
December 28, 2012Feast of the Holy Innocents
A twinkling star millions of miles distant provides light in a darkened sky, viewed by all – even over centuries. The star of Bethlehem enlightens our darkened world; a world embedded with a continual tendency toward violence, especially among our most vulnerable – the child in the womb, children in classrooms, and children on our streets. Our original grace in Eden was likeness to God albeit with vulnerability: They were naked and felt no shame (Gen 2.28); the original sin was thinking how we could become like God, and so hide or deny our God-given need for Him.
A sad anniversary is upon us – the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton that were handed down on January 22, 1973.
From then to now, unique, living, human, and vulnerable life became expendable, unprotected by civil law.
This ‘choice’ to nurture life or to cut it short remains an abhorrent option. This anniversary provides us an opportunity to reform individual conscience.
Take up this challenge.
Vulnerable lives need our voices, our passion, and our truth-saying as spoken by the prophet Isaiah: You are precious in my eyes and I love you. (Is 43.4)
Our faith holds conception and birth in the highest esteem:
- the Annunciation (March 25) and the Nativity of our Lord (December 25);
- the Immaculate Conception (December 8) and the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8);
- the Birth of John the Baptist (June 24).
We are convinced that a child from the moment of conception is made in the image and likeness of God.
We cannot tire of presenting the fact that human life begins at conception.
At this time, the deepest relationships begin: parent and child; child and Creator; this child in communion with all humanity.
As Pope Benedict XVI wisely counseled the world and some new ambassadors on June 10, 2011, we need an ecology of the human person.
We need to foster a culture of receiving the sacred and unique person in the womb when first announced as present among us.
We need to encourage our families to become strong; families are the fabric of society and Church.
We need to continue to shape public conversations about a culture friendly to family and new life.
To help you to observe this anniversary, you will soon receive a separate mailing from our Respect Life Office containing a variety of resources for bulletins, homilies and agencies that can be of service to your parishioners. This season of birth, family, and light invites us to renewed compassion and commitment. Thank you for your dedication to your people, especially the vulnerable. You are in my daily prayers; please keep me in yours.
Fraternally yours in Christ,
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Chicago