Once again pro-lifers can voice public protest against the continued killing of unborn children in our province by attending the Good Friday Walk and Vigil which takes place annually at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s.
Last year there was controversy, as there may well be this year also.
Rather than support this protest—the largest, most newsworthy, and longest running demonstration against abortion in our province, dating back to the 1970’s—Archbishop Martin Currie, once again, has chosen to promote rather a newly styled Good Friday event, “a service of reflection and prayer on the dignity and value of all human life especially the most vulnerable in our society.”
(WARNING: Of course it will be reported widely that I’m a dyed in the wool activist and a combative right-winger who doesn’t believe in prayer.)
In a quiet, out of the public eye, venue at St. David's Presbyterian Church on 98 Elizabeth Ave, the Centre For Life will host its own version of a Good Friday Vigil for life, except no announcement will mention messy, distasteful and controversial words such as “abortion” or “pro-life” or “unborn” or “protest”.
The Archbishop publicized the prayer vigil on the Archdiocesan website, without any corresponding mention of the Good Friday Walk, thereby sanctioning the one and marginalizing—if not disapproving—the other. If Catholics happen to be too slow to figure that out, the daily news broadcast on Good Friday will, once again, place it squarely in context, gladly pointing out “the division in the pro-life camp.”
So the official position of the Archdiocese to the daily murder of little children comfortably nested in their mother’s wombs is:
DO NOT, under any circumstances, make public mention of such crimes.
DO NOT prescribe regular prayer at Mass times to remember such horrors taking place daily around us. A rare spontaneous prayer, if any, at Mass by a scattered parish priest or one accompanying a rosary may be tolerable.
DO NOT publicize, promote, sponsor or participate in the Good Friday Walk and Vigil, the March for Life on Confederation Hill in May month, the yearly Life Chain event in October, the International 40 Days for Life Initiative, our own 40 Hours For Life initiative, any pro-life conferences (national or local), any special public pro-life endeavours such as the Defund Abortion Campaign, any special Appeals for pro-life warriors in dire straits, any Provincial Population Growth Strategy Studies, any national town hall assemblies, or any “controversial” pro-life happenings such as when a Catholic pro-lifer gets knocked down outside a Catholic Church before Mass by a fellow Catholic.
DO sponsor the Centre For Life organization which “believes that every human life has intrinsic value” yet mentions abortion only in the context of post abortive counselling for the mother, never challenges abortion in a public context, never writes a letter to the editor in defense of the right to life of the unborn, never hosts a conference table anywhere to present a case for the unborn, never issues a press release highlighting the murder taking place in our midst each year, particularly when Stats Can issues yearly statistics, etc.
DO host a prayer event once or twice a year (at exactly the same time as other prominent public pro-life protests with historic precedent are taking place) and invite those who might be influenced to give up their public witness of life in favour of a more private and peaceful “protest.”
Pope Francis (as then Archbishop Bergoglio) in 2005 issued the following commission to the faithful Christian:
Defend the unborn against abortion even if they persecute you, calumniate you, set traps for you, take you to court or kill you. No child should be deprived of the right to be born…
I doubt that you’ll suffer any of these things at a prayer vigil once or twice a year. But that’s all Catholics are likely to believe is necessary to be pro-life in our Archdiocese. Who could blame them?
And as noted in another posting, “an acknowledgement alone of the rights of the unborn is not sufficient.” The letter and spirit of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” must be actively advanced. “The right to life must also be defended and promoted in order to restore true peace to our society and to forestall the judgment of God.”
Below is a copy of the announcement distributed by email advising of the upcoming Good Friday Walk and Vigil:
Dear Friends for Life:
Good Friday Prayer Vigil and Walk - Our prayer and witness for Life will be continued at the Health Science Centre as we pray with our counterparts in the pro-life movement. Vigils are also being held in Marystown and Corner Brook. We invite you to join us on Good Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot. Please feel free to ask family and friends to attend or to distribute this email message to any contacts you may wish.
If you have any questions, please call 364-1119/690-8503.
WE BELIEVE THAT:
-human life begins at conception;
-the right to life is a fundamental human right, and all other rights depend on it; and
-all human beings share this right equally from conception to natural death.
(The greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion--Mother Teresa)