Magazine article The Human Life Review

March on for Life

Magazine article The Human Life Review

March on for Life

Article excerpt

[William Doino, Jr. is a contributor to Inside the Vatican magazine, among many other publications, and writes often about religion, history and politics. He contributed an extensive bibliography of works on Pius XII to The Pius War: Responses to the Critics of Pius XII. The following article was published on January 12, 2015, on the website of First Things ( and is reprinted with permission.]

Forty years have passed since the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision, on January 22, 1973, and our country has never been the same since. Abortion is the worst domestic crime ever sanctioned by America, and the statistics become more grim by the year: nearly 60 million unborn children have been legally murdered since Roe.

Because of the confused times we live in, the full extent of this evil has not yet been recognized. In the Fall of 2013, for instance, Pope Francis gave an interview which was interpreted-or rather, misinterpreted-as downplaying the ongoing abortion Holocaust, "We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," he said. While the Church's teaching is clear, he went on, "it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."

"The dogmatic and moral teachings of the Church are not all equivalent," Francis continued. "The Church's pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently." He said that the Church should instead be highlighting the "essentials of the Gospel"-the love, mercy and salvific power of Jesus Christ-because "it is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow."

Francis was trying to explain how the moral teachings of the Church are woven within the larger fabric of the Gospel, and how evangelization should be advanced in that context, but that is not how it was received. The pope's comments, particularly his use of the word "obsessed," were employed to mercilessly attack social conservatives and to denigrate the pro-life movement. "Pope Says the Church is 'Obsessed' with Gays, Abortion, Birth Control," blared the New York Times. "Pope Seeks Less Focus on Abortion, Gays, Contraception," followed USA Today.

Despite all of this, there are more reasons to hope in the pro-life movement than to despair because of abortion. …

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