I am pro-life. I wasn’t always. But it was during my first pregnancy, when I began to understand the stages of life from conception to birth, that I began to comprehend the sanctity of the unborn child. That pregnancy ended in miscarriage after nine weeks, and I mourned the loss of a baby, not a fetus. I didn’t become Catholic, however, until after my daughter from my second pregnancy was born.
As a Catholic journalist I am dismayed by the manner in which the Center for Medical Progress’s (CMP) videos are taken as a whole cloth truth. How quickly do we endorse the news that supports our viewpoint. Are we not to be skeptical of all news sources? Are we not called to seek the truth? Abortion is evil – we must never lose sight of that. The CMP videographers were no doubt motivated by that truth.
In 1729, the Irish clergyman and satirist Jonathan Swift — the author of Gulliver’s Travels — published a satirical essay in the style of the Roman poet Juvenal (“It is difficult not to write satire”), entitled A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick.
In church circles, we often use the word “welcome” to express our desire to greet newcomers. We have “welcome packets” and “welcome gatherings.” And although the word “welcome” hints at what we are about as the Body of Christ, it isn’t enough.
At his inaugural Mass in Saint Peter’s Square on March 19, 2013, the Jorge Mario Bergoglio acknowledged that, as Pope Francis, he “must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison,” citing Matthew 25:31-46.
First, some disclaimers: I have not read the recently released novel “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee. Nor have I read Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” in decades. I have watched the film more recently. Thus, Atticus Finch, in my mind, is most like Gregory Peck’s character in the film. Because of the strong portrayal in the film, Atticus’s rendering in the novel is often confused with Peck’s role.
On Wednesday, June 17, a 21-year-old white man killed nine black worshippers and wounded another by shooting up Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The dead included the church’s Senior Pastor and State Senator Clementa Pinckney, Susie Jackson, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., Ethel Lance, Myra Thompson, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Tywanza Sanders.
We experience grief in our most intimate losses, from the heart-wrenching death of a loved one to the unsettling loss of a job or a home. As personal as grief can be, it is also universal.
Grief is experienced globally when acts of nature or acts of war cause human suffering on a massive scale. Grief is experienced nationally when a beloved leader or celebrity dies. Shared grief has the power to unite us. As a country, we grieved over the attacks of September 11, 2001.
While they’ve been acquainted for almost two years, the relationship between my neighbor and Jay has been awkward. At first, they would casually talk in the neighborhood when my neighbor, walking his dog, would encounter Jay on the street.
Gradually, Jay began stopping at my neighbor’s door, asking to use his cellphone, requesting a ride, and eventually asking for money.