Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Respect Life Month

Dear Parishioners,

October is traditionally the month of the Holy Rosary.

It is also Respect Life month.

The two seem to go together so perfectly as I encourage you to pray the rosary each day for an increase of the awareness in our society of the sanctity of all human life—from the moment of conception until natural death.  We especially pray to end practices like abortioneuthanasia and embryonic stem cell research and pray that all human beings be treated with their God-given dignity and respect.

Sadly, on the news just recently I learned about two young drivers in Las Vegas who deliberately hit a man on a bicycle and killed him. The cyclist was a retired police chief, Andreas Probst. The video of the incident was boldly posted by the laughing perpetrators on social media. How life has indeed become so cheap and seemingly disposable! It is frightening that there are various incidents where the homeless are set on fire, elderly are beaten and robbed, children are tortured and sexually assaulted, the infirm or handicapped are physically abused, etc., etc. We need to insist that all human life never be treated with such lack of dignity and respect, but rather as a gift from God which is to be honored and preserved.

Do not be deceived by people who claim things like: “A woman has a right to choose.” First of all, without denying our God-given free will, the conceived baby is a separate human person who had no “choice” in the matter of his/her conception. Since we may never “choose” that which is intrinsically evil, no one can make the “choice” to take an innocent human life.

With regard to embryonic stem cell research, the same results can be achieved by using stem cells taken by other means. I quote the Document of the Holy See on Human Cloning:

“There are two potential sources of stem cells for human research, firstly "adult" stem cells, which are derived from the umbilical cord blood, the bone marrow and other tissues and secondly "embryonic" stem cells, which are obtained by the disaggregation of human embryos.  The Holy See opposes the cloning of human embryos for the purpose of destroying them in order to harvest their stem cells, even for a noble purpose, because it is inconsistent with the ground and motive of human biomedical research, that is, respect for the dignity of human beings.  However, the Holy See applauds and encourages research using adult stem cells, because it is completely compatible with respect for the dignity of human beings.”

Euthanasia, sometimes called “mercy killing” is usually presented as a humane solution to a life of suffering. However, “playing God” and actively putting a person to death by some direct means is morally wrong. (A person may choose, however, to take no extraordinary means to keep himself/herself alive.)

Human life needs to be respected and honored as sacred. After all, Jesus Christ chose to become one of us—a human being—in all things but sin.

Fr. Ed Namiotka


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