Standing Strong in the Face of Death

Latin America never ceases to amaze me. In particular it is Central America with tiny countries smaller than the size of most of our states which is shining a light to the rest of the world right now. Despite our own disappointments, weeks after significant pro-life defeats (such as in Missouri and South Dakota), we can rejoice that our neighbors in Nicaragua have succeeded in outlawing abortion in all circumstances!

American pro-lifers, still stinging with the pain of defeat, will find encouragement, consolation and insight in the heroes of Latin America whose refusal to cave in to the anti-life agenda has earned them the admiration of the worldwide pro-life community. The little pro-life David fought off the anti-life Goliath, and now we know it can be done.

Nicaragua's action comes as the latest in a series of actions by Central American countries that astound us for their amazing feistiness. In 1999 El Salvador re-wrote its constitution to insert protection of human life "from the moment of conception," the first country on record ever to do that. In 2005 the United Nations issued a non-binding resolution on all forms of human cloning after a three-year campaign led by Costa Rica – imagine the United Nations actually doing something moral for a change! Also in 2005, another Central American country, Honduras, steadfastly rejected attempts to legalize the morning after pill there. I am proud to tell you that these efforts were spearheaded by HLI's affiliates and great pro-life friends in these countries and supported by you, our extended HLI family.

 With regard to Nicaragua, in early October HLI's Dr. Rafael Cabrera and other pro-life leaders, working with the Church, called a pro-life march demanding the removal of the one provision in their criminal code which allowed abortions for "therapeutic" reasons. This weasel word is of course a loophole in any law allowing doctors to kill babies for the flimsiest of reasons or lie about the reasons and avoid prosecution. More than two hundred thousand people came to the march! That this country of only three million people was able to muster a courageous outcry in defense of the unborn was due both to the effective organizing efforts of a few but also to their disgust with the intrusions of international agencies like UNICEF and arrogant western governments like Germany and Finland who intervened fiercely to stop the abortion ban. It's about time the smaller nations threw off their rich exploiters.

In the face of this kind of public display of values, Nicaraguan politicos, typical of politicians everywhere, blew with the wind – they voted 59-0 to outlaw abortion! As I have mentioned before, politics change when culture changes, and culture changes when hearts change. Would that America had the heart of our feisty little neighbors to the south!

The foundation of such a social renewal movement is found in the dynamic and powerful leadership of Church leaders who stand up to the powers that be and rebuke them. In all of these countries, the bishops have refused to be silent and instead have led their people to victory. A special mention must be made of Miguel Cardinal Obando of Managua for marching in the front of the multitude of his people like the Good Shepherd in the Gospel (cf. Jn 10:4).

Let us continue to pray for our Central American neighbors, that they maintain their strength and courage and persevere on the pro-life battle front. They have been mightily threatened with reprisals. Let us also pray for our own country, and our bishops, that we too may find the courage as they did, to stand strong in the face of death.

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  • Guest

    What do we have, 400-some ordinaries in this country?

    Imagine them marching a few times every year, arm-in-arm, in one or another big city, for life and dignity of the human person.

    Each city in turn would have a ‘tourism’ bonanza and each large turn-out would make the media get schizoid with having to cover, and yet not wanting to. Their subtle slurs would become more obvious for them having to engage in them so often.

    Share podiums with fire-breathing pro-life Protestants who so well parcel the kinds of sound bites that media can’t bring themselves to ignore.

    In each march parade, small floats about Project Rachel and local agencies who truly reach out to pregnant women and their babies in every way of life; sandwich and outer-wear wagons handing out food and warmth and brochures of food kitchens and pantries, clothing outlets, PADS houses and support organizations for the homeless.

    NFP should have a strong presence, just to get more widely known.

    Gays and PPA and the like want to march, too? I’ll vote for such tolerance, as long as they march with banners noting that they are there for contrast rather than association – and, they disarm the politicoes and de-fang the media just by being there.

    Imagine – imagine . . .

    I remain your obedient servant, but God’s first,

    Pristinus Sapienter

    (wljewell @mail.catholicexchange.com or …yahoo.com)

  • Guest

    On pilgrimage a few years ago, I was fortunate enough to see the painting Last Judgment by Fra ANGELICO. Many focus on the left side and the gates to heaven. On the right side waiting at the gates of hell we find a bishop, clergy, religious and laity.

    In the US we have several weak bishops (USCCB included) unwilling to shepherd their flock. We have many priests unwilling to speak the truth from the pulpit. We have religious unwilling to teach the truth from the classroom. We have laity (politicians included) unwilling to walk the truth with their families.

    While our bishops, clergy, religious and laity posture to be seen in the best light by others, their souls have entered the state of darkness.

    We do indeed have the right to choose. Many choose the gates of hell.

    God will be just. I pray for those who have chosen death over life.

    God bless the unborn. God bless the human race. God bless HLI, Priests for Life, and all of the Pro-Life ministries. Amen

  • Guest

    I truly believe in Apostolic Successsion. However, when I read about the vast numbers of bishops and priests such as described above (and I have also said and observed the same things), my faith is shaken. How can I entrust my immortal soul to those wolves in sheep’s clothing? How can I evangelize a Protestant on the validity of Holy Orders? Pope Pius X (I believe) wrote in his Catechism on Modernism that the Church would be poisoned from its tap root. We indeed observe this today. Christ has assured us of the permanence of the Church, however, and I do believe him.

    I just don’t know who to trust other than our saintly pope, Benedict XVI.

    And to a good many of the clergy: “Better a millstone were hung around your neck than to lead one of these little ones astray.” (In raising my own children, I keep those words of CHrist within my soul. Parenting and shepherding are true burdens (in the full sense of the term). I do recognize that we’re fallen humans. And, therefore, the clergy must be looked at through that lens. However, they are being showered with the grace of Episcopal Ordination. When will they correspond to the grace and do the heroic (heroic?) action of vociferously defending an unborn about to be murdered?

    May God have mercy on us all and may the Blessed Mother continue calling her priests into the Sacred Heart of her son…the Christ.

    Rejoicing in Hope! (which is Bishop Robert Baker of South Carolina’s motto.)

  • Guest

    How can you entrust your immortal soul to the wolves? Only by faith!
    Only in faith in our God who has won for us eternal salvation…ALREADY WON.

    I can certainly understand how your faith is shaken. And it seems silly to say that it takes faith to get past it. But that ’tis the nature of faith. To go beyond (not in contradiction…but beyond) where logic can take us.

  • Guest

    “Transcend”, right Loretta?

    Know God has you (and me and all of us) picked for forever, from His love. His loove transcendeth all understanding, perhaps, but it will get you past any wolves, well enough.

    I remain your obedient servant, but God’s first,

    Pristinus Sapienter

    (wljewell @mail.catholicexchange.com or …yahoo.com)

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