A Catholic Canadian’s look at the 2012 March for Life in Washington DC.
Being a former student of the Franciscan University of Steubenville Ohio (GO BARONS!), The March For Life in DC is very dear to my heart. Franciscan Students pride themselves in being one the the biggest school presences in the March every year. The turn out every year seems to be becoming larger, I may be wrong. As Team Orthodoxy, let it be stated that we strongly believe in the Pro-Life Movement and the Right to Life. Each member of Team Orthodoxy participated this past year in the 40 Days for Life, praying in front of an abortion mill for an end to abortion. For years before the days of “Team Orthodoxy”, all of us were in full support of Pro-life movements ie. Priests for Life, Rock for Life, Stand True, Live Action, Campaign Life Coalition, etc. You will see that most of the above movements are in fact, American.
DISCLAIMER: I’m going to speak critically for a moment, so please if you’re sympathetic to egg shells, please go to the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops website and wait till the feeling subsides and then return to watching Cat videos on Youtube.
As a Catholic living in Canada I am appauled, nay, DISGUSTED at our lack of pro-life involvement from Laity on up to Bishops. Why is it common to look around at the March for Life in DC and see Bishops everywhere yet in Canada you’d be hard pressed to find one at the March in Ottawa-especially if they are not on the speaking roster? Where are the Bishops?
I strongly believe in the work of the Marches for Life and truly pro-life protests and rallies. I believe in the work of true pro-life ministries, the work of Pro-life walks, etc. I have spent much time speaking about and sharing the truth about abortion with youth while I was in high school and while working in youth ministry. I will gladly wear my “Abortion is Homicide” shirt by Rock For Life with pride in public. I’m currently wearing a pro-life t-shirt and hoodie from Stand True-Christ Centred Pro Life Ministries. I’m wearing it in my place of employment – event after being threatened not to by certain individuals who are less than sympathetic to the Pro-Life cause. I know you all just wanted to know what my wardrobe was, so in charity I thought I’d share -you’re welcome. I’m saying this to let you know I’m definitely pro-life. However I believe there is something wrong with our plan of attack.
Similar to Catholic High School youth rallies, you find a certain event-high mentality. Who has seen this before?
“I just got back from a Steubenville Conference and I LOVE JESUS NOW and I’m totally going to be a GOOD CATHOLIC”
Three months later…
“My church isn’t the same as Steubenville. The music is not as good and
the priest is REALLY boring…I’m going to stop being catholic because it’s not as fun as I thought”
Anyone who is a serious Catholic, having attended a youth conference has seen this attitude. It’s lame but it happens. Whether it’s Steubenville, COR, Youth 2000, NCYC, World Youth Day, etc – when the going gets tough, the weak starting running (away).
Now here is where I become even more critical…
It’s easy to be pro-life, just like it’s easy to be catholic, amidst sympathetic, like-minded individuals. Remove the cushion of the crowd, and it’s just you. I can empathize with our Bishops, especially in the culture in which we live in Canada. Being vocal on these types of social isses can be seen as taboo and inappropriate to speak about from the Ambo. Those Bishops, the ones with the backbone, get noticed and do take flack for their courage from their brother clergy and even public officials, who shy away from anything remotely controversial. Abortion and Euthanasia seems to be one of the main hot button topics that is being greatly avoided.
However, though you may get flack for your Catholic stance, don’t think Rome doesn’t see it, dear Bishops. Look at Toronto’s own Archbishop, hammer of Apostates, CARDINAL-DESIGNATE THOMAS COLLINS. Check out New York’s own Archbishop Timothy Dolan -soon to be a Cardinal as well. BOTH SOLID MEN – 100% PRO LIFE.
It’s time we start getting back on track, from the laity to the Catholic Conferences of Bishops, world wide. The world has turned on the Church not simply because of the sex abuse scandal, but because She has been perceived as the weak little lamb, who can be pushed around and eventually destroyed. The Church IS truly a force to be reckoned with (which will NEVER be destroyed as our Lord promises in Matt 16:18), but on the local level we appear to be the underdog.
Jesus entrusted Himself and His Divine Teaching to this Church. We are the one’s carrying the Weapon that can blow wide open the culture of death. Nobody seems to remember the code to set the bomb though. The password is simple: COURAGE. “Whom shall we fear” as the Psalmist says? Afraid of your numbers dropping, Bishops? They already are, not because of tough preaching, but because of providing nothing substantial. Many of them leave to join protestant communities where they feel their presence matters firstly and secondly that they can receive nourishment, albeit it’s all filler. At least they are getting something to nourish their spiritual lives except the Social Justice Gospel which saves no one from the fires of Hell. I deal with fundamentalists on a regular basis. In my experience, many of them are fallen away Catholics. When I listen to their arguments for why they left, it proves what St. Jean Vianey said over 100 years ago, that the main reason why people fall away from the faith, is because they were never taught the true faith in the beginning.
I think the plague of bad catechesis is currently spreading like a disease – barely and poorly catechized parents, negligent priests and Bishops, liberal and anti-catholic elementary and high school teachers in the Catholic school school system, all peddling this distorted and false Catholicism like cheap watches on every street corner. We’re now into whole new generations of unfaithful “Catholics” and it’s not slowing but growing at a fast rate. A child may be able to answer what Transubstantiation means, but cannot answer why it matters for them – it probably helps that the only Masses they’ll attend will be school masses.
This is my fault.
I take responsibility for being lax and not defending the faith enough. I wish I had more guts in school to encourage my friends to get back to Mass. I wish I had had more courage to share the joy I received from the Blessed Sacrament with my heterodox religion teachers. Though I work with Team Orthodoxy now and have been involved in various Catholic ministries over the years, I can say, when the going has gotten tough, I’ve failed numerous times to defend the truth. MEA CULPA, MEA CULPA, MEA MAXIMA CULPA (Please see Confiteor for full admission of guilt). However, by God’s grace, I know that I can admit this fault but also by Divine Mercy, get up and change and turn this RV of my life around (I’m a little bit husky). This is why we are all invested in this site, because we know that the time for silence is long gone and that we as Catholics need to SPEAK UP.
The truth is, if we’ve been too silent, our priests and Bishops have given us great example – not that I blame them for our own faults, but I think their aversion of the real hard hitting truth of the Gospel, spoken in love, is why the vast lethargy in the pews remains. Now, America is left holding the bag now with President Obama’s controversial decision to demand by law that religious groups pay for contraceptives for their employees.
Well, the world sees the Church without a backbone, and therefore puts us where we belong, on the ground. This would never have happened if we had been strong in our defensive from the start. Though we’ve failed, there is still hope though. Remember why we are Catholic! The aversion of the Truth done by so many is not Roman Catholicism! The teachings of the Magisterium and the Holy Fathers, supported by the great Saints, doctors, and Early Church fathers, along with the most important factor, our Blessed Lord in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and the voice of the Remnant is coming loud and clear. Just look at the Internet – it’s booming with Laity to Cardinals saying “Enough is enough”. This is the Church with a spine that stands, like the Blessed Virgin (Stabat Mater), before the Cross.
I guess my little fervino is we can experience conversion and make a difference. How? Firstly, we must PRAY. Unite ourselves to Christ through prayer and surrender all that we are to Him. Pray for our priests Bishops in our dioceses and countries (SHAMELESS PLUG-PLEASE JOIN THE ADOPT-A-BISHOP CAMPAIGN THROUGH THE PRAYER SECTION). We must pray for an end to abortion (Join things like the 40 Days for Life and connect with your local right to Life chapter). We must live the Sacramental and Moral Life, as set out by Christ and the Church. From here, this is where the change begins in the world. Get out there and start speaking out in whatever capacity you can. You never know the impact something you might do will have. I recently posted my video response to Jefferson Bethke’s video, “Why I hate religion but love Jesus” on Youtube. I thought I might get a couple hundred hits on the video at most. I’m over 12,000 views as of today and tons of comments. Praise God and pass the ammunition as they say. It’s a grassroots movement we have here, but if we stand together, we can make a difference!
Let’s end abortion!
If you want a better ferverino, check out this Testimony of Former Presbyterian, now Roman Catholic pro-life activist Bryan Kemper.
In the Immaculata,
Posted on January 27, 2012, in Apologetics, Bishop Thomas Collins, Cardinals, Catholic, Catholic Clergy, Church Corruption and Renewal, contraception, Current Events, faith, Love, Orthodoxy, Pope, pro-life, rape, Testimony and tagged Bryan Kemper, Canadian Catholic, Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops, Franciscan University, Jesus, March for Life 2012, Thomas Collins, Timothy Dolan. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.