An Opportunity to Repent and Renew
Spiritual and Temporal Proposals for a Pro-Life Response from Philadelphia Catholics to Coronavirus Concerns
The Catholic Church has led the pro-life movement’s response to the vast Culture of Death, particularly the killing of children before birth by abortion. She has equipped and exhorted many of Her Members to save millions of lives, mitigate God’s Judgment for this unspeakable crime, and provide realistic hope of ending this deadly injustice. The current COVID-19 crisis’ hardships offer challenges to overcome and opportunities to assist the Church’s efforts to build a Culture of Life.
I propose that our spiritual and temporal responses include the following actions.
– Call for repentance, healing not normalcy, and renewed pro-life activities
– Urge our civil leaders to act consistently with their own directives and close the surgical abortion facilities
Our spiritual responses to COVID-19 concerns also need to include a call to repentance for the continuing vast practice of killing children before birth in our nation and Archdiocese, which is, respectively, about one million and 30,000. Our nation is witnessing heroic actions by our relatively few medical providers in an effort to save those most vulnerable to COVID-19. Yet, our nation continues to overlook – and even applaud – the intentional killing, in far greater numbers, by other medical personnel of the most vulnerable among us – those children conceived but not yet born. Perhaps God is allowing our COVID-19 concerns and hardships to awaken us from this inconsistency and apathy, make some reparation for our Culture of Death, and spare ourselves and our nation from further hardships.
The Lenten Season begins with the prophet Isaiah’s admonition that God will much more readily grant our petitions if we wash our blood-covered hands. Scripture also teaches us that God allowed the destruction of Israel and the Babylonian Captivity because Israel sacrificed their children to the pagan god, Moloch. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that God allowed the vast death and destruction of the Civil War as a chastisement for our nation’s practice and toleration of slavery.
The distortion of human sexuality and freedom into license has caused most of the manifestations of our nation’s current Culture of Death, particularly killing children before birth. Thus, the COVID-19 crisis is an appropriate Penance because this crisis is resulting in reduced physical contact and loss of individual freedom.
Meanwhile, leading pro-abortion public officials, such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who champions a “right” to kill children until birth, proclaim that our COVID-19 response should be guided by the need to “protect the sanctity of all human life.” The Church clergy and laity have an opportunity to respond to such brazen inconsistency.
Despite a ban on elective surgical procedures, abortion facilities remain open because abortion industry personnel remain committed to provide their “service” despite COVID-19 concerns because they consider pregnancy to be a disease. Their directive to their “escorts” to stay away indicates that they are fully aware of the risk of COVID-19 exposure from their “patients.” Christians have an opportunity to match or exceed this commitment by continuing to publicly pray, counsel and witness, while socially distancing, at abortion chambers.
Some other pro-abortion public officials, such as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Tom Wolf, are attempting to use COVID-19 public policy responses to expand abortion. Meanwhile, most pro-life Governors, who have ordered a halt to non-elective surgical procedures, are still allowing abortion facilities to commit surgical abortions.
Meanwhile, in Pa., through our actions and urging our legislators to act, we can resist Gov. Wolf’s attempts to abuse expanded Telemedicine services that could effectively eliminate Pa.’s informed consent requirement for chemical abortions. Finally, our actions can include a massive turnout for the Pa. March For Life in Harrisburg, when it is re-scheduled.
Finally, let us pray for healing for individuals, our nation, and the Church – and not just a “return to normalcy.” America’s normalcy had become a vast Culture of Death. The COVID-19 crisis has already closed many abortion chambers, reduced the number of abortions being committed, and caused people to re-evaluate their priorities. The COVID-19 crisis provides the Church with an excellent opportunity to promote a Culture of Life.
Michael J. McMonagle is the President of the Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania firstname.lastname@example.org