Protesters stand outside Planned Parenthood in Northeast Portland.
Some Catholics have put aside personal comfort to fight for life from conception to natural death. Surely, each of us can find some way to contribute amid all the options for honoring God's great gift.
Some advocate peacefully against abortion in the streets and in the halls of government. They withstand scorn from those steeped in a culture of autonomy.
Other Catholics support young mothers and their babies, humbly countering that fallacious old bromide about pro-lifers caring more for children in the womb that those outside. How many of those critics of the Catholic Church have established adoption services, opened homes for teen moms, established a hospital or started a school?
Some among us reach out to men and women wounded emotionally and spiritually by having aborted a child. Still others buy ultrasound machines so uneasy expecting mothers can see the life moving and growing within. We have peers who battle human trafficking rings or declare that the government cannot execute prisoners in our name. Some of us provide comfort and love for those at the end of life, so no patient will feel like a burden and be tempted to take a state-sanctioned overdose.
Catholics should “renew their personal commitment to defend all human life, especially the most vulnerable members of the human family,” Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said, promoting October 7 as Respect Life Sunday and October as Respect Life Month.
Cardinal DiNardo said Catholics have a duty to apply principles of faith and morals in the public square. He and the other bishops are urging Catholics to witness to "the transcendent nature of the human person" by defending life and giving compassionate service to those in need. Only selfless love is strong enough to change a "culture of death," the cardinal explained.
Oregon's respect life workers often say they wish more Catholics would invest themselves in the cause, even moderately.
Pope Benedict has said, “If we want peace, let us defend life!” If more of us Oregon Catholics don't answer his call, who will?