by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees
Priest Hears Confessions in Outdoor Shed
Fr. Daniel O’Mullane, pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Boonton NJ, sits in a grey shed on church grounds while parishioners walk up to the shed window to make their confessions. Fr. Dan sits on a folding chair behind a fabric screen six feet away, counseling parishioners and prescribing penance. [The Beacon, 4/2/20]
That is one of the many unique ways our faithful priests serve their flock. Other priests are reaching out to homebound parishioners through video chats & podcasts. Many are livestreaming Masses, sending regular updates to their parishioners, providing counseling and teaching virtually, and going live on social media to offer love, support and prayer to their communities. Some have even set up drive-up Eucharistic adoration. Taking all due precautions, priests are visiting & comforting the sick in hospitals. Several bishops have provided leadership, especially those who literally have brought the Eucharist to all corners of their dioceses.
We can only pray that what we are witnessing in Italy does not come to the U.S. As of the beginning of April, more than 60 Italian priests have died. Many were hospital chaplains and likely contracted the virus by administering the sacraments to the sick & dying. Their sacrifice, made in service to the Church its people, cannot be forgotten. [Editorial, Our Sunday Visitor, 4/5/20]
Postscript: At the end of last month, the Dept. of Homeland Security included “clergy for essential support” in its definitive list of federal agency personnel. Thus, they are treated like first responders, moving and ministering on the front lines.
Ohio Abortionists Defy Closure Order
“After being told that they must stop all abortion procedures to fight the spread of the coronavirus and to avoid using precious protective gear needed for health care workers tending to those suffering from the disease, abortion providers in Ohio are defying orders to close up shop. In a joint statement, Ohio Planned Parenthood leaders said the it “can still continue providing essential procedures, including surgical abortions.” On March 20, Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Fulkerson told the clinics that “if you or your facility do not immediately stop … the Dept. of Health will take all appropriate measures.” It’s unfathomable that while some doctors and nurses are working tirelessly to keep people alive, at their own risk, others are claiming that ending human life is an “essential service.” [Our Sunday Visitor, 4/5/20]
For Teens Stuck at Home
Did you see Teen Vogue is back encouraging teens as young as thirteen to sext? Last month the magazine posted a Snapchat Discovery story with the following message and worse: “Like Anything Worth Doing, Sexting Takes Practice.”
Last week, the Human Life Alliance launched the 2020/21 teen abstinence magazine Just for Girls/Just for Guys. Put your pro-life beliefs into action during the COVID-19 epidemic by giving copies of this important magazine to a teen you know today. Now’s a perfect time—they’re captive at home due to the virus.
The content is irresistible, practical, appealing, all in the format of a glossy magazine. It has science, advice, stories, etc. And even though young people aren’t reading that much anymore, they read this. They get immediately engrossed in it when they sit down. At first they might giggle a bit, but then they get very serious. Request your copy today. The teen you love will be glad you cared enough to share Just for Girls/Just for Guys with them. [www.humanlife.org]
Life and Death
The Easter season doesn’t end with Holy Week but begins on Easter Sunday. Go back to read one of the Gospel accounts of when the tomb was found empty. This is the center point of human history and should take on that significance in our lives. The season means life has conquered death – new life is available for all. For those of us who struggle to promote respect for all human life, Easter gives us renewed hope that truth will defeat falsehood, that light will overpower darkness, and a culture of life will outshine a culture of death. So, no matter what sorrow surrounds us, no matter the difficulties of the current pandemic, we can be filled with hope and joy. Happy Easter!!
If God Is All Powerful, Why Does He Allow This?
Gideon asked this question in the biblical narrative of Judges. That was in the 12th century B.C. Such questions plague even the strongest people of faith. Facing the pandemic, many today struggle to believe and to hope. The question of evil, pain and suffering in the world is ultimately a question of God’s existence. God doesn’t explain why to us. It remains a mystery. But He does show us how to defeat the enemy. God has gifted us with the means to deal with the evils we face. The many health care workers, the doctors and nurses, our government officials, religious leaders, volunteers and all people of good will who are doing their best to fight this battle: they are God’s response. “By my strength, my help, my grace, you can do it!” [Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, The Question of God in the Midst of a Pandemic, April 2020]
Marriage Involves Procreating New Life
As human beings, we possess bodies and souls. Basically, all humans grow and eventually decline. All need nourishment, air and water. All are subject to disease. All die. All have the emotional ability to love, even heroically. All are inclined to relate, very personally and perhaps exclusively, with others. All have the potential to procreate new life in personal conjunction with another human of the opposite gender.
The sacrament of marriage provides true believers the opportunity to pursue the purpose for which God created them. It enables & enhances the human inclination to love unselfishly and without qualification. Marriage also involves procreation since humans are capable of uniting with others in creating new life. In the ideal, procreation should occur in a loving marital relationship that provides a mother and father for children that are brought into the world. The Catholic Church supports traditional marriage because it is part of a much larger vision of who & what we are, as humans created by God to love and serve Him. [Msg. Owen F. Campion, Our Sunday Visitor, 1/19/20]
If the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition of all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination, then the common outcry, justly made on behalf of human rights (for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture), is false and illusory. [Pope John Paul II, The Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World, 1988.]
WHO Claims Abortion is “Essential”
The World Health Organization recently stated: “Women’s choices and rights to sexual and reproductive health care should be respected, irrespective of whether or not she has a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.” However, medical groups representing over 33,000 doctors disagree. Yet, WHO insists that “services related to reproductive health are considered to be part of essential services during the COVID-19 outbreak,” adding that it provides both global technology and policy guidance to WHO members “on the use of contraception to prevent unintended pregnancy, safe abortion, and treatment of complications from unsafe abortion.” [Ed: As of April 7th, there have been 1,429,437 cases of the coronavirus worldwide and 82,074 people have died from the virus.]
In the USA, Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Indiana, Mississippi & Iowa have declared abortions non-essential and banned these procedures to preserve equipment & resources for fighting coronavirus. Yet Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, Hawaii and Virginia, that have all banned elective medical procedures, have made an exception for abortion procedures. [Mary Margaret Olohan, www.LifeNews.com, 4/6/20]
Next Battleground: Chemical Abortion
The Mifeprex abortion pill regimen is used for aborting babies up to 10 weeks old at which point the baby already has a heartbeat, head, hands, feet, fingers & toes. The rate of chemical abortions in the United States is at an all-time high.
The increase is being driven by the abortion industry, which regards drug-based do-it-yourself abortions as the best way to get around state-level pro-life laws. Mifeprex is subject to the FDA’s drug safety program because it carries life-threatening risks. The abortion industry wants the restriction lifted in order to have abortion pills available through the pharmacy & the mail, making do-it-yourself abortions the future of the industry.
Abortion advocates once claimed that legal abortion would alleviate the danger to women of “back-alley” abortions. Yet, the health complications that often result from an induced chemical abortion are eerily similar to those “back-alley” abortions, including severe bleeding, infection, retained fetal parts, possible emergency surgery & even death. In addition, the woman, who may or may not have health insurance coverage, is expected to bear the added cost of any complications.
Over-the-counter abortion drugs could have radical implications for women’s health and safety, especially pertaining to intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, sex trafficking and accurate patient assessment. It appears that advancing the abortion industry’s agenda for the abortion pill regimen is about political, ideological & financial goals—not care for women. [Patrina Mosley, Family Research Council, www.frc.org]
This free monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a single-sheet bulletin insert, and posted on four diocesan websites. To receive your free copy, email editor Frank Tinari, firstname.lastname@example.org