January 22, 2001
volume 12, no. 22
Michael Cain, editor
Franklin Delano Roosevelt had it wrong! His famous words of December 7th, 1941, in announcing the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, that "This day shall live in infamy" pales in comparison with this day in history. For it was 28 years ago today that is truly the day that shall live in infamy. With apologies to World War II veterans and their families who lost loved ones during that terrible war, the Japanese attack, like the Holocaust spawned by the Nazi Axis, fades into the background of historical catastrophes when matched with the Holocaust of the Womb that was launched by the thump of a gavel in the United States Supreme Court on January 22, 1973.
The impact of this decision has been felt across America, across this globe, all the way to Heaven's portals. Over 40,000,000 souls never had the chance to breathe, to make a choice to utilize their own free will. They never had the chance to register their opinion. Their death sentence sealed that. It wasn't an execution squad who decided this; it wasn't a warden marching them to the electric chair or the gas chamber; it wasn't on the fields of war where they were felled by enemy bullets. It was through friendly fire; the friendly fire of their own mother who betrayed their trust; the friendly fire of the medical doctor who betrayed his hypocratic oath; the friendly fire of fathers who didn't have the courage to take responsibility for a child or the conviction to be a parent with the woman he united with in copulation; the friendly fire of the moral voice of America that didn't speak out strong enough, didn't see the tremendous, horrendous implications of this slaughter of the fetus; the friendly fire of a Church in America that remained silent too long, intimidated by the IRS and public opinion.
Oh, there were a few who stood strong, very strong - from Pope Paul VI to Pope John Paul II, from Cardinals Terence J. Cooke, John J. Carberry and Timothy Manning, not to mention Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen who long warned us of this day. Not until this current crop of U.S. cardinals has the Church in America stood in solidarity against abortion with the united voices of Cardinals Anthony Bevilacqua, Francis George, OMI, James Hickey, William Keeler, Bernard Law, Adam Maida, and even Joseph Bernardin, the late Chicago prelate, and Roger Mahony of LA. Heading this united American delegation of the Sacred Conclave was the unyielding great and holy Cardinal John J. O'Connor who passed to his Heavenly reward last May 3rd.
It was under Cardinal O'Connor's guidance that a young priest sought and was approved to begin an organization called PRIESTS FOR LIFE, an uncompromising association of consecrated men dedicated to one purpose: upholding the Sanctity of Life at all costs. That young priest is the committed crusader for the unborn Father Frank Pavone. Many, including this editor, credit his leadership and influence in helping defeat the culture of death candidates throughout this nation, for being a thorn in the side of fence-sitting bishops. Just think if all the bishops had joined the cardinals in campaigning more vigorously for life without a token gesture. We believe that the 50% Catholic vote for pro-abort candidates would have been different, that it might have been as high as 80% had they truly been instructed in the teachings of the Church.
It is true that the ultimate responsibility lies with each citizen, but, as Bishop Thomas J. Welsh, retired bishop of Arlington in Virginia, has recently confirmed, it is appalling how many Catholics did not vote Pro Life. He lays the blame with many of his cowardly colleagues who feared losing their tax status and he went so far as to suggest that the time may come when the Church has to say she will give up her tax-exempt status since, "our message isn't getting out." He noted his speech was restricted, saying, "But with the responsibility of being a bishop, I can't speak as a private citizen anymore. I would like to. I should be able to." He also reinforced that Our Lord did not back down or offer an explanation when many walked away from him and the Bishop reminded all that "Some of these people are going to leave the Church or they’re going to have to have a conversion process to get back to the idea that the tenets of the faith have consequences." Bishop Welsh has made it abundantly clear and we call on all bishops and pastors to take up the same standard of commitment: "If you say the Church is wrong about one serious issue like the pro-life stance, then you're undermining the whole nature of the Church. The Lord didn't say, 'I'm with you all the time, except on some major issues.' ... The Church is supposed to be guiding people on a day-to-day basis on how to get to Heaven ... We are saying this (abortion) is intrinsically evil. There's no time for anybody at any place to have an abortion and say, 'this is right.' It's always, always wrong."
It is still wrong and today, for the first time in years there is hope; hope that Roe vs. Wade will eventually be overturned and America's soul will be restored. We base this on the promises and actions of our new Executive Chief President George Walker Bush, who has appointed key Pro Life cabinet members who can make a difference. We also base this on the fact that a grass roots campaign organized by Toni Whittaker, her husband Greg and their entire family near Front Royal, Virginia has, through the internet and through the grace of God, been able to reach a once-implausible goal of well over 3,000,000 - that's more than three million Rosaries pledged by loyal Catholics in calling on Our Lady's intercession before God. These Rosaries are intended to help President Bush turn the tide and reinstitute values and ethics that will trump Roe vs. Wade during his administration with the appointment of men and women on the Supreme Court who will properly interpret the Constitution to realize life begins at conception.
The accomplishment of the Whittakers speaks volumes for the loyal lay Catholic efforts the Holy Father has called for. Toni began this seemingly insurmountable cause on November 10th just when the nation was paralyzed and polarized by a stalemate in the closest election in the history of our country. It mounted slowly but surely through the critical and nail-biting recount period and legalistic maize for over a month. While Florida became the focus of the nation, God became the focus of loyal Catholics. From 33,482 Rosaries on November 17th to over half a million on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12th when Bush was finally affirmed by the Supreme Court. Outside those hallowed halls Toni's daughter Bernadette was reverently holding the Image of Our Lady of the Americas aloft as she parted the sea of both sides with love and faith. Yes, the Mother of God did win out as promised. And the promise of more Rosaries poured in. From half a million it mushroomed as the attention turned to protecting and ennobling President-elect Bush to carry out his Pro Life ideals.
But it has not been without a bitter fight with the stubborn pro-aborts. As we have said so often, satan will not go away easily, but he is retreating slowly but surely as he can feel the sting of the prayers. Today, there is still dissent, hard feelings, division, and even sour grapes among die-hard democrats and pro-aborts, but their ranks are dwindling as we continue to pray. Believe it or not, the devil is diminishing because of prayer and perseverance. We shall treat this in our next editorial. We cannot, however, afford to grow overconfident. There is much work to accomplish and lucifer still has a pulse.
Today, let it suffice to remember the Blessed Mother's promises at Guadalupe, Rue de Bac, LaSalette, Lourdes, Fatima, Garabandal, Medjugorje, Akita, Betania and elsewhere throughout this world in the waning Age of Marian Apparitions. Let us remember her eleventh promise to Saint Dominic to whom she bestowed the Holy Rosary, that "What you ask through my Rosary, you shall obtain."
As of midnight on Inauguration Day, 3,362, 483 Rosaries had been pledged!
What we ask as Heaven receives our bouquets of 170,821,159 Hail Mary's, 20,174, 898 Our Father's and Glory Be's, 3,362,483 Apostle Creed's and the same number of Salve Regina's, is that God will move hearts and souls and that, in His time, Roe vs. Wade will pass into memory with the horrors of the past, and, like the Holocaust in Germany and Poland, we can proudly and confidently say: Never Again!
For past editorials, see CATHOLIC PewPOINT Archives
January 22, 2001
volume 12, no. 22
CATHOLIC PewPOINT commentary
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