Praised be Jesus Christ! Years ago when I was in seminary I remember a question that was almost always asked after every homily: “What is the good news?” The idea was to impress on us our responsibility to unleash the hope written into the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit. Maybe you’ve heard homilies that were depressing because there was never any silver lining offered – if the preacher had spent more time in prayer this probably would not have happened. This is a preface to what is very sad news: Ireland legalized abortion in May. But let’s begin with the good news because in America the pro-life cause has arguably never been stronger. For example, the number of abortions has dropped precipitously and the number of clinics performing them has declined from 2,200 to fewer than 500 today. Again, fewer doctors are willing to perform abortions, leading to an aging and dwindling population of abortionists. Because of the dozens of stories testifying to the trauma experienced by abortion staff (e.g. the movie “Blood Money”), many are walking away and never coming back. Our neighbors in Iowa have adopted the strongest laws yet protecting our most vulnerable citizens and the tide is rising that will one day protect each human being from conception until natural death. Without getting too far off the topic, it’s the latter situation (i.e. euthanasia) that grows more bleak by the day. Now as anyone who has ever participated in the annual March for Life knows, the pro-life movement is young, hopeful, and extremely prayerful. And so God has raised up a generation that intuitively knows abortion is never a solution – it only sows seeds of despair. Anyone who is honest about abortion must admit that it leads to greater poverty among women, opens the door to more child abuse (which stands to reason – abortion is an act of violence that desensitizes, paving the way to other forms of violence), and promotes racism (the number of minorities terminated in America, not to mention the location of Planned Parenthood clinics makes this very difficult to refute). Young Americans know this and so the tide is turning to an era that will one day see abortion no longer validated by law or sentiment. Sadly, Ireland has been enticed to take a path that finally will lead to heartache and division. The Catholic Church in Ireland deserves our prayers for all she did to preach the Gospel in our country. The number of priests who came from the land of Saint Patrick to offer our forebears the sacraments is seemingly innumerable. But the devil never sleeps, and he wove a web of corruption and scandal that reduced the Church in Ireland to an anachronism that no longer has a voice of credibility. When the country most needed Catholics to make their voices heard they were crippled not so much by the sins of a few, but by the willingness of some of their leaders to hide those sins, thus needlessly exposing others to harm. And yet the faith in Ireland is ancient and deep, and it has suffered in ways that we cannot begin to fathom. The story being told is how a new generation is throwing off the shackles of a medieval faith so that it can revel in newfound freedom. The good news is that this narrative is a sham that bears little in common with the truth. Certainly the devil found Ireland ripe for the picking and so the evil of abortion has come to their land for the first time. But as we’ve seen in America these past 45 years, the greater the struggle the more glorious the triumph. We thank God in advance for the end of abortion in America, in Ireland and in the whole world. Yes, darkness has had its hour, but we are children of the light.
May God convince our world that only in the truth of the Gospel will we find freedom!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin