I want to continue in my blog today talking about ending abortion the Church’s way.
You and I, together, are the “Church.” We are to be united with our leaders, first and foremost the real and living Person of Jesus Christ, who lives in and works through each of us. We are to be in union with his Vicar on earth, and with the bishops in union with the Successor of Peter.
One of the important aspects of being in union with our Church leaders is to read and study what they write. When Priests for Life was established, one of the explicit goals of its mission – to which we have been faithful ever since – was to publicize the documents of the Magisterium regarding abortion. On our website, you can find statements of the Popes and bishops on abortion reaching back for decades.
These documents, of course, are to be read in the context of what our leaders say regarding the respective roles of the laity and clergy. The documents of the Second Vatican Council, for example, are crucial.
Amidst all these writings we learn that the work of the ministry should not be “clericalized.” In other words, we don’t wait for our parish priest to tell us to bring the Gospel into the world. We already received that commission from the Lord when our priest baptized us and when our bishop confirmed us! Of course, we rely on our shepherds for guidance as we carry out the mission. But it would be a big mistake to imagine ourselves as awaiting instructions for every step we take. Our shepherds are not supposed to be micromanagers. Nor do they man “security posts” through which we must pass for every step we take on the Christian journey.
Rather, we are a family, a community, a body of believers called together in faith, forming relationships with one another, and joining our gifts of grace and nature to work together to advance God’s Kingdom.
The Christian faithful are to take initiative, be creative, and have the freedom to exercise the apostolate of the laity by virtue of their baptism and confirmation. Let’s listen to and learn from our leaders in the faith, but let’s also understand their role properly, and not reduce the Christian apostolate to simply awaiting a series of instructions from our priests. One of the things our priests and bishops appreciate most is the beautiful, creative energy, ideas, and initiatives coming right from you!