Gospel of Life -- Study Guide
This paragraph issues a clear call for consistency and
renewal. The bishops are not recruiting for a political party or an ideological
platform; rather, they are calling disciples of Christ to rediscover their
identity. Recognizing the sanctity of life flows not from our own agenda or
our adherence to a political platform, but from our knowledge of Jesus
Christ. He identifies himself as "life" (see John 6:35; John 10:7-15; John
11:17-27; John 14:1-6). To stand with Christ is to stand with life, and to stand
with life is to stand against whatever destroys it. Our commitment to work for
the renewed protection of life is not simply a response to an erroneous Court
decision; it is, ultimately, a response to Jesus Christ. It is, in fact, the
same response that impelled Christians to rescue abandoned children in the
earliest centuries of the Church, to establish hospitals, to free slaves, and to
It has been said that there is no such thing as "secret
discipleship." Either the discipleship will destroy the secrecy, or the secrecy
will destroy the discipleship. The Christian Faith is not given to us as a
private possession, but as a public proclamation intended for all people. The
Church is missionary by her very nature. In other words, announcing the
Gospel to others is not one among many agenda items the Church has; it is,
rather, what the Church does at all times and through all her other activities.
A follower of Christ does not have the option to choose whether or not he or she
wants to help spread the Gospel to others. Rather, being a follower of Christ
necessarily entails bearing witness to that Gospel message. And this call to
proclaim the message is given by the Lord himself. Each Christian
receives this call, and the grace to carry it out, through baptism and
Is being a good Catholic compatible with being a good
American, or is that a conflict of interests?
How does being a leader in our society relate to one's faith?
Is it proper to divide one's "private religious beliefs" from
one's conduct in public, especially if one is a leader?
Give some examples of "act[ing] publicly in a way contrary to
George Grant, Third Time Around: A History of the
Pro-life Movement from the First Century to the Present (Brentwood, TN:
Wolgemuth & Haytt, 1991).
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