Priests for Life - Chirch Teaching
The Catechism

From the Pope
Letters, Addresses,
and Homilies

From the Vatican

From Individual Bishops

From the
US Bishops’ Conference

From Other Sources Associated with
the Magisterium

America Will Not Reject Abortion Until America
Sees Abortion

Prayer Campaign

Take Action

Social Networking

Rachel's Vineyard,
A Ministry of Priests For Life

Silent No More Awareness Campaign, A Project
of Priests For Life

Clergy Resources


A culture based on lies weakens its structures and cannot endure

Bishop Michael W. Warfel
Diocese of Juneau, AK

The Inside Passage 
Diocesan Newspaper for the Diocese of Juneau
January 28, 2005

Given that January 22nd marks the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision, it ought not to be too surprising that I have developed a habit of addressing the issue of abortion in January. This past Friday, January 21, I joined a group of individuals on the steps in front of the Capitol Building in Juneau to do this once again. While standing out in the wind and cold is uncomfortable, I believe it important to address an immoral social experiment that has allowed the practice

of abortion to continue in the U.S. for 33 years. It is my hope and prayer that one day hearts would be converted, that they might see just how evil abortion is and how damaging it is. Obviously, those most directly affected are the infants in the womb who will never see the light of day. But there are other victims too: the mother of the aborted child and the child’s father; the brothers and sisters of the child as well as the would-be grandparents; society as a whole.

Conversion begins by recognizing that a problem exists. Many today, including those in government and in the various institutions and organizations that help to shape our cultural beliefs and behavior, do not recognize that abortion is a problem. In fact, many deny that it is a problem. The toleration and promotion of abortion, socially and legally, has clouded individual consciences and made it difficult for many to distinguish between good and evil, even when what is at stake is the fundamental right to life. People in our society need to be reminded that direct abortion is always gravely immoral and that violating this principle has far-reaching consequences. We can ignore the truth about human life, and our obligation to protect, nurture and sustain it, but not without cost. The culture in which we live is essentially an ecology. If we pump waste or chemicals into the water we drink, people eventually will become ill and die. If we reject the value and dignity of human life, our culture becomes more and more based on a lie and its structures cannot long endure.

But how do we help others to understand this? By transforming our culture into one that respects and defends human life! In addition to encouraging laws that protect innocent human life, it is necessary to speak of the deeper truth behind such laws: that all human life is sacred; that God is its author; that we do not own life. While it is important to act with concern for the immediate need before us—to protect life from conception to natural death, it is also important to work toward the transformation of a culture that would allow death to be a solution.

To transform society, we must embody and celebrate the Gospel of Life in our daily living. We must be people whose lives are marked by self-giving love for others, especially the most innocent and needy. We must be people who are concerned with confronting the root causes of why women would even consider abortion in the first place. We must be people who are marked by their compassion toward those who have suffered as a result of being victimized in someway by abortion.

Pope John Paul II said it so well, "May the people of life constantly grow in number and may a new culture of love and solidarity develop for the true good of the whole human society."

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 •