October 10, 2008
Bishop Robert Hermann
Archdiocesan Administrator, Archdiocese of St.Louis
Published in the St. Louis Review.
I Thought You Should Know: Save Our Children
Save our children! More than anything else, this election is about saving our children or killing our children. This life issue is the overriding issue facing each of us in this coming election. All other issues, including the economy, have to take second place to the issue of life.
Save our children! Many people in Germany supported Hitler for economic reasons even though, as his programs advanced, he put to death millions of Jewish people. He ended up wrecking the economy together with the country of Germany. How are we different if we vote for pro-abortion candidates for office? How can we help change our political and legal situation to protect innocent children and support a culture of life?
Save our children! When I speak to some so-called good Catholics, I am shocked that they are quite ready to vote for a pro-abortion candidate under almost any circumstance. I find this hard to understand. We have heard the word "abortion" so often that perhaps we no longer associate procured abortion with the killing of children, yet that is what it is. The term itself can be misleading. The dictionary tells us that it comes from a Latin word that means "to disappear or to miscarry."
Sometimes abortions simply happen because of natural causes. That is why this word abortion, for many people, apparently does not really connote the destruction of children. When a human agent induces an abortion, that human agent is taking the life of one of our children.
Save our children! How can a so-called good Catholic vote for a candidate that supports laws that take the life of innocent children, when there is an alternative? If there were two candidates who supported abortion, but not equally, we would have the obligation to mitigate the evil by voting for the less-permissive candidate.
Save our children! How can a so-called good Catholic vote for a candidate that supports laws that justify the killing of a child that survived a botched abortion? How can such a so-called good Catholic receive the Holy Eucharist?
In Chapter 10 of St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, he states: "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? ... You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons."
Save our children! Have some of our so-called good Catholics become so hardened against the Gospel of Life that they believe that other issues outweigh the Gospel of Life? Have some of our so-called good Catholics put politics ahead of the Fifth Commandment, in which God states: "Thou shalt not kill"? Do some of our so-called good Catholics, who may go to Mass every Sunday and receive the Holy Eucharist, really believe that voting for a pro-abortion candidate, when there is a clear alternative and therefore no justifiable reason for so doing, is really not voting to have children killed? This election is all about saving our children!
Save our children! I have no doubt that there may be some so-called good Catholics who are reading this column and who may be really angry about now. I ask the question "Why would such a person be angry?" If we do good deeds, then our conscience is at peace. If we do evil deeds, then our conscience bothers us. It is my hope that this column will lead some of our so-called good Catholics to study the Catholic Catechism.
Save our children! Some of our so-called good Catholics may have hardened their hearts against the real understanding of induced abortions, that they can no longer see that this involves the destruction of our children. "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts!"
Save our children! Supporting induced abortions is not the greatest sin in the world. A greater sin is the refusal to repent of such a serious crime or the denial that this involves the killing of innocent children.
Save our children! I have used this terminology again and again penetrate the defenses of anyone who in the past may have put personal, economic or political interests above the issue of saving our children. The right to life is our most fundamental right, and to defend this right on behalf of the most vulnerable is a great privilege and is worth giving one's life for. Policemen and firemen always risk their lives to save human life. Why should we not risk our own reputation to save our children?
Save our children! You can see by now that I do not believe that this column by itself will change hearts. The issue of abortion involves serious sin, and to overcome serious patterns of sin requires grace. If you are still with me, may I suggest that you join me and many others in praying the daily Rosary from now until election day for the sake of life. Why not pray the family Rosary every night between now and the general election. The Rosary brought down the Iron Curtain. It can also help us turn around the culture of death to a culture of life.
Save our so-called good Catholics who ignore Catholic moral principles when applied to our political life. Pray the family Rosary daily. Pray the family Rosary for our so-called good Catholics who could use your love and your charity. Pray for our so-called good Catholics who ignore serious Catholic moral teachings and still receive Holy Communion. Love them by praying the family Rosary for them. Don't debate with them. Intercede for them. Praying for them is more fun than fighting with them.
Save our children and save our so-called good Catholics who have abandoned Church teachings in favor of personal gain. Pray the Rosary. Pray it every day. Get the whole family to pray the Rosary daily. Prayer is more powerful than contentious arguments. Spread the word to other families. In praying the Rosary, children's votes count as much as adult votes. Sometimes they pray with purer hearts than we do. If you are disgusted with the TV news, then turn it off and turn on the prayer Internet. What we hear in prayer leaves us in peace. When we pray for our country and for our fellow citizens, we are filled with peace. St. Paul tells us that our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers and the spirits of darkness.
Prayer is our protection. Let it also be a protection for our country. If you want to make Satan angry, pray the Rosary for the sake of Life. Pray that as a nation we will choose leaders that will say "no" to the culture of death and say "yes" to the culture of life. Save our children! Pray the Rosary