"The inviolability of the person, which is a reflection of
the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and
fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above
all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human
rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to
family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to
life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition of
all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum
determination . . . " (John Paul II, The Vocation and the
Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World, n.
"Adopting a consistent ethic of life, the Catholic Church
promotes a broad spectrum of issues …Catholic public officials
are obliged to address each of these issues as they seek to
build consistent policies which promote respect for the human
person at all stages of life. But being 'right' in such matters
can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on
innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend
life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to
the 'rightness' of positions in other matters affecting the
poorest and least powerful of the human community" (US Bishops,
Living the Gospel of Life, 1998, n. 23).
For more, see
Calling All Heralds
On the day of ordination, these words pierce and penetrate
the heart of every deacon as the bishop presents him with
the book of the gospel.
Receive the book of the gospel whose herald you have become.
Believe what you read. Teach what you believe. Practice what
Upon ordination the deacon is specifically constituted a
sacred minister and member of the hierarchy of the church,
configured to Christ the servant. As herald he is an
official messenger who announces the “good news” of Jesus
Christ through word, sacrament and charity.
Pope John Paul II begins his great encyclical Evangelium
Vitae with: “The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’
message... it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as
“good news” to the people of every age and culture.” (#1)
The Holy Father makes it clear throughout this teaching that
there is only one Gospel—“the Gospel of God’s love for man,
the Gospel of the dignity of the person and the Gospel of
life are a single and indivisible Gospel.” (#2) The Gospel
of Jesus Christ is the Gospel of life! Every deacon,
therefore, is called to believe, teach and practice the
Gospel of life.
Indeed in this day of moral relativism, when there is no
clear definition of right and wrong, when what was once a
crime is now defended by the law as a “right” and when what
should be the safest place the mother’s womb—is the
deadliest place for a little human, more than ever there is
an enormous need for such heralds. In fact, with the
tentacles of the culture of death extending into every
aspect of society (and alarmingly even infiltrating the
church) what is required is a whole army of heralds!
As bleak as it all looks, we will not give in to despair.
The Holy Spirit, leading the Church Militant, has been
preparing an army of Permanent Deacons for over 40 years!
Primed and standing by, we are a force of holy heralds—
experienced husbands and fathers who have been called into
service (diakonia) by the Supreme Commander. We have been
formed, equipped, ordained and are waiting to be lead into
battle! A regiment is already poised in dioceses across the
country with a vast supply of fresh troops in training. Pope
John Paul gives us the mission: we must build a new culture
of life. These are our orders: a general mobilization of
consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great
campaign in support of life. (#95 EV) Pope Benedict gives us
the starting point for the mission: God is Love.
I invite all Permanent Deacons to mobilize as heralds of the
Gospel of Life in this great Campaign for Life! Believe what
you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you
teach. For further instruction visit the command post: