Three Elements for a Pro-Life Homily
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By Fr. Frank A. Pavone
There are three basic elements in a pro-life homily which can be made in a
very brief time and which cover crucial pastoral angles of the topic. At the
same time, these points can be adapted to various readings and settings.
Stress that there are alternatives. Many are "pro-choice" not because they
like abortion but because they ask, "How can the woman live without it?" We need
to make it clear that no woman ever has to feel that abortion is her only
option. Help is available, through thousands of helping centers, providing
financial assistance, medical services, legal advice, counseling, a place to
live, jobs, education, and assistance to keep the child or to place the child
for adoption. Networks are established to refer women to the help nearest to
them. Call 1-800-848-LOVE or 1-800-TNN-4-MOM.
Stress that the Church offers forgiveness and healing after abortion. This is
critical, because so many feel they cannot be forgiven, and this despair has
been shown to lead to more abortions! (Some 46% of abortions in America are
repeat abortions.) Furthermore, many hesitate to voice their opposition to
abortion because they think it means opposition to those who have had abortions!
If they see that being pro-life includes embracing these women with forgiveness,
they may be more inclined to join the effort. There is a National Office for
Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing at 1-800-5-WE-CARE.
Plead with people not to let themselves be deceived! Focus on some basic
facts that most people do not know: there is an abortion every 20 seconds in
America; it is legal and happens through all nine months of pregnancy; less than
1% occur because of rape or incest. Focus on one or more deceptive slogans, such
as "pro-choice." (Is a choice good or bad? It depends on what you're choosing,
does it not? My choices end where your rights begin!) A moment of thought can
dispel a lifetime of slogans.
Follow up on a pro-life homily with a hand-out to the parish, such as
You Can Save Someone's Life Today, offered by Priests for Life.
Encourage people to join the parish pro-life group.