Pope Benedict Calls for Worldwide Prayer Against Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
Pope Benedict XVI has issued what Catholic pro-life advocates are calling an unprecedented request for prayers worldwide from all pro-life people against abortion.
The head of the Catholic Church will begin Advent by celebrating a solemn “Vigil for all nascent human life” at St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday, November 27. [I like the use of the word “nascent”. The very form, from the Latin deponent verb “nascor… to be born” suggests ongoing action. The -sc- element is inchoative: ongoing, beginning, not yet complete. That is to say, from the moment of conception the newly conceived person begins the process of being born. Sure, we identify different stages of development and birth. But from this other point of view, which I hear in “nascent human life”, every abortion would be a partial birth abortion.]
The call is not limited to Catholics as the Pope is asking that “all Diocesan Bishops (and their equivalent) of every particular church preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements.” [In sum: every Catholic in the world.]
At this household we continue to believe that virtually all the current troubles of the world, and especially the worldwide, ongoing financial disheveling, derive from the slaughter in the womb which, here is the U.S., at 50 million since 1973 ties Mao’s Red Chinese genocide.
Our Bishop (Frank Dewane – Diocese of Venice in Florida) sent a letter to every Parish with instructions to schedule this Vigil (Evening Prayer with Exposition-Benediction) and sent the complete program that we are to use (psalm texts, readings, prayers). I’m in the process of putting it together now… hoping that every Bishop will do the same!
What a splendid initiative to be grateful for! Oremus!
chironomo refers to a “complete program that we are to use” in the Diocese of Venice. Before I go ‘beachcombing’ (seeing what the ‘surf’ may have yielded from the vast cyber-sea, so to put it), does anyone have any handy links? E.g., to prescribed and/or recommended liturgical “program” elements.
Thank you, Father, for the gloss on ‘nascient’. It made me think that it is what, with reference to the ‘nascient one’ (including the ‘nascient One’, DNIC), corresponds to ‘concipiens et pariens’ (cf. Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23) with reference to the mother (including Virgo Mater). I wish I were a good enough Latinist to know what follows the birth: ‘crescens’ (cf. Luke 1:80, 2:40)?
Let us pray, too, that all ‘crescent’ life may grow up to that to which it is called in Christ (including that mistakenly under a certain ‘crescent flag’).
Father: “…every abortion would be a partial birth abortion.” I think the phrase we must use is that every abortion (and euthanasia) is an homicide. This involves three undeniable facts: there was life; it was human; and it was killed. You are not calling the mother victims of abortion murderers, which is needlessly inflammatory and gives the pro-aborts an excuse to go off the rails and avoid the argument entirely(cf. Matthews v. Tobin). There are homicides that are not murder: self-defense; war; executions; accidents et cetera, but only those performed by the state, war and executions, are given the protection of law in civilized nations.
You can then point out that people who conflate human life and some nebulous idea of personhood (>i.e. “It’s not homicide because it’s not a person.”) are working in the unprovable realm of opinion, which should be death to their arguments, based in a positivist philosophy as they are. There is no need to mention God, giving the pro-aborts the option to say the issue is one of our imposing our religion on them, and you can justly point out that an atheistic humanist should value and protect human life on this earth above all else.
(Incidentally, can you impose a spirituality on someone? I think not, and the relation of word religion to the word rule is why people use the word perjoratively, and will not say they are religious. Best to use the word Faith. Only one cruel and inhuman religion has the novelty of imposing itself on the unwilling, either by the sword or oppressive state coercion.)
Given that November 27 this year is Thanksgiving Day night, I bet disobedience will be rampant in this country. But… one never knows. Maybe I’m too pessimistic.
[Looks at archdiocese’s post on the subject] “Parishes may want to choose another evening/day… A suggested time might be… following the Vigil Mass or Holy Day Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, or any other day in the Advent season….” Well, okay. That’s an “analogous celebration”. It looks like the US thing is going to be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, with various prayers and such for the occasion. Our archbishop’s doing his on Dec. 2 at the seminary, which I guess means the cathedral’s will be run by its staff. That allows him to give the seminarians a good lesson in person.
So yeah, I’m probably too pessimistic. :) And this will let people watch the Pope on TV (on the non-football TV set, I guess) as well as pray in their own parish.
Hey! The USCCB really does have its stuff together for this! Good on ’em! http://www.usccb.org/prolife/papalvigil/ includes four different prayer vigil formats for parishes to use. So you can do Liturgy of the Hours Evening Prayer as part of it, if you pick those formats, or not.
But. USCCB apparently thinks that everybody in the US uses Microsoft .doc or .pub. I can’t believe they don’t have even one plain old text file version, or even a PDF.
Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 25th. The Vigil is to be scheduled for Saturday the 27th. There’s no conflict inherent in the scheduling and, grating the popularity among many of the “Saturday Anticipatory Mass”, participation in the early hours of the evening might be pretty good.
November 27 is also the 180th anniversary of Our Lady’s revelation of the Miraculous Medal to St. Catherine Laboure–in fact, it’s the exact day it occurred in 1830 (the vigil of the First Sunday of Advent).
The Holy Father chose the perfect date for this Vigil!
Quomodo fides renascitur? Eo modo repropagatur. Cum pontifice oremus.
“every abortion (and euthanasia) is an homicide. This involves three undeniable facts: there was life; it was human; and it was killed.”
I agree totally. I also believe that “homicide” is a more accurate term to use when referring to abortion in general because “murder” implies a degree of malice and premeditation that MAY not always be present when a woman decides to abort in a crisis situation. In secular law there are also distinctions made between different degrees of murder, manslaughter, reckless homicide, justifiable homicide, etc. They are all homicides, but the penalties for each differ.
Every abortion is indeed a homicide; whether or not it is a “murder” takes us into the realm of attempting to determine intentions and mental states that we may not be qualified to judge.
As far as the Vigil for Nascent Human Life, seems to me that if it isn’t done on Nov. 27 it could appropriately be done before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, or at ANY time during Advent, since the entire season is devoted to awaiting the birth of Christ at Christmas.
Does this mean that the Bishop of each diocese should actually preside over the Vigil or that there be some coordinate diocesan effort here? I am concerned that my particular Bishop will duck this and leave it to one or two parishes “if there is interest”. Does the Holy Father intend that there be a Vigil in every cathedral…with a Bishop presiding in every diocese? It seems like this would in fact be what is intended as some parishes are merged/closed and priests handle multiple assignments. And, after all, the Cathedral of each diocese is also a parish in some ways. A Bishop’s leading the way would inspire the faithful and be a central place where all may attend this Vigil. It will be interesting to see how this beautiful idea of Pope Benedict’s will play out across the country.