October is pro-life month in the Church, and all Christians are invited to reflect on the threats to the dignity of the human person that exist in the world today. After gaining a deeper understanding of the issues that threaten the dignity of human life, we are challenged to work for change so that human life, in all its stages, will be recognized as a gift from God.
The dignity of human life should be at the center of all of our policy decisions and moral reflections according to Catholic social teaching. We believe that God is passionately in love with every human being God has created, from the womb to the tomb. This “seamless garment” approach to human life prevents us from being co-opted as Christians by one political party or another to promote a limited view of what is important. Abortion is not the only pro-life issue, despite its importance. Poverty is not the only pro-life issue, despite its importance as well. The list could go on and on. Poverty, abortion, euthanasia, affordable health care for all, etc., etc., are all important pro-life issues that Christians must be concerned with. We do not respect human dignity when we only focus on one issue at the expense of others. Further, we also have seen over the past few years how many of these issues are interrelated, and a just response requires looking at how sinful systems affect the dignity of human life. During this month of October, and throughout the year, we pray and work for a respect for the image of God present in all human beings.
Cardinal DiNardo, the chairman of the committee for pro-life activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, stated, “If we allow the dignity of human life to guide the decisions we make as voters and public policy advocates, we can surely succeed in creating a more just and humane society.” For the full text of Cardinal DiNardo’s statement for pro-life month, please click here: www.usccb.org/prolife/programs/rlp/10dinardo-stmt.pdf.