Washington D.C., Jan 30, 2007 / 14:40 pm
"We need to raise the volumn in announcing the Gospel of Life," with these words Cardinal Sean O'Malley strongly urged Americans to join in building a civilization of life and love.
The Cardinal-Archbishop of Boston told a packed house of Pro-life demonstrators, gathered at a Mass in the Crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington last week that while Gospel of Life must be announced with conviction, it must also be proclaimed with love.
The cardinal related the fictional story told in the film "Children of Men," which describes a world 20 years from now with no babies, an epidemic of infertility, and hopeless violence. A group of people resisting the culture of death form the Human Project.
"Finally, one baby is born in secret. During a battle scene, the baby cries and suddenly everyone stops fighting, women want to touch the baby, soldiers kneel and make the sign of the cross. In the midst of the violence and despair, the baby becomes a sign of hope," the cardinal said, recounting the plot.
O'Malley noted that the fertility rate in Europe is 1.4, indicating that deaths will outnumber births within five years. The fertility rate in Italy and Spain is 1.2, which he says will halve their current population in 20 years time.
The United States is apparently in better shape because more Americans are churchgoers and churchgoers get married and have families, he reported.
"The churches in the United States are family-friendly and nurture family life," he said. "Church is a bastion of defense against the culture of death. In terms of the film 'Children of Men,' we are 'the human project' - the alternative is the culture of death. As the populations of the Western world age, we will see that the generation of parents that aborted their own children will be euthanized by the children who survived."
The cardinal spoke about how western cultures have become desensitized to violence and to death.
"We have come to embrace a new morality that is dehumanizing and dangerous. The new morality is: the ends justify the means," he said, referring to unethical medical research.
He pointed out that the stem-cell research that does not destroy human life has brought about many successes and cures.
"We all want the cures, but the ends do not justify the means. We need to raise the volume in announcing the Gospel of Life," he said. "It must not be a strident and hateful scream but a courageous proclamation of the Gospel of Life by witnesses whose lives are transformed by faith, love and a desire to serve."
"As a country we have become callous to the horrors of abortion to human life," he continued. "The greatest parallel is with slavery in the antebellum period of our history. The people convinced themselves that slavery was necessary, justifiable for economic, social reasons. Today our society is turning a blind eye to abortion and saying that now the ends justify the means."
He said the losers in this type of a culture are the elderly, the poor, the disabled and the politically marginalized.
"None of these pass the utility test; and yet, they at least have a presence. They at least have the possibility of organizing to be heard," he said. "Those who are unborn, infirmed and terminally ill have no such advantage. They have no "utility," and worse they have no voice.
"As we tinker with the beginning, the end and even the intimate cell structure of life, we tinker with our own identity as a free nation dedicated to the dignity of the human person. When American political life becomes an experiment on them rather than for and by them, it will no longer be worth conducting," he stated.
The cardinal's homily was posted on his blog Friday: www.cardinalseansblog.org