Cultural Clash

HLI President predicts financial martyrdom for believers


Father Thomas J. Euteneur, president of Human Life International, said Christian martyrdom will take on different forms in the future.  Writing in a letter titled "Green Martyrdom," he suggested that Christian witness will not be a "red martyrdom" of blood but rather a "green martyrdom" of monetary sacrifice required by principled living.

He explained the subtle economic forces that can compromise the faithful:  "even though many Catholics would undoubtedly give up their lives for Christ, people find it much harder to give up their jobs for Christ." 

HLI’s president warned of pressures on health professionals to commit intrinsically evil acts in the course of their work, the difficulties of avoiding immoral practices institutionalized in some businesses, and the unjust stigma placed upon parents who criticize sex education in schools or have more children than average.

Father Euteneur saw this coercion acting even upon bishops.  The Archdiocese of New York will face significant financial consequences if it avoids state legal requirements that health insurance cover employees' contraception.  Defending the Catholic faith, he wrote, "will sometimes mean bleeding green in lawsuits, financial losses, firings and confiscations for the sake of the Kingdom."

But he says these dangers also offer the opportunity for heroic action:  "The heroism of our modern-day martyrdom will be found in our willingness to sacrifice, even financially, to preserve the integrity of our values."

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