Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cardinal O'Malley

In a truly remarkable post on his blog, Cardinal Seán O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, reflects on the life, passing, and funeral of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. He writes many things worth reading, but this post is a great reflection by a man who is first and foremost a pastor of souls. Writing about the always divisive issue of abortion, His Eminence has this to say:

"Helen Alvaré, who is one of the most outstanding pro-life jurists, a former Director of the Bishops´ Pro-life Office and a long standing consultant to the USCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities, has always said that the pro-life movement is best characterized by what it is for, not against. We are for the precious gift of life, and our task is to build a civilization of love. We must show those who do not share our belief about life that we care about them. We will stop the practice of abortion by changing the law, and we will be successful in changing the law if we change people’s hearts. We will not change hearts by turning away from people in their time of need and when they are experiencing grief and loss.

"At times, even in the Church, zeal can lead people to issue harsh judgments and impute the worst motives to one another. These attitudes and practices do irreparable damage to the communion of the Church. If any cause is motivated by judgment, anger or vindictiveness, it will be doomed to marginalization and failure. Jesus’ words to us were that we must love one another as He loves us. Jesus loves us while we are still in sin. He loves each of us first, and He loves us to the end. Our ability to change people’s hearts and help them to grasp the dignity of each and every life, from the first moment of conception to the last moment of natural death, is directly related to our ability to increase love and unity in the Church, for our proclamation of the Truth is hindered when we are divided and fighting with each other."

Among the many things I like about Cardinal O'Malley's words is that he gets JPII's teaching correctly insofar as we do not contrast the culture of death with a culture of life; we are to build and culture and civilization of love.

2 comments:

  1. I'm not sure about Rove's statistics, but I'm sure he's including already publicly-funded health programs. Not much attention is paid to the fact that hospitals are more precarious than before and that there are fewer insurance companies, since a number can't make it financially. Hospitals are closing. On the other hand, new for-profit medical enterprises siphon off the more lucrative procedures which normally help an institution with money-losing procedures and indigent patients. The whole business of health care, as I understand it, is not healthy. I agree wholly that both right and left need to get less ideological and more practical, while preserving the doctor-patient relationship with the least intrusion (including pressure to provide unnecessary costly tests and procedures).

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  2. Sharon:

    He is including existing publicly-funded programs in his numbers.

    I could not agree more that health care reform includes more than health care coverage. It is an aspect that is rarely discussed amidst all the shouting.

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