For some years the Bishops of the United States have designated October as “Respect Life Month.” It presents an occasion to recommit ourselves to concern for all human life at every stage.
There exists a real danger that we could grow weary in our defense of the weakest among us. It should haunt us that more than a million children are killed in the womb each year in our country. As Pope Francis recently explained, “Every child who is condemned unjustly to being aborted bears the face of Jesus Christ.” For that reason, he went on to say, “that is why concern for human life in its totality has become in recent years a real priority for the Church’s Magisterium.”
Indeed the defense of human life is a priority. There should be no embarrassment at the Church’s teaching in defense of every life. Rather we can be proud to stand up for the weakest among us. We seek a society where the strong protect the weak and every life, at every stage, in every place is recognized to possess a dignity and—in Christ—a destiny—beyond imagining.
Abortion, euthanasia, and destructive research on the human embryo are all part of what Pope Francis calls a “throw-away culture” where we discard the weak and vulnerable. A culture that values life is the foundation of any flourishing society. This Respect Life Month is a chance to recommit ourselves to creating and sustaining such a culture.