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Tags: christ | injustice

America Needs to Come Together on Founding Principles, Not Unity

united states of america founding principles

(Joe Sohm/Dreamstime.com)

Fr. Frank Pavone By Wednesday, 20 January 2021 02:21 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Each January, three observances converge that summon the Christian world to work together against injustice.

Jan. 15 is the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and on or around that day we observe a national holiday in his honor. (This year it fell on Monday, Jan. 18). Then, on Jan. 22, we recall the tragic decision made that day in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, unleashing a policy of abortion on demand.

On or around Jan. 22, large rallies and marches for life are held from coast to coast. This year, because of the coronavirus, the March for Life in Washington, D.C., will be virtual only, with just a small group of national pro-life leaders marching symbolically in place of the hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country who annually converge on D.C. to pray for and demand an end to abortion.

The third observance is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, observed annually Jan. 18-25.

These three great movements are deeply intertwined.

Jesus Christ prayed that his followers would be one, as he and the Father are one. Authentic Christian unity does not mean pretending there are no serious doctrinal disagreements between denominations. It does mean working to come to a deeper understanding of what those differences are and are not, as well as recognizing and building on the real unity that does exist in our common affirmation of Christ and his Lordship in our lives and in the world.

That affirmation of Christ requires that we work to fight injustice. In his encyclical letter on Christian Unity, issued in 1995, Pope John Paul II wrote, ''Many Christians from all Communities, by reason of their faith, are jointly involved in bold projects aimed at changing the world by inculcating respect for the rights and needs of everyone, especially the poor, the lowly, and the defenseless  . . . Christians who once acted independently are now engaged together in the service of this cause, so that God's mercy may triumph."

Both the civil rights movement and the pro-life movement are evidence of this common engagement. Both movements seek to secure equal rights for marginalized human beings, despite their appearances, and to apply to law and culture the promises of the Gospel. Both movements have found their ''meeting place" and their ''launching pad" in the churches, manifesting this declaration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

"I'm always happy to see a relevant ministry. It's all right to talk about 'long white robes over yonder,' in all of its symbolism.

But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here.

It's all right to talk about 'streets flowing with milk and honey,' but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can't eat three square meals a day.

It's all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God's preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. This is what we have to do."

Defending the equal dignity of every human being after birth strengthens our witness to the rights of those in danger before birth, and vice-versa.

The witness, in fact, is ultimately one: the witness to the one Christ, who restores dignity to every human life.

The year just concluded, and the new year just begun, certainly underscore the need for Christians in America — indeed, all Americans — to come together.

We saw unprecedented violence in our streets and in the U.S. Capitol for months on end and many of us watched helpless from the sidelines as the monuments to our national heroes and our sacred icons were toppled or defaced.

Now there is a witch hunt under way to punish those of us who support President Trump. Senators are being told to resign; members of the House who supported the recertification effort are being told their names might be omitted from bipartisan legislation, and there’s even a move afoot at Harvard to revoke the diplomas of Trump aides.

The last thing this nation needs is more finger-pointing or more dissension.

My prayer is that all Americans and all people of faith will heed the message of this month’s important observances.

We need to come together not on the basis of false unity, but rather on the principles on which America was Founded, starting with the right to life, including of children in the womb.

Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent anti-abortion leaders in the world. He became a Catholic priest in 1988 under Cardinal John O’Connor in New York. In 1993 he became the full-time National Director of Priests for Life. He is also the President of the National Pro-Life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He travels the nation assisting anti-abortion advocates to end abortion, and broadcasts regularly on television, radio, and internet. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. John Paul II, and the Trump Campaign are among those who have sought his input on anti-abortion matters. He has helped foster the anti-abortion activities of the Catholic Church worldwide by having served at the Vatican as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Read Fr. Frank Pavone Reports — More Here.

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We need to come together not on the basis of false unity, but rather on the principles on which America was Founded, starting with the right to life, including of children in the womb.
christ, injustice
Wednesday, 20 January 2021 02:21 PM
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