Never mention three words in polite company. Jesus. Abortion. Divorce. It's considered impolite to discuss the Saviour of the world, and the two greatest causes of human suffering in the Western World.
"The Holy Father was addressing a group of scholars from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family at the Lateran University. The Institute was holding a several day long conference entitled "Oil on the Wounds: A Response to the Aftermath of Abortion and Divorce."
Benedict opened his remarks by congratulating the participants on their pertinent choice of topic, and said that when it comes to matters of abortion and divorce, and the wounds which they cause, there is a "conspiracy of silence" that often leaves victims "stripped and wounded" and "often without anyone to listen to their cry for help." Both abortion and divorce, he said, arise out of a civilization that is increasingly individualistic and hedonistic and that often fails to offer solidarity and support to those who are facing the difficult circumstances that lead people to choose abortion or divorce as a solution."
Jesus would not only metion abortion, and divorce, He would call the particpant victims to healing and reconciliation with His Church. And so must we as His followers. Interesting, that's precisely what I said to my CCD students this evening, in simpler terms. Nothing should separate us from the merciful love of Christ, least of all a conspiracy of silence from well meaning clerics. My own pastor refuses to have a Respect Life Group in our parish for fear of ugly discussions and hurt feelings. I have not been able to change his mind in 7 years. We are still part of the conspiracy of silence. I pray for him, and hope he hears the Holy Father's message here.
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