Friday, October 16, 2015

Why Not Show the Product?

On Columbus Day many students and workers had the day off. 11 parishioners and I joined up with 40 Days for Life at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Cincinnati for an hour of prayer.
Even though the CEO of Planned Parenthood recently admitted that 86% of the money they earn comes from abortions, the word "abortion" is nowhere to be found on the extensive list of services listed on this huge banner attached to the building.
Maybe abortion services fall under "All Options Counseling" or maybe under "Birth Control Options" which are both on the banner. Some people use abortion as a form of birth control, but the "birth control" usually refers to an artificial way to prevent pregnancy, some of which do cause early abortions.
For more information, click this.
The abortion industry is the only industry that does not want anyone to see its product, not the dead child, nor the emotionally broken mother who chose the abortion. Now it seems they are even shying away from the word "abortion" which used to be a nice euphemism for killing the child in the womb. Maybe people are starting to realize what it actually is.
Finally: I imagine this promotional banner was paid for at least in part by the $500,000,000.00 this organization receives in our tax dollars.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

One More Soul

Back on July 19th, three parishioners and I headed over to the Athenaeum for an evening lecture on marriage. It was Sunday of NFP Awareness Week.
Part of the deal was for our little group to have dinner on the way. We went to the new B-Dubs in Anderson Township by the seminary.
After ordering food, I walked into the men's room. I walked past a man changing the diaper of a newborn baby. On my way to the sink, I walked past the same man and baby. Since he was busy with the diaper changing, I don't know if he ever looked up at me or noticed my collar.
I remarked: "Looks like you have a brand new one there."
He replied: "Yeah, she's a month old," and immediately added: "and she's our second, so I think we're done."
I was at a loss for words. As I washed my hands, I was thinking, "Why is this complete stranger telling me something so intimate and personal about his family?" With no reply, I went back to my party at the table.
Once at the table, I told the parishioners what happened. I acknowledged that a complete stranger in the men's room just shared with me--a complete stranger--that he is either going to stop having sex with his wife, or one of them is going to alter his or her fertility. Why is he telling a complete stranger something so intimate?
Having studied the devastating effects of contraception and sterilization on marriages, I had a desire to respond to this young father. I could see where he was sitting in the restaurant with his wife, the baby, and an older couple, probably his or his wife's parents.
I told the group of parishioners that I really should reply in some way. After all, it was NFP Sunday. I wished I had a calling card to give him. One woman in our group offered me a blank deposit slip. The back of it was plain white where I wrote: "". Now all I had to do was think of a smooth way to pass the note to the guy and minimize any embarrassment.
As our meal was wrapping up, I noticed that the young father was not in his chair at the table with his family. Even though I was taken aback that he shared intimate details of his life with me in the men's room while changing his baby's diaper, I headed toward the men's room in case I might be able to give him the note. As I walked past the bar, the young father was coming toward me. As we passed, I held out the note and he took it from me. I added: "You shared some really intimate details with me in the men's room earlier. Check this out. You'll find some excellent information." The guy didn't say a word. He seemed more dumbstruck than I was earlier.
About a week later, I was on the phone with a woman who works for the Catholic Church. She told me she just got back from maternity leave. I congratulated her and asked the name of the baby. She told me the baby's name and added that this was her fourth and final child. Once again I was dumbstruck asking myself: "Why is this woman, whom I have never met telling me such intimate details about her life?" She is either telling me that she and her husband are going to stop having sex, that something went terribly wrong with the delivery of this new baby rendering her infertile, or that she or her husband are going to have one of their bodies altered to become sterile.
This woman knows I am a priest. I would hope that someone who works for the Church might know the teachings of the Church as they have been handed down from Christ over the centuries.
Even though I find it surprising, I know it's really not about telling a stranger something intimate. There is a cultural disdain for new human life. It seems that once someone notices a new baby, the mother or father has to "apologize" by saying: "I'll never do it again." So few really know that Christ and His Church have the best plan for marriage and family. The culture at large will never know it until the lay faithful witness by being open to life. The ones who are open to life are the most joyful people I have met. They have found the freedom and fulfillment Christ offers through the teachings of His Church.