A nation that kills its children is a nation without hope. - Bl. Pope John Paul III was reading this article earlier and it made me decide to dedicate a post to pro-life issues, ministry and religious congregation dedicated to pro-life issues.
The Sanctity of Life in the Catholic Church
Before I get into the religious life aspect of this I wanted to provide a short primer on the teachings of the Catholic Church on the sanctity of life, which is the centre of our pro-life beliefs. References 'CCC' refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, see 'Links' at the bottom of the post to read the full document. Now I am no apologist so I apologise if this does not read very easily.
Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.This is something that is truly at the centre of our faith as Catholics and as Christians, the simple fact that we are created by God and for God and life is in His hands, not ours. As the very author of life, He has rights over life and the taking of it that we do not.
The fifth commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful. the murderer and those who cooperate voluntarily in murder commit a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.The Church affirms as well that human life begins at the moment of conception. This is naturally where abortion issues come into the equation. The simple fact of the matter is that abortion is gravely immoral and completely contrary to moral law.
CCC 2271:Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.Although the term pro-life is usually used solely to refer to abortion issues, there are also other issues that are important in this area, including euthanasia. Euthanasia takes away the dignity of the human person and goes against our knowledge that only God has the right to give and take life.
Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.The very first section of the Catechism sums all this up perfectly: human life is sacred and God alone is the very author of life, as such giving Him the right to give or take human life. This is not a right we have as humans and the unjust taking of life is to always be condemned.
I have a playlist of pro-life videos on my YouTube, I add to it as I find new videos. These are just a few that I find particularly special.
This is an absolutely stunning video. I was so moved by this. It talks so beautifully about what a true miracle human life is.
Pro-Life Religious Communities
NB: When I say this I mean communities specifically dedicated to pro-life issues. Of course any Catholic religious Community should be pro-life!
Sisters of Life - pregnancy help, retreats, post-abortion healing services, pro-life evangelisation
Servants of the Gospel of Life
Priests For Life
Franciscan Brothers of Life
Franciscan Daughters of Mary - pro-life education, helping the homeless, assistance for mothers
Sisters in Jesus the Lord - work with pro-life groups, post-abortion healing, also seeking ways to incorporate working against euthanasia to their missions
Sisters of the Gospel of Life
Catechism of the Catholic Church - links to the section dealing with sanctity of life issues
St. Gianna Beretta Molla - a mother who gave her own life for that of her child
End of Life Issues and the Catholic Church - a good article about the care of the sick and dying
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children - UK group fighting against abortion and euthanasia as well as promoting the life rights of the disabled
Amnesty for Babies - international petition
The Signal Hill - pregnancy support in Canada
LifeSiteNews - international news site with articles on pro-life issues
Life Issues Institute - international pro-life education mission
March For Life - does what it says on the tin!
Coalition for Life - ending abortion in the Brazos valley
Americans United for Life - defending human life through legislative, judicial, and educational efforts
40 Days for Life - prayer vigils
Human Life International - pro-life missionaries
Living the Gospel of Life - Bishop's letter on pro-life issues