Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bring the Wounded to the Church

[Project Rachel founder Vicki] Thorn said that the abortion debate “is so emotionally charged, not because it is a moral and philosophical debate, but because it is a heart experience. I believe that everyone knows someone who has had an abortion.

“We must always speak with gentleness and not condemnation, because it is our charge, as laid out by Pope Benedict XVI, to bring the wounded to the Church for healing.”

7 comments:

priest's wife said...

so so true!

Pentimento said...

Yes. It grieves me that so many -- at least in my experience -- who are proudly and vocally pro-life still view post-abortive men and women with condemnation.

Peter and Nancy said...

I volunteer with a ministry to at-risk young women. Two weeks ago, and listened as one of them told me that the biggest mistake of her life happened 3 years ago when she aborted her baby. She is only 20 years old, and is carrying around this huge weight. She told me that she didn't feel like she had any choice (ironically) but to abort, because she had no support from family, the father, or anyone to carry the baby to term or keep it.

She said that on the day she aborted, there were protesters shouting at her as she entered the clinic, and she was afraid of them. How I wish we Christians were better at reaching out in ways that don't frighten the people we wish to help.
Nancy

Pentimento said...

Sad story. If a young woman at risk for abortion is frightened by the pro-lifers who ostensibly are trying to help her, that has to be a sign to leave righteous anger aside. These protests will not really change anything, since, as Vicki Thorn says, abortion is a "heart experience." But it's a lot easier to take the stance of righteous anger than it is to love -- and to serve.

The Sisters of Life in New York City model themselves after Mary of the Visitation, and seek to *serve* the at-risk pregnant women who are resident in their convents during crisis pregnancies. There is no condemnation there, and some of the moms are very "street." (I'm the godmother to a child born to one of them.) The difference is love.

I think the way to change hearts away from abortion is to follow Christ's exhortation to welcome the stranger. Pregnant mothers need to learn to welcome the stranger within them. Prolifers need to welcome the women at risk and the post-abortive -- and those are two sorts of women who are strange indeed to them.

lydiapurpuraria said...

Here is a question for you. How do you go about changing the hearts of the well-intentioned but clueless people on the sidewalk? In my town we have an established, untrained group of people who pray outside the clinics once a week. They're mostly older and a bit reactionary. While most are very kind and civil to the ladies entering the clinic, there are a few who have a hard time keeping a lid on it. One gentleman in particular told me he just doesn't understand how a woman could get herself into trouble and then murder her child. I responded by saying "Think how desperate she must feel to think this is her best option." He looked really puzzled! Sorry for the long comment-this has been weighing on me for months, and I just don't know where to begin with the pro-life movement in my new town.

Pentimento said...

Oy. There's a man in my old parish in the Bronx who's quite well-known for his work in pro-life, and runs several crisis pregnancy centers in New York. He posted on his Facebook page an account of a young woman his staff worked with who was seeking an abortion because she was afraid she wouldn't be able to go to college if she had a baby. I was dismayed to read the comment of a (female) friend of his -- an orthodox Catholic -- which said, and I quote: "Keep your legs closed."

Tertium Quid said...

"Love one another as I have loved you."