Tuesday 29th November 2022

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Becoming Pro-Life The Hard Way

September 25, 2022 Featured Today No Comments

By DONALD DeMARCO

“Aujourd’hui Maman est morte. Ou, hier, peut-etre; je ne sais pas.” (Today my mother died. Or was it yesterday, I don’t know.)

  • + + This is the celebrated opening of Nobel Laureate Albert Camus’ novel, The Stranger. It immediately establishes the main character as a person who, being emotionally unmoved by the death of his own mother, is indifferent to life.
    This indifference to life and death was brought to me in a memorable way one rainy night in October after I had given a pro-life talk. It would be a 20-mile trip to get back home and I was eager to get started. Before I could get into my car, however, I heard someone calling me. From the sound of his voice and the quickness of his step, I sensed that he had something important to tell me. And, indeed, it was very important.
    I listened to him as he unraveled his tale, first with polite indulgence and then with rapt attention. He had been in Uganda doing peace work as an emissary of the Canadian government. The political situation under Idi Amin had reached a crisis point. Canadians like my friend were advised to return to Canada at once.
    He boarded a train that would take him out of the country, or would it? His trip was met with unanticipated terror. He was the only white passenger on the train. A soldier came over to him and pointed a machine gun at his face informing him contemptuously that he could blow him away and toss his body into the jungle and no one on the train would care.
    For roughly a half-hour, though it must have seemed like an eternity to my friend, the cat and mouse game continued. Would the soldier squeeze the trigger and send his dead body not to Canada, but to who knows where?
    The other passengers on the train seemed utterly indifferent to his predicament. No one interceded on his behalf. He was entirely alone, a complete stranger in an alien world. He would be judged without a trial, facing a death sentence for the crime of merely existing. Hope was his only ally.
    As time passed, my friend explained to me, his hope continued to grow. The soldier’s delay strengthened the hope that he would not be executed.
    What does one think about when facing death? Dostoevsky was given five minutes before he was to be shot. He found the fleeting seconds unbearable and longed for having an endless period of five minutes to enjoy life wherever it would take him. The execution was a hoax. During that brief period, however, one of Dostoevsky’s comrades snapped. The great Russian novelist wrote about him in his novel, The Idiot.
    My friend endured a trial of terror, but one that did not lead to his death. What were his thoughts during that ordeal? He was alone and entirely at the mercy of an outsider. He was incapable of any self-defense. There would be no lawyers to plead his case.
    His demise, in the mind of his would-be assassin, would be a mere incident. Whether he lived or died was entirely dependent on someone’s arbitrary choice.
    When the sadistic soldier withdrew his instrument of death, my friend was reborn! He had emerged alive because an outsider decided to allow him to live. His identification with the unborn became irresistibly and firmly established.
    We were all, at one time, denizens of our mother’s womb. To be or not to be was not ours to decide, but the prerogative of another. Just as my friend could not be in favor of extending to the soldier a “pro-choice option,” he could no longer extend that same option to a pregnant woman.
    He identified with the unborn who, in their own pre-conscious way, were choosing life. It was now impossible for him to be pro-abortion. Being pro-life meant identifying with the unborn’s nascent desire to go on living and developing. Being “pro-choice” was identifying with the soldier wielding not a curette but a machine gun.
    Often, the reasonableness of the pro-life argument falls on deaf ears. Experience can be more convincing than rational argumentation. My friend explained to me on that chilly autumn night how he became pro-life the hard way.
    Because I was a speaker and a writer, my friend was calling upon me to be his megaphone to the world. It is a role I am only too happy to accept.
    We were all at one time fetuses, unborn, but nevertheless human beings. To identify with the unborn is to identify with ourselves. We should not want our lives terminated at any age.
    We are often preoccupied by the moment and lose sight of the larger picture. Our baby pictures should include ultra-sound images of when we were moving toward birth. Approving abortion is a kind of self-abortion, a rejection of an early phase of our own existence. If we truly love ourselves, we should love the whole range of life that belongs to every human being. Just as we should not aspire to be merciless gunman, we should come to the defense of every unborn child.
    But there are too many citizens on the train of life who are indifferent, like the main character in Camus’ novel, to the pre-eminent value of another’s life.
    I salute my friend and am grateful for his encouraging me to tell the world about his story and how he came to be pro-life.
  • + + (Dr. Donald DeMarco is professor emeritus, St. Jerome’s University, and an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College. He is the author of 41 books, available on amazon.com. His latest two books are Let Us Not Despair and The Road to a Better World. He and his wife Mary have five children and thirteen grandchildren.)
Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Seems Biden is warning us of another Democratic sweep tonight? Hmmm!

Load More...

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

Cardinal Zen found guilty in Hong Kong trial

CWN Editor’s Note: Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Bishop of Hong Kong, was found guilty on November 25 on charges of failing to register a charitable fund that provided legal help for defendants accused of violating China’s draconian new “security” law. The cardinal and five co-defendants will be required to pay a fine equivalent to $500. After his conviction, Cardinal Zen said that the case should not be seen as a violation of religious freedom.…Continue Reading

Kansas Judge Blocks State Law Banning Doctors From Providing Abortion Pills to Patients Online

A Kansas judge has blocked a state law that banned doctors from providing abortion pills through telemedicine. Shawnee County District Court Judge Teresa Watson granted an abortionists request for a temporary injunction

Archbishop Broglio elected USCCB president

BALTIMORE (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, was elected Tuesday to serve as the next president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The U.S. bishops elected Archbishop Broglio, the current secretary of the USCCB, to a three-year term as president by a vote of 138-99.

Michigan Legalizes Abortions Up to Birth After Leftist Billionaires Spend Millions Buying Votes

Michigan will become the next state to legalzie abortions up to birth after voters approved the dangerous and radical Proposition 3 to would elimiate every single pro-life law in the state, including parental consent. The 55-45 result in favor of the pro-abortion amendment was not surprising given the millions of dollars leftist billionaires pooured into the state to buy votes with false and misleading television commercials that lied about the effects of the measure. Rich,…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider Restate Concerns About Restrictions on Traditional Liturgy

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Raymond Burke has questioned the basis of papal-led efforts to restrict and eventually eliminate the traditional Latin Mass, while Bishop Athanasius Schneider has said the “millennium-old treasure” cannot be destroyed, as it is the work of the Holy Spirit. The cardinal and bishop kindly shared their comments as part of a talk I gave the Latin Mass Society in London on Oct. 21. As concerns deepen over this pontificate’s

Divine Mercy Shrine In Wisconsin Defaced With Graffiti

By JONAH McKEOWN ST. LOUIS, Mo. (CNA) — A Catholic parish in southern Wisconsin suffered a graffiti attack overnight on Sunday, November 20, that saw a large tiled display of the Divine Mercy image defaced with green spray-painted letters.Run by the Stockbridge, Mass.-based Marian Fathers, St. Peter Parish is located in Kenosha, on Lake Michigan…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Theism Reconsidered

By GARY BULLERT Paul Herrick’s latest book, Philosophy, Reasoned Belief, and Faith (University of Notre Dame Press, 2022, 459 pages, $45.00), constitutes the capstone of a forty-year career as an instructor, professional philosopher, and author. It augments more synoptically his earlier book, Think with Socrates: An Introduction to Critical Thinking. Like Socrates, philosophy is a…Continue Reading

The Blessing And Its Counterfeits

By DONALD DeMARCO The blessing, whether it is formal or informal, administered by clergy or laymen, performed in church or at home, is an everyday occurrence in Catholic life. It is a way in which God’s grace is invoked to benefit its intended recipient.We bless our house, our food, our religious articles, people who are…Continue Reading

Putin’s “Winter War” On Ukraine

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Winter has often proven an indispensable ally of Mother Russia.The impending winter of 1812-13 forced Napoleon’s withdrawal from Moscow, a retreat from which his Grande Armée never recovered.The winter of 1941-1942 sealed the ultimate fate of the invading armies of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.Vladimir Putin’s new strategy in the war he…Continue Reading

But The Catholic Bishops Just Rebuked Her… Nancy Pelosi Claims She’s a “Devout Catholic”

By STEVEN ERTELT WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeNews) — During her farewell address as Speaker to fellow Democrats on November 17, Nancy Pelosi called herself a “devout Catholic.” But nothing could be further from the truth.“I stand before you as Speaker of the House, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a devout Catholic, a proud Democrat,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Conforming Ourselves To Christ

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10Romans 15:4-9Matt. 3:1-12 In the first reading today, we hear about a shoot that will sprout from the stump of Jesse. Jesse, recall, was the father of King David. The promise made to King David was that one of his sons would sit on his throne in perpetuity.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This series on the Bible is from the book Catholicism & Scripture. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. Contact us at the addresses provided below. Special Course On Catholicism And Scripture (Chapter 8) To get the people away from worshiping…Continue Reading

When All Seems Lost

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK As I look around and survey the general situation, things seem very bleak, as I’m sure they do also for many others. The world is at war, fighting and killing consuming lives, as well as livelihoods, homes, and wealth. Civilization is lost under the rubble as barbarism reigns. A war is waged in the womb…Continue Reading

The Not-So-Nice Origins And Meanings Of The Word “Nice”

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this article on November 13 and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + Words can change meaning over time — sometimes dramatically. For example, “manufactured” originally meant “handmade” (manu (hand) + facere (make)). The word “decimate” used to mean “to reduce by a tenth” (decem = ten); now people…Continue Reading

A Very Blessed Place To Be

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER First Sunday of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5Romans 13:11-14Matt. 24:37-44 As we begin a new Church year today, we find ourselves balanced on the summit of a mountain. From our perch on this height, we look one direction and we see what is behind us, we look the other direction and we see what is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Padre Pio And The Poor Souls

By DEB PIROCH Part 2 “Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in the most need of Thy mercy” — Fatima prayer. + + This week we continue to discuss the special closeness St. Pio had with the suffering souls in Purgatory. Yes, he…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Francis De Sales, Author And Apologist

By DEB PIROCH Anger is not a sin. It is how one employs anger that can lead to sin, but Christ Himself was justifiably angered when His house of prayer was transformed into a “den of thieves.” What did Christ mean?A church is for praying, for celebrating the Sacrifice of the Mass, for the distribution of the sacraments. It is…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)