ProLifeCorner.com- 10-15-2013- The Rockford Pro-Life Initiative just published a challenging article confronting what we perceive as some unnecessary confusion taking place in the Church today concerning moral issues.
Rockford is blessed to have a truly faithful, wise, and compassionate man, Dr. Errol Baptist, serving our community as a doctor and devout Catholic.
Below is his positive and insightful response to the article we posted. It is our hope that men like Dr. Baptist will be listened to and appreciated in our Church today.
It is very unfair to say that there have been no pro-life sermons in Catholic Churches in the Diocese of Rockford. My wife and I have been members of Holy Family Church since the early 1980′s. We have heard several homilies at Mass over the years on every aspect of the Culture of Death. We have had a Respect Life Committee at Holy Family and other Churches for almost 20 years. I should know since I was, and am still, a member of this committee.
During this time you need to know the faithfulness of our Priests and congregation at Holy Family Church
1. We have continually designated October as a month to respect Life.
2. The priests have always had prayers with pro-life intentions said at Mass. There have been homilies said several times on every aspect of the Culture of Death. Sadly I have witnessed priests being verbally abused in the worst language after Mass (significantly by only one or two people) because they dared to speak about these subjects. How many of us have rushed to defend these priests? How many of us have thanked a priest for a pro life sermon/homily?? It is time that we supported our clergy instead of constantly criticizing them.
3. Until recently one week-end in October was given to pro-life medical doctors to speak for three minutes after each Mass on a pro life topic, from abortion to stem cell research to euthanasia. I should know. I was in charge of this mission. We do not do so now since we have a different approach to reach out to more people.
4. During one of these week ends a few years ago, the Rockford Newspaper ran a very negative front page story because my fellow doctors and I had spoken about partial birth abortion (PBA) at Church. I still have the newspaper clippings. I asked the reporter (who denied the existence of PBA) to meet with me to explain our position but he refused. I will not repeat what he said.
5. Catholic Churches ALWAYS participate in the Life Chain and Holy Family is in the fore-front of this event.
6. For the last 5 years we have a very active Rockford Guild of the Catholic Medical Association. It is open to the public and does not cost anything, unless you are a Catholic doctor. We conduct a meeting, forum, discussion, several times a year, usually at Holy Family Church. The topics are all centered on RESPECT FOR LIFE. Many priests in our Diocese have spoken at these meetings, which include talks by doctors in our guild and even lawyers from our Catholic community. Holy Family Church and the Respect Life Committee help us immensely in setting up and holding these meetings. Our meetings are well attended. We have had between 50 and 200 people- sadly the same people every time. How many of you who criticize our Church have attended these VERY PRO-LIFE meetings??? If you have not done so, please attend our next meeting AT 7:30 pm on Wednesday, October 30 at HOLY FAMILY CHURCH. We shall be talking on the “War against Children, the Death of Innocence, and the Birth of a Violent Society. If you want to take a stand against the Culture of Death, show your support for the pro-life movement and please attend. NON CATHOLICS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME and also attend our meetings. Please help us in spreading the word.
7. Our guild has also made presentations at other Churches in our Diocese, and we have been warmly welcomed by the priests and congregations at St. Rita, St. Bernadette, St. Peter’s Cathedral, St. Bridget, St. James, and St. Edward. All these priests have been very supportive of the pro life mission of our Church.
8. We have tried to from a pro-life Protestant doctors group. Sadly we have been totally unsuccessful. We have in the past, made pro-life presentations at several Protestant churches which have been gracious in having us over. But in more recent times it has become almost impossible to do so.
There are numerous times in history when the Catholic Church has had more than its fair share of problems with dissent, scandal and heresy. This is Christ’s Church but her members are human. They fail very often. But it was so even at the inception of the Church. Peter the Rock on whom Jesus built his Church was himself wrong once – read Gal: 2:11-14. 8% of the original 12 Apostles = Judas was evil. But that does not detract from the mission and the promise that Jesus gave us. See Matthew 28:19-20.
In order to promote the Gospel of Life we need to move on, not focusing on the negativity that is always present, but getting involved in various ministries in our Church, and being faithful followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If there is something wrong with what is going on, it is not their fault, or anybody else’s fault; it is our fault. The Church does not consist only of buildings and clergy. It consists of all of us faithful believers. We are the Church. And we must carry out His mission, His commands, His Gospel.
All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.
EDITOR: Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. We are all blessed that we have a strong pro-life physician that is not afraid to speak out against the evil of the culture of death. Holy Family Church is indeed fortunate to have you among it’s parishioners. We wish that all parishes in the diocese could be as strong as Holy Family. Sadly, it is a “hit and a miss”.
We are well aware of the many pro-life activities at Holy Family, not only in defense of life but speaking out in defense of religious freedom.
We used to have a priest in our parish that gave two or three wonderful pro-life homilies, and we did thank him each time. But the naysayers won out; he was so criticized for the homilies that he didn’t give another one that we were aware of. Fortunately, we are now very blessed to have a priest who is not afraid or intimidated by those parishioners who are obviously not pro-life, and we receive excellent Church teachings on the culture of life frequently.
Sadly, it is a reality that there is a positive/negative pro-life culture in some of our churches and through the power of the Spirit and only through the power of the Holy Spirit will this ever change.
We would like to thank all of our readers who left comments on this particular article. Your input is truly appreciated.
Here is a link to the original article that brought about this conversation:
Rockford Pro-Life Votes To Donate Millions Of Dollars To Catholic Relief Services