Did you see Pope Francis’s remarks about the protection of the unborn at the White House this morning?
Mr. President, I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to foster a culture of life in this great nation. Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that this unconscionable taking of innocent human life is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation. When it comes to the care of our own children, we are living at a critical moment of history. We still have time to make the changes needed, but we must act. We must understand — as we’ve been forced to confront in a recent series of investigative videos seen around the world — that those involved in the abortion industry “justify even infanticide, following the same arguments used to justify the right to abortion. In this way, we revert to a state of barbarism which one hoped had been left behind forever.” (Evangelium Vitae, 14). Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we have created where we can so cruelly destroy our own children, but also of the millions of people who have already fallen victim to this barbarism. Our common humanity should motivate us to end, once and for all, the legalized eradication of this voiceless group which suffers the most brutal form of exclusion, and in so suffering cries out to heaven, the results of which today powerfully strikes our homes, our cities and our societies. To use a telling phrase of the Reverend Martin Luther King, we cannot win if we are willing to sacrifice the futures of our children for immediate personal comfort and safety. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We know by faith that our Creator has said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jer. 1:5). As Christians inspired by this certainty, we wish to commit ourselves to the conscious and responsible care and protection of our most vulnerable, our future generations.
You didn’t? Me neither. The answer to the question posed by the title of this post is, unfortunately: nothing. He didn’t make any comments about the unborn at the White House. What you just read is what I wished was in his speech instead of what I found there.
This is what he really said in that section:
Mr. President, I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution. Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation. When it comes to the care of our “common home”, we are living at a critical moment of history. We still have time to make the changes needed to bring about “a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change” (Laudato Si’, 13). Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them. Our common home has been part of this group of the excluded which cries out to heaven and which today powerfully strikes our homes, our cities and our societies. To use a telling phrase of the Reverend Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honor it.
We know by faith that “the Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home” (Laudato Si’, 13). As Christians inspired by this certainty, we wish to commit ourselves to the conscious and responsible care of our common home.
There was also something about being “committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination”. A brief mention of religious liberty made it in, too. But a statement about protecting the unborn in the presence of the most pro-abortion president in US history — especially as Congress is attempting to defund Planned Parenthood — didn’t make the cut.
Still, a Catholic can dream. Here’s hoping that in the Congressional address tomorrow, our modern holocaust gets more than a passing mention.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.