WASHINGTON (August 25, 2003) -- Respect Life program materials for 2003-2004 are now available from the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Respect Life Sunday, which begins the year-long campaign, is October 5.
Begun in 1972, the Respect Life program brings information about Church teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the Catholic community and the wider public.
The program combines education, prayer, services, and advocacy. It is observed in virtually all of the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States.
"Life is a Miracle, the theme of this year's program was chosen to highlight this simple truth, seemingly forgotten today," said Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, chairman of the Pro-Life Activities Committee. "It is a particularly poignant theme as research continues to unveil the delicate orchestration of early embryonic development, as 4-D photography affords a new window to the womb, as we enjoy and profit from humanity's boundless creative gifts and ponder man's ability to perform heroic acts of sacrifice and love."
The lead article in the materials, "Ten Legal Reasons to Reject Roe" by Susan E. Wills, Esq., highlights ten ways the Supreme Court broke from established legal principles in order to find a "privacy right" to abortion in the U.S. Constitution. On moral and legal grounds, Roe v. Wade is indefensible, writes Wills.
The program also features the following:
- In "Physician-assisted Suicide: The Wrong Approach to End of Life Care," F. Michael Gloth, III, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a specialist in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, provides an overview of medical and legal developments in physician-assisted suicide and palliative care.
- "We Forgive Those who Trespass Against Us" by Maureen Kramlich, Esq., tells the stories of parents who forgave their children's killers and became advocates against the death penalty.
- "Human Cloning vs. Human Dignity" by Richard M. Doerflinger, Deputy Director, USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat, focuses on human cloning used to create life solely to destroy it, and the fact that this is a symptom of a deeper problem.
- "Women Deserve Better than Abortion" by Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life of America, draws attention to the fact that abortion is a sign that society is not meeting the needs of women.
- "Political Responsibility: The Virtue of Rugged Hope" by Michael A. Taylor, S.T.D., executive director of National Committee for a Human Life Amendment, addresses the Church's call to Catholics to be active citizens who inform public debate with Christian values concerning the human rights and equal dignity of all.
- In "The Myth of Overpopulation and the Folks who Brought it to You," Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, explores the false beliefs which animate the population control movement and which led to the founding of the U.N. Population Fund.
- The program also includes "The Question of Imperfect Legislation," a reprint of an instructive column by the late Cardinal John J. O'Connor.
For more information, contact the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities at 202-541-3070. To order materials, call the Secretariat's Fulfillment Center toll-free at 866-582-0943 (in MD 301-779-0603).