Friday, June 5, 2009

Archbishop Naumann's Column on Tiller Murder

Following is excerpted from Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann's column in The Leaven on the murder of George Tiller:
I was shocked and saddened when I received a phone call on Sunday from Michael Schuttloffel, the executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference, informing me of news reports that Dr. George Tiller had been murdered while attending church that morning. On Monday of this week, I offered Mass for the repose of the soul of Dr. Tiller and for comfort and consolation for his family. . .

. . .The pro-life movement is about saving lives, not taking them. It is about providing housing, medical care, educational opportunities and financial help to pregnant women who feel overwhelmed by the circumstances of their pregnancy. It is about providing counseling and support to those who have had an abortion and now deeply regret their past choices. It is about a profound respect for the law, as evidenced by many laboring arduously and perseveringly to reform our present public policy in order to restore legal protection for the lives of unborn children. It is about a belief in the sanctity of each and every human life.

Killing those who perform abortions builds up the culture of death, because it embraces its premise that we solve problems by destroying human life rather than honoring the truth that every human being is made in the image of God. Undercutting the authority of the law by acts of vigilantism is an absurdity for a movement that is trying to gain legal protection for the lives of unborn children. What is the point of working for legal reform for our public policy on abortion, if you accept the premise that it is acceptable to disregard the law and kill another human being?

Through my involvement with the pro-life movement, I have met several individuals who at one time were involved in providing abortions, only to become ardent pro-life advocates. Dr. Bernard Nathanson was one of the leaders in the 1960s and 1970s of the effort to legalize abortion. He personally performed more than 60,000 abortions. After his pro-life conversion, prompted by his study of neonatology, Dr. Nathanson developed some of the most effective, pro-life educational materials, presenting the scientific case for the humanity of the unborn child. . .

. . .Before the 1973 Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion, Dr. Beverly McMillan had interned at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. She witnessed first hand, in the emergency room, the harm done to women by botched, illegal abortions. Dr. McMillan opened the first abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. She was convinced that she was helping women by providing safe abortions.

Over time, Dr. McMillan found herself becoming unhappy and depressed over her medical practice. After an abortion, the doctor must reassemble the body parts of the unborn child to make certain none are left in the mother’s uterus, potentially causing an infection. On one such occasion, she relates how she began to marvel at the arm of a child that she had just aborted. She thought this is a perfect arm. It is a child’s arm. At that moment she realized she could no longer continue performing abortions.

Several months after she had discontinued her abortion practice, she found out that a group of Christian women had been praying for her for years that the Lord would enlighten her and give her the courage to stop performing abortions. Dr. McMillan is convinced that those women prayed her out of her abortion practice. . .

. . .Several months after she had discontinued her abortion practice, she found out that a group of Christian women had been praying for her for years that the Lord would enlighten her and give her the courage to stop performing abortions. Dr. McMillan is convinced that those women prayed her out of her abortion practice.

Read on.