By Judie Brown
A video entitled Scandal recently caught our eye, but for all the wrong reasons. When pro-life leader John Ryan sent the link to us, I was somehow urged, perhaps by my Guardian Angel, to view it immediately.
And what I found alerted me to the fact that you who read these columns need to know about this subject matter—if only to search out the potential for the same scandal in the area where you live. To begin, the video was made possible by Defenders of the Unborn St. Louis and Credo of the Catholic Laity. It reports on the gruesome abortion activity taking place in Catholic hospitals in St. Louis. When we think about this in terms of what St. John Paul II called the “struggle between the culture of life and the culture of death,” we are forced to confront the truth that such evils are not only practiced in this nation but exist under the aegis of Catholic facilities.
The pope’s words, quoted here from Evangelium Vitae, apply to the situation not only in the Catholic hospital in St. Louis but to all Catholic facilities:
We have to go to the heart of the tragedy being experienced by modern man: the eclipse of the sense of God and of man, typical of a social and cultural climate dominated by secularism, which, with its ubiquitous tentacles, succeeds at times in putting Christian communities themselves to the test. Those who allow themselves to be influenced by this climate easily fall into a sad vicious circle: when the sense of God is lost, there is also a tendency to lose the sense of man, of his dignity and his life; in turn, the systematic violation of the moral law, especially in the serious matter of respect for human life and its dignity, produces a kind of progressive darkening of the capacity to discern God’s living and saving presence.
This production focuses on one Catholic institution where fertility treatments, referrals for aborting children, and gender care are incorporated into the services offered, but it reminds me in the starkest of terms and visuals that we can no longer expect a facility that describes itself as Catholic to actually be Catholic. And therein resides the dark reality in our midst.
We are aware of the bias against the Church by those in the media who see Catholic teaching as a threat to their reproductive health agenda. NBC News published an article on this entitled “Catholic Hospitals’ Growth Has an Impact on Reproductive Health Care.” Of course, NBC is warning readers and audiences that Catholic teaching is a threat to their desire to kill babies, tweak their fertility, or even alter their gender. But is such media hype reflecting what is actually going on? Or is Catholic identity just a bogeyman for the media?
Again, I urge you to view Scandal and hear directly from the experts in Catholic truth as it should be applied in Catholic facilities. Professor Patrick Lee and pro-life leader Eric Scheidler are among those featured in this program. And it goes without saying that the message will awaken you to reality in ways you might not be expecting.
But the bottom line after viewing the video is this: Why are there no Catholic bishops in this video? Where is the outrage? It’s a simple question we have asked for 50 years. You will hear John Ryan speak out in forceful terms to those going into an abortion clinic, but why is it Ryan and not a band of bishops standing with him?
Ryan says many things that remind us that the act of abortion is murder, but as you view this, have a pen and paper in front of you so you can immediately write a letter to your bishop and your pastor and ask them: Where are you?
Indeed, where are they? Are they in the pulpit? Are they standing in front of abortion facilities in your location? Have they made public statements about this atrocity in ways that attract the media?
If you ask me, after watching this video, I have another SCANDAL in mind, and it requires your personal action. Remember that only with our individual prayers, personal commitment, and respectful appeals to our bishops and priests can we hope to ameliorate the deadly results of the scandal that kills people and souls.