Matthew Wojciechowski

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Why you shouldn’t blame the clergy that a majority of Catholics support abortion

Matthew Wojciechowski
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LifeSiteNews recently reported the unsurprising findings of a poll commissioned by The Washington Post and ABC stating that a majority of American Catholics are in favor of abortion in “all or most cases.” Coincidentally or providentially, LifeSiteNews published this article on the same day as the Catholic Church celebrated the 45th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s momentous encyclical Humanae Vitae. I suppose it was the latter, and I thank them for doing so.

The findings of the poll were disheartening. As a sinful, aspiring Catholic, this article provided me with a great lesson in humility and self-examination, and this is why.

As I read through the unsurprising, but equally devastating, results my anger grew stronger. What is wrong with all these Catholics? Where did the Church go wrong? Where did the pro-life movement go wrong? How is this possible and why don’t they just get it?

Within seconds, my mind began to play the blame game, and naturally, my first target was the clerics of the church: Priests, bishops, and religious. “This is all their fault,” I thought. Over the years, they have completely abandoned their flock. They stopped preaching the truth from the pulpit and with their own lives. They are to blame for this drastic dissent among Catholics.

Luckily, I quickly sobered up. I took a deep breath, and began to reflect more personally.

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In reality, we are all to blame. How pro-life is my family? My relationship with others? Do I always stand on the side of life in conversations with my relatives and peers? How is my relationship with my wife? My husband? My children? My parents? My relationship with my pastor? And yes, this is supposed to sound like an examination of conscience.

Instead of blaming the usual suspects, we need to look at our own lives. Clergy have an immense responsibility in the Church and they should be held accountable – but not any more accountable than husbands ought to be to their wives (and vice-versa), parents to their children, etc.

If I want more Catholics to truly believe that the right to life is above all other rights, that the inherent dignity of every human being – born and preborn – must be protected and defended at all costs and that to be Christian is to be pro-life, then I need to start with me and my immediate family. Devout and faithful priests (and there are many) definitely help, but the immediate family is the nucleus of our society, and everything starts there. This is usually the hardest place to start, but it is fundamental.

On this 45th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, we should all take the time to sit down with our family, after dinner, and read through this amazing document that was given to us by an amazing pope. We should discuss it, ask questions, seek answers, clear up misunderstandings, and relate with each other honestly by surrendering ourselves to the graces of the Holy Spirit. Afterwards, pray together for all priests and bishops and for a culture of life to be restored in our nation and around the world.

The Church and the pro-life movement have a lot of work to do and these poll results are a sobering reminder. But rather than blaming others, as I initially did, these results should motivate us to take an active role in the new evangelization and to make sure that when the next poll comes around, members of our own families will fall into the category of those who oppose abortion in all cases, not the other way around. 

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The anti-life forces are back at the UN, but they are not alone

Matthew Wojciechowski
Matthew Wojciechowski
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The anti-life forces are back at the UN for the Forty-Seventh Commission on Population and Development, promoting their radical agenda of sexual and reproductive health rights, which include pushing for abortion as a human right. Luckily they are not alone as Campaign Life Coalition, along with other pro-life, pro-family groups have also returned to add an alternative voice to the debate and to make sure that the real issues do not get hijacked by the abortion agenda.

Campaign Life Coalition has had an active presence at the UN for twenty years. At the behest of Pope John Paul II, CLC participated and affected change at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994.  Within these twenty years, CLC, along with like-minded groups, has participated in dozens of UN conferences and has prevented abortion from being declared a human right. This is no easy task when you're up against well-funded groups like International Planned Parenthood Federation and Amnesty International.

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It's only the first day and our representatives have already witnessed firsthand the abortion-obsessed groups who are pushing for radical sexual and reproductive health rights, which are flowery terms for abortion-on-demand. Speech after speech, side event after side event, the ongoing theme is the same: Abortion, Abortion, Abortion.

In an effort to educate the public, the CLC team here at the UN put together a short video blog recapping the activities from Day 1.

It’s going to be a very long week.

Watch the video blog here.

Reprinted with permission from Campaign Life Coalition

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The Federal Government supports the use of graphic images

Matthew Wojciechowski
Matthew Wojciechowski
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In 2001, Canada was the first country to require health warnings on tobacco packaging, and now the government is once again stepping up its game. On June 19th, 2012, the federal government reached another milestone in their fight against smoking by announcing that all cigarette packages must display the larger and more hard-hitting health warning messages.

In a press release issued by the office of the Minister of Health, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq states that “this initiative continues our efforts to inform Canadians - especially young people - about the health hazards of smoking.”

Studies show that the use of warning messages on tobacco products, including graphic images, has been the most effective way to inform and educate people on the health risks associated with tobacco use, much to the dismay of large tobacco companies.  As of this week, 75% of the front and back panels of the packaging contain graphic warning messages and images. Way to go Canada for being a world leader and for once again taking such a strong and aggressive approach to helping people avoid the pain and suffering associated with tobacco-related illnesses.

But enough about smoking. Let’s apply this same logic to the use of graphic images for showing people the truth about abortion.

If the Ministry of Health can regulate one industry by mandating the use of graphic and disturbing images on their products in order to reduce consumption and save lives, why aren’t they using that same approach on another industry that kills? The answer to that is easy and disheartening at the same time. The government acknowledges that cigarettes kill, and yet they fail to recognize that abortion kills, in a much more direct and cruel way.

For the government to acknowledge that abortion kills, they would first have to acknowledge that the preborn are human beings and should be protected right? As a matter of fact they do just that with one of the new warning labels that states “Second-hand smoke contains many toxic chemicals that can harm an unborn baby”.  That’s right folks, the government does not want pregnant women to smoke and harm their unborn babies. If they care so much about unborn babies, shouldn’t pregnant women also be warned that an abortion not only harms but kills their unborn baby if they choose to have one?

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The government is being inconsistent and very selective when it comes to choosing which lives to protect.  In Canada, tobacco-related illnesses kill 37,000 human beings every year. Abortion kills more than 100,000 human beings every year (at the expense of taxpayers). And yet when pro-lifers show graphic images of what abortion looks like, they are accused of using scare-tactics, being judgmental, mean and flat out crazy. It just doesn’t make any sense. If pro-lifers are those things, so is the Federal Ministry of Health.

Why is the government going out of its way to do ‘what’s best’ for smokers, but not for pregnant women considering an abortion? Why spend so much time and money trying to discourage smokers from smoking when it’s their body, their choice?  Why are they so opinionated and in-your-face with smoking-prevention, but so avoidant with abortion-prevention?

I thank groups like Show the Truth and the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and their recently launched Canada-wide New Abortion Caravan campaign, for providing graphic warning messages that expose Canadians to the truth about abortion, and doing what our government fails to do.

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