Oct. 10, 2012
By Bishop Terry R. LaValley
Forty years ago, the Catholic bishops in the United States designated October as Respect Life Month.
Throughout the month, you and I are called in a special way to reflect on the gift of human life and on how we can protect the life of every person from conception to natural death against the growing number of threats that would harm so precious a gift, particularly the most vulnerable among us.
In a document published last year by the New York State Bishops, Now and at the Hour of Our Death, we are reminded that “life is a sacred trust over which we have been given stewardship, but not ownership.
There are many important issues that face the voter in next month’s election-none more important than how we respond to this sacred trust. I strongly encourage you to spend some time reflecting and praying the words quoted above from the bishops’ document.
You can download the entire document, Now and at the Hour of Our Death, at www.nyscatholic.org or ask your pastor for assistance. This document is a wonderful resource and helpful guide to use when we face critical questions concerning the use of medical technology in “life and death” situations. In clear and user-friendly language, it explains the moral principles of our Catholic faith that apply to end-of-life decision making.
As we begin the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI this week, let us resolve to study and reflect on the wise and inspiring teachings of our faith on the dignity of all human life, advocate its protection and witness its value every day of our lives.