Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
October is Respect Life Month. The Church calls for special attention and reflection on this year’s theme — Faith Opens Our Eyes to Human Life in all Its Grandeur and Beauty — which contrasts a life lived for career and wealth with a life lived in love and service to others.
Catholics are called in a special way to reflect on the gift of human life, the threats against it and how we can protect all persons from conception to natural death. We are called to be mindful of the risks to basic religious liberties and freedoms. And we recall the true meaning of love — love that always seeks the good of the other person despite the personal cost.
The goal of banishing all forms of violence flows from the love and celebration of the life with which our Creator’s love has endowed us. Created as we are in God’s own image we should build a world where human life is always loved and defended. In the homily of his inaugural Mass, Pope Benedict XVI said, “Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.”
The sacredness of the life of human beings is violated when the life of the unborn is threatened; when children live in fear, poverty, hunger and abuse; when the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the elderly and disabled are neglected; and when millions who live in refugee camps, in prison, in war zones and in disease are deprived of their God-given human dignity. We are all precious gifts from God.
There are no simple solutions, but there is guidance and support. The U.S. bishops have assembled a Respect Life package that many parishes have ordered, and information on the Respect Life program can be accessed through the Diocese of Davenport website at www.davenportdiocese.org/socialaction/sarespectlife.htm. This October, please join me in reflecting on the sacredness of every human being so that we may each be a sign of God’s love to each other.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. Martin Amos
Bishop of Davenport