A reminder that all life is sacred

By Sam Lucero | The Compass | May 30, 2018

In Ireland and along our border

Last Sunday’s feast of the Holy Trinity brings to mind St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, who, as legend tells us, used a shamrock to try to explain the three divine persons in the Holy Trinity. His missionary zeal led to the conversion of many and laid the foundation for the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Two days before the feast of the Holy Trinity, voters in Ireland voted to repeal the eighth amendment to the country’s constitution, which banned most abortions.

Supporters of the referendum argued that women already traveled to England to terminate a pregnancy, and that ending the ban would simply make the process more convenient.

Creating a culture of convenience that devalues the sanctity of human life is a road that leads to dire consequences. “The sad experience of other countries is that, once laws permitting abortion are introduced, they diminish the society’s respect for the inherent value of every human life, born or unborn,” said Anne Murray of Ireland’s Pro Life Campaign, a group that opposed the change.

We here in the United States can certainly make that connection. Abortion on demand has been the law here since 1973, and a growing disregard for the dignity of human life has followed.

The most recent examples have been the inhumane treatment of immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

In a letter to the editor of the Sun Sentinel of Broward County, Fla., on May 25, Archbishop Thomas Wenski criticized a new policy by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which ended the practice of releasing pregnant women in detention.

“To imperil the lives of unborn babies to ‘punish’ their mothers is bad policy,” wrote Archbishop Wenski. “It is cruel and anti-life.”

In another case involving immigrants, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced May 7 that the Justice Department would begin prosecuting every person caught crossing the border, regardless of their situation, and that children would be separated from their parents as a deterrent. The children, unaccompanied minors, would then be turned over to Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.

However, it was recently reported that 1,475 unaccompanied minors, those who came to the United States on their own, and who were turned over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement from October to December 2017, were misplaced and their whereabouts are unknown.

Steve Wagner, acting assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families division, revealed the case of misplaced children while testifying before a Senate subcommittee.

The subcommittee’s chairman, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, is concerned for the missing children’s welfare. “These kids, regardless of their immigration status, deserve to be treated properly, not abused or trafficked,” he said.

These cases point to a disturbing trend by the Trump administration as it seeks to crack down on illegal immigration. Human dignity is being turned away at our southern border, along with human beings. Even the president’s description of some immigrants as “animals” has contributed to the devaluation of human life.

When human dignity is stripped from one group based on age, national origin, economic status or any other standard, all life begins to be compromised.

Centuries ago, St. Patrick used a shamrock to describe the Holy Trinity — how God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, were truly one. Today, we need a modern St. Patrick to articulate the truth that all stages of life are sacred: from conception to adulthood and to our final days as senior citizens. Three stages, but truly one life.

 

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