Letter from Msgr. Schaedel for bulletin of October 8, 2000
Last Sunday was Respect Life Sunday. As always, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis observed this by a special Mass at the cathedral celebrated by the archbishop. This was followed by our participation in the “Life Chain” along North Meridian Street, the “Life Fair” in the Assembly Hall at the Catholic Center, and pro-life speaker, Professor Mark Ginter from Saint Meinrad Seminary.
I was proud of Holy Rosary’s participation in Respect Life Sunday’s activities. Special thanks go to Diana Klee, our Pro-Life Committee chairperson and to David Walden who helped with a lot of the organizational details.
Just days before Respect Life Sunday, the Federal Food and Drug Administration approved use of the abortion pill, RU-486. I find this almost unbelievable. I also cannot believe that anyone would actually be stupid enough to use this drug. Did you notice the editorial page cartoon in last Saturday’s Indianapolis Star? It was a pill bottle marked “RU-486” with the following label warning of side effects: Bleeding, Allergies, Numbed Conscience.
Naturally, the media flooded the Catholic Center asking for the Church’s response to the news of the approval of this drug. Both Archbishop Buechlein and I were asked for statements. I’d like to reprint them here:
“It is a sad irony that the Food and Drug Administration has given public approval to the abortifacient pill RU-486 just days before our observance of Respect Life Sunday.
It is a worrisome irony that a government administration whose responsibility is to oversee health and safety approves a drug whose intent is to terminate human life.
It is a disillusioning irony that the climate of the Clinton administration makes possible this further slide toward a culture of death while insistently claiming as priorities health care and the welfare of children.
It is a shortsighted irony that pro-abortion people hail the release of a drug that makes abortion “more convenient” as an “advance” for women. It will almost certainly contribute to the numbing of consciences. A numb conscience does not create peace of soul.
I agree with the sentiment of the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta who said that a society willing to rid itself of innocent human life in the womb is a society capable of ever-increasing violence. We see it before our eyes.
As Catholics, we continue to stand for the dignity of all human life and make it a constant preoccupation in our prayer.”
-Most Rev. Daniel M. Buechlein, O.S.B.
Archbishop of Indianapolis
“The Catholic Church and Roman Catholics throughout the nation will continue to speak out against the use of mifepristone, more commonly referred to as RU-486 or the abortion pill. The approval of the abortion pill by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday is a disappointing governmental decision that will help kill unborn babies and could put the life of the mother at risk.
As Catholics we celebrate the human dignity of all life--and that especially includes the life of the unborn. We will reiterate this belief during Masses this Sunday, October 1, which is our annual Respect Life Sunday.
The use of a pill, rather than surgical abortion, does not change our opinion that the killing of the unborn is wrong. It is the taking of an innocent life. The use of RU-486 involves multiple office visits to a doctor and can cause physical and emotional pain, bleeding and nausea to the mother.
Abortion-by-pills will only further numb the moral conscience of our society by putting abortion in the same category as taking vitamins or antibiotics.
As Catholics who are dedicated to helping others, we will continue offering support and spiritual guidance to women who find themselves in a crisis situation or to women who have had an abortion.”
-Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel, V.G.
The Parish Council will meet this Thursday, October 5, at 7:00 p.m. I know that one item on our agenda will be the upcoming Stewardship Campaign and United Catholic Appeal. Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings.
In God’s Providence,