I have just arrived on the Notre Dame campus thanks to a generous invitation from Professor Carter Snead, Executive Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture. I am thrilled to be attending the week-long Vita Institute, an intensive “summer camp” for pro-life leaders. Lectures will cover the legal, policy, pastoral, philosophical and theological aspects of defending life here and internationally.
Right now, Richard Doerflinger, past Director of Policy for the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, is sharing the wisdom of his 38 years in service to the bishops on how to build a culture of life in law. In explaining the consequences of pro-life work for public policy Richard reminds us that “defense of life is the beginning of a human rights agenda, the floor below which we cannot sink. Never advance other goods by passing laws that undermine life.” He tells us to remember that “life is not the only human value to be promoted while ignoring other consequences; to denigrate the other human goods that life was given to us to serve.”
We do well to understand that the “highest human good is religious freedom, which makes it possible for us to serve God by servng all the goods of the human person (including life). So laws attacking our right of conscience about human life are the most egregiously unjust.”
Watch this space for more updates from the Vita Institute. But while you are waiting, click on over to the Action Center and tell Congress we want them to pass the Conscience Protction Act of 2016. Together we will be heard!