Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Solemnity of The Annunciation

As I said last year at this time, it seems obvious to me that the Solemnity of The Annunication should be a universal holyday of obligation. If the Church has a special message for the world in our times, (allowing also for the call for unity) it is the dignity and worth of each human person. I believe that Pope John Paul II (the Great) was given to the Church, above all, to preach this message. The Catholic church today needs to understand that this is an absolutely essential part of the proclamation of the Gospel to the world. The scandals of child abuse and the degrading neglect of the vulnerable elderly; the violence and cruelty visited on children by sick and depraved parents; the marginalisation of the severely handicapped and the terminally ill; the call for euthanasia and "assisted suicide"; the pride and arrogance that leads to war and military intervention - and all other abuses and attacks on human life, surely challenge us to preach and practice what we believe. We have just celebrated the anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Romero, and I understand that the Polish priest Jerzy Popielusko is to be beatified - both killed for speaking out against terrible injustice, torture and false imprisonment. We need to be rock solid in our determination to preach and uphold the dignity and worth of each human life. It seems to me that this is not just something expected of us as Catholics but it should be, as one of our highest priorities, the specific mission of the Church in these times. If only we were all united so that there could be one voice - speaking as Christ Himself - against all attacks and forms of abuse against human life. The raising of this Solemnity to a universal holyday might help.

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