Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents' Day is observed on December 28, 2015. The Massacre of the Innocents is the biblical narrative of infanticide by Herod the Great, the Roman appointed King of the Jews. The number of infants killed is not stated, however the Holy Innocents have been claimed as the first Christian martyrs. The commemoration of the massacre of these "Holy Innocents" - considered by some Christians as the first martyrs for Christ - first appears as a feast of the western church in the Leonine Sacramentary, dating from about 485.

Today, the date of Holy Innocents' Day, also called The Innocents' Day or Childermas or Children's Mass, varies. The 27th of December is the date for West Syrians and East Syrians. 28th December is the date in the Church of England, the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church (in which, except on Sunday, violet vestments were worn before 1961, instead of red, the normal liturgical colour for celebrating martyrs). The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the feast on 29 December.

Rachel still weeps for all children killed by the evil actions of those participating in governance. There is an ongoing struggle between life and death. Christians are engaged in that conflict every single day. We cannot ever withdraw from the obligations it entails. One of those obligations is the defense of the Right to Life of children in the womb. Those who use Pope Francis in some contrived effort to persuade Catholics to back down from such an unequivocally Pro-Life position are selectively reading this Pope. Francis is simply reminding us that our defense of the child in the womb must also include a defense of all human persons and all of the poor and vulnerable. No-one, to use the words of Francis - can be discarded.

The killing of the Holy Innocents continues in this age through legal abortion and every politician or political leader who
supports it is a Herod.
On December 28th Roman Catholic Christians commemorate the martyrdom of the Holy Innocents, the male Hebrew children slaughtered by an evil ruler named Herod:

"When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet: A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more'. (Matt. 2)

Rachel still weeps for all children who are killed by the evil actions of those participating in governance. There is an ongoing struggle between life and death underway. Christians are engaged in that conflict every single day. We cannot ever withdraw from the obligations it entails. One of those obligations is the defense of the Right to Life of children in the womb.

Medical science confirms what the Natural Law, our conscience, the Word of God and the unbroken Christian tradition have long confirmed, the child in the womb is one of us. We all know it. We routinely operate on her when she needs our help and place her back in her first home of the womb until birth. We prosecute a criminal who, in committing a crime against his mother, kills him as well.

The abortion lie has been visibly revealed through 3 and 4d ultrasound technology. The beauty of that child now adorns our walls and fills our wallets. Every procured abortion is the intentional killing of such a holy innocent. This act is as immoral as the intentional killing of child outside of the womb. That is because we are always human persons in development. The me at 61 years old is the same me who was alive at 27 years old, only developing in the continuum of the span of days we call our human life.

No politician or public official who supports legal abortion is a real friend of the poor. That is true regardless of their party affiliation and no matter what rhetoric or political sophistry they engage in. As Mother Teresa reminded us, the baby in the womb is the poorest of the poor. The Obama Administration continues the evil of Herod by funding this killing of Holy Innocents.

The killing of the Holy Innocents continues in this age through legal abortion and every politician or political leader who supports it is a Herod.Planned Parenthood receives millions in government grants and contracts. A majority of the members of the Congress of the United States are now complicit in evil by failing to remove funds from the recent budget compromise bill. That money will now go to Planned Parenthood to continue the evil of funding abortions. This is utterly reprehensible.

This nefarious organization has dressed itself up as a Health Care Provider. They include the taking of the life of innocent children under what is euphemistically called reproductive services. There is nothing reproductive about abortion. It is not a service to the child who is being killed, the mother, the father or society. Nor is it health care. It is killing children, plain and simple. Funding it is always morally repugnant. Every member of Congress who supported the current budget bill and failed to act to remove the funding for Planned Parenthood should be ashamed of themselves.

On September 22, 2013, Pope Francis addressed an international gathering of Catholic Gynecologists and told them "Every child that isn't born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord." Every child killed by legal abortion in this age is a Holy Innocent. Every politician who supports this killing, implicitly or explicitly, carries on the evil of Herod.

Quodvultdeus was a deacon and Church father in the 5th century. He wrote concerning the evil ruler named Herod whose murder of the Hebrew children we recall today in the Roman catholic Liturgical calendar:

"A tiny child is born, who is a great king. Wise men are led to him from afar. They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth. When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and forever in the life to come.

"Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

"You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.

"Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace, so small, yet so great, who is lying in the manger. He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out his own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil. He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God's adopted children.

"The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. See the kind of kingdom that is his, coming as he did in order to be this kind of king. See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the savior already working salvation.

"But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it. How great a gift of grace is here! To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory."

For my fellow Catholic Christians, let me state it emphatically, the teaching of our Church is absolutely clear. Every professing Catholic is duty bound to embrace it - and act on it in the exercise of their citizenship. This teaching is summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It cannot- and it will not - ever change:

"Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. (Jer 1:5; cf. Job 10:8-12; Ps 22:10-11) "My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. (Ps 139:15).

"Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: "You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish." (Didache 2,2:SCh 248,148; cf. Ep. Barnabae 19,5:PG 2 777; Ad Diognetum 5,6:PG 2,1173; Tertullian, Apol. 9:PL 1,319-320.) God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes. (GS 51 § 3)"

"Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae - by the very commission of the offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.


"The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation: "The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.

"The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights." (CCC #2271 - 2273)

Elected leaders and political candidates who oppose the Natural Law Right to Life of the child in the womb - and directly or indirectly promote abortion as a legally protected choice - are the King Herod's of this hour. We cannot - and we must not - support any candidate for public office who will not recognize the inalienable Right to Life of every single human person, including the child in the womb. We must be unequivocal in our defense of every innocent human life from conception to natural death.

Those who use Pope Francis in some contrived effort to persuade Catholics to back down from such an unequivocally Pro-Life position are selectively reading this Pope. Francis is simply reminding us that our defense of the child in the womb must also include a defense of all human persons and all of the poor and vulnerable. No-one, to use the words of Francis, "can be discarded". I end with some more words from the speech he gave to the Catholic gynecologists in 2013:


"A widespread mentality of profits, the "culture of waste," that today enslaves the hearts and minds of so many, comes at a terribly high cost: it requires the elimination of human beings, especially if they are in a weaker physical or societal condition. Our response to this mentality is a "yes" to life, one that is decisive and without hesitation. "The first right of a human person is his own life. He has other goods and some of these are quite precious; but this is the foundational good, the condition for all others" (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion, Nov. 18, 1974, no. 11).

"Material things have a price and can be sold, but human persons have a dignity; they are worth more than material things and have no price. So many times, we encounter situations where we see that life is of little account. For this reason the attention to human life in its totality has become in recent times a true and appropriate priority for the Magisterium of the Church, particularly to the most defenseless; that is, to the disabled, to the sick, to the unborn child, to the infant, to the elderly, the most defenseless forms of life.

"In the fragile human being, each of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh has experienced the indifference and the loneliness to which we often condemn the most impoverished, both in the countries of the developing world and in affluent societies. Every child that is not born, but condemned unjustly to being aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord, who even before birth, and then as soon as he is born, experiences the rejection of the world.

"And every elderly person, and-I have spoken about the child; let us turn to the elderly, another point! And every elderly person, even if he is infirm or at the end of his days, carries within himself the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the "culture of waste" proposes to us! They cannot be discarded!"

Rachel Still Weeps: The Killing of the Holy Innocents by Planned Parenthood and Politicians Must End. Pray, live and vote Pro-Life.


By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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