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Fr. Martin's Abortion Spin

Fr. Jim Martin tries the same line we've all heard a million times before concering the Notre Dame scandal. OSV calls him on it:

I am going to start this post by saying that I have been -- up until now -- a huge fan of Jesuit Father James Martin. When I read his book, My Life With the Saints, I was profoundly moved. In fact, I told Father Martin that in person when I met him at a Catholic Press Association convention a few years back. For me, the saints had moved into the background of my spiritual life and his beautiful writing and personal insights brought them back to the fore. I started reading everything he wrote and soaking up the wisdom and spirituality.

And then I read the transcript of his commentary on the Notre Dame scandal and went from sad to disappointed to infuriated in a matter of minutes. To see someone in his position sidestep the centrality of abortion among all the life issues is disheartening, to say the least.
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1 comments:

James Martin, SJ said...

Dear Mr. Archbald,

Here's the response I sent to Ms. Prout (and you might check out her responses to me).

Peace,
Fr. James Martin, SJ

Dear Ms. Poust,

Many thanks for your frank comments, which certainly calls for a friendly response. And I hope you don’t mind if I take a few paragraphs to do this. I think it's always healthy when, to paraphrase St. Paul, we can call another Christian to give an explanation for himself and his faith, so that's what I'll do.

First of all, I am unabashedly pro-life. And in case people think I’m being artfully evasive I mean this: I believe in the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.

However, as you could see from the CNN show, I also believe that some in the pro-life movement (defined broadly) sometimes downplays the non-abortion parts of the pro-life tradition: that is, the death penalty, war, feeding the hungry, euthanasia, and so on. These are also important “life” issues. Moreover, I believe that you can be firmly pro-life, as I am, and not agree with the precise strategies, noble as they are, of every quarter of the pro-life movement in reaching our common goals.

That is, you don't have to violently disagree with the Notre Dame decision in order to be pro-life. Nor do you have to speak the use the same language, pursue the same political goals or, in general, do the same things, in order to sincerely and ardently work for an end to abortion.

Overall, what I was trying to call for--and perhaps I could have done this more articulately--was what we called for in our America magazine editorial, which was charity towards not simply those who are not in the pro-life camp, but perhaps more importantly, charity and fellowship with our fellow pro-lifers who disagree on how to reach our common goal. Only in this way will we all reach that goal, with God's help.

In any event, I hope you take this friendly comment as a sign of our common reverence for the sanctity of all life that God has created.

Please do keep me in your prayers.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. James Martin, SJ


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