22 February 2010
Feast of Saint Peter’s Chair
It seems that during this season of Lent, and especially on this Feast of Saint Peter’s Chair when we celebrate the institution of our first Pope and the one whom Jesus promised to make a “fisher of men”, that we contemplate a renewed strategy to net some who are regarded as most lost among us, those who have sunk to the level of killing children to earn their living. The abortionists.
At a meeting in Washington D.C. before this year’s March for Life, Troy Newman of Operation Rescue spoke of his organization’s past successes and ongoing efforts at shutting down abortuaries by going after the medical licenses of abortionists when they inevitably harm women beyond he normal harms inflicted by abortion. This has proven to be an effective strategy.
To counter this strategy at shutting down individually owned and operated abortion ‘clinics’, Planned Parenthood has begun to open a series of abortion megacenters staffed by several abortionists. The loss of any one or two will not be enough to shutter these places. A new strategy is therefore necessary, and I propose the following proactive strategy.
The key to most abortionists is the understanding that most feel trapped: trapped spiritually, trapped emotionally, trapped professionally. Freeing the captives is where we shine.
Rather than waiting for these people to do harm to the extent that they lose their licenses, we as a Church should approach these physicians with a comprehensive program of professional, personal and spiritual rehabilitation, leaving the flock and aggressively seeking them out as Jesus tells us He does as the Good Shepherd.
Within the Church’s extensive network of teaching hospitals, surely we can make room for a discrete program of retraining these physicians in OB/Gyn. Such a program would not impose the indignity of throwing these physicians in with the normal resident physicians, but would welcome them as attending physicians or post-doctoral fellows with a salary and benefits package that is sufficient economic inducement so as to not present financial hurdles to making the decision to walk away from abortion.
In this regard, certainly the Church has enough benefactors who would leap at the opportunity to rob the abortion wildfire of its oxygen.
Beyond the clinical retraining, we know enough former abortionists who could provide peer support and mentoring through the difficult readjustment. Then we have our excellent Priests, Deacons, Religious and Laity to assist in their spiritual and personal growth and development.
As I’m sure you are aware, Most Reverend Fathers, a key to success in a program of this sort would be the assurance of complete discretion, and that these men and women would never be held up publicly as converts. I suspect that grace would motivate many to step forward of their own accord, in their own good time.
Such a program is desperately needed on behalf of the innocent unborn who today stand in harm’s way. It is desperately needed by our nation and the Civilization of Love which we would have as this nation’s defining quality.
Most importantly, it is a comprehensive way out for men and women who are desperately trapped in sin, self-loathing, and professional alienation from their peers.
No one body is better equipped to institute such a sweeping program of reconciliation and rehabilitation as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Troy Newman and Operation Rescue have done a fine job to date in shutting down abortuaries. Now it’s our turn to innovate an effective strategy in targeting the physicians. Through the loving embrace of abortionists themselves, we demonstrate to them that we are not merely anti-abortion, but truly pro-life.
With deepest gratitude to you and respect for your Holy Office, I remain,
Gerard M. Nadal, Ph.D.