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Bishop Paul’s remarks at opening ceremony at March for Life Chicago

CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — His Grace, Bishop Paul was among the speakers at the annual March for Life Chicago on Sunday afternoon, January 14, 2018.  [See related story.]


In Orthodox Christian Churches we offer several petitions at our services on Sanctity of Life Sunday.  We ask our Lord “to grant to the people of this nation the will to do good, to flee evil and to makes us respectful of life.”  We ask our Lord to “banish wickedness from our laws.”  We also ask that our Lord will “kindle in hearts the will to care for those in need, to show kindness to those in suffering from poverty, to aid the homeless and help the helpless.”

There is a depth to these prayers that make it clear that we need to hold all life sacred from the womb to the grave.  Our concern for the unborn is so important to remember this day because it is the one reality that it is easy to be in denial about.  We don’t see the pain of this tragedy the same way we did when Jewish people went to the gas chambers in World War II.  When people claim that the holocaust never happened, the horrible images of these deaths continue to be published so that people will never forget.  So whether people love us or hate us, we pray for the unborn and for those who have had abortions, that God’s love be revealed in the midst of these tragedies where there is a loss of life and ensuing grief.

But we also rejoice that lives are being saved by love.  This year’s theme tells us as we pray for the unborn child in the womb let us remember to do acts of kindness and support those women who have decided to keep their children and not abort them.  Let us reach out with compassion to those who may have had an abortion and help them heal from this act and to see that there is a pathway to reconciliation because love does save lives.

But let us live out that theme in other areas of our culture that need to benefit from this message.  One example comes to mind.  Why do we allow private citizens to purchase semi-automatic weapons or items that enable them to become automatic weapons; weapons only meant for war?  How many more people need to be killed in schools, hotels, and churches?  The huge loss of life due to gun violence in so many shapes and forms; this is a sanctity of life issue.  In the same way we show our concern for the unborn and their mothers, let us do so here.  There is more to say about love saving lives, but there are others here who will be speaking to this issue as well.  May the Lord’s blessing be upon you all.

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