Thousands of people are gathering in Washington D.C. today to attend the March for Life, and it is encouraging to see that there are so many Americans willing to stand for the unborn. But there are also many people across the country who think abortion is necessary, and are willing to stand up for a woman’s ‘right to choose.’ How do we minister to people in our communities who are still pro-choice?
Recently on A Closer Look™, Msgr. Stuart Swetland suggested that we look to our own history in this country, and see that the challenge before us is not new.
“There were people 150 years ago saying slavery is a human right,” he said. “In the 1850s, there were people trying to expand slavery rights into the new territories, and those same people were the ones who were persecuting Catholics back then. So we see so many parallels in our history.”
But Msgr. Swetland said that we should also look to history to see how we should go about ministering to those who seek to see some as less human. “In the middle of that history, there is an editorial from 1860 from The Catholic Mirror, the Catholic paper of the Archdiocese of Baltimore,” Msgr. Swetland said. “It was quite openly saying that it is the role of Catholic lay faithful to convert America to Catholicism. And we should be open about it!”
“We’re trying to convert America to Catholicism, because America is trying to convert Catholics into Americanists,” he continued. “We should be clear that we are trying to convert America to Catholicism because we know that’s what is best for every human person – to live the fullness of truth.”
But how do we do that without driving people away? Msgr. Swetland suggests that the solution was the same in 1860 as it is today. “Do you know what the Baltimore paper said would make that happen?” he said. “Catholics living their faith to the full. It said if the lay faithful of 1860 lived their faith to the full, it would convert the whole country.”
And so the call for pro-life Catholics today is the same as it has been for Catholics throughout the ages. The best way to minister to those who are pro-choice is to show them the fullness of truth. Msgr. Swetland said, “Nothing has changed. If the 73 million Catholics in the United States would live their faith to the full, we would convert this nation.”
Listen to the full conversation below:
A Closer Look airs weekdays at 6:00 p.m. Eastern/3:00 p.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio®.
Msgr. Stuart Swetland is the host of Go Ask Your Father™, which airs weekdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/10:00 a.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio.