VICTORY AGAINST THE CHURCH OR SELF?

In many parts of the world today, especially in Africa, violence against women and children is becoming rampant. And more evil is the taking up of arms against the unborn, and they call it victory against the Church.

Ireland! Ireland!! O Republic of Ireland!!! What have you done to yourself? You brought Christianity to my dear Country Nigeria and to some other parts of the world. You were agents of good news and worked tirelessly to build churches and defend the faith of your fathers, but today you rise against the same faith and calls it ‘victory against the Catholic Church.’

The Catholic Church teaches the sacredness of human life, and this teaching has been part of the Irish but assumes a special place in the Irish Constitution after the 1983 referendum. It was a law, a law which grants an equal right to life to the mother and the unborn. The law states; The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn, and with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect and as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right. Abortion is prohibited by the Catholic Church and was prohibited by the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland until Friday (May 25, 2018) when the Irish voted overwhelmingly in another referendum to overturn the abortion ban by 66.4% to 33.6%. The jubilation was massive, as if it was a world cup victory. Some called it victory against the Catholic Church, but I call it victory against self.

Abortion is evil, and the Church will not give up on this teaching. Holding onto the teachings of God, the Catholic Church says in her Catechism: Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth commandment: “Do not slay the innocent and the righteous.” The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator. The law forbidding it is universally valid: it obliges each and every one, always and everywhere (2261). Voting overwhelmingly to overturn the law prohibiting abortion in a Country that is mostly Catholic is not a victory against the Catholic Church nor against Christianity; it is a victory against self, against your identity, dignity, and destiny. I am convinced that many Catholics and many other Christians from other denominations voted for the legalization of abortion in Ireland. Yes; you may have voted to overturn your National Constitution, but you cannot overturn the ‘Divine Constitution’. The word of God stands, and we all will be judged by it and not by our National Constitution.

Turning the search light to ourselves, we must be reminded that abortion is not the only way to kill. In one way or the other we too must have been involved in one form of killing or the other, and probably through abortion even. We must be truly sorry in repentance and not to celebrate our self-defeat.

Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA

Joel Okojie is an ordained Catholic Priest in the Order of St. Augustine. He has been a Priest for over a decade. He served as pastor in two different parishes, he was one time Novice Master and a member of the Provincial Council of the province of St. Augustine of Nigeria, and he is currently on a mission in response to the needs of the Church in Canada.

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