Civic Action

Each of the Strategy’s 6 elements involves both a goal and specific means for reaching the goal. What follows is an explanation of the means.

The various means that are discussed certainly do not exhaust the ways of reaching the goals and should not limit the taking of other worthwhile initiatives.

Goal

 Catholics educated, and ready to educate others, on life issues
 

Means for Reaching the Goal

4.1 Education of Catholics in civic responsibilities 
4.2 Coordinated response to political developments 

4.1 Education of Catholics in civic responsibilities 

How do we protect the lives of endangered innocents through our laws and institutions, systems of health and social welfare, etc.? What principles do we follow, what is the proper relation between Church and State, God’s law and human law?

In a pluralistic society, is it legitimate to impose pro-life views through legislation? Is it permissible to support laws that give some, but incomplete, protection to unborn children? What are the responsibilities of Catholic and Christian politicians? Why do we have so many Catholic politicians in Canada and so little public witness for the pro-life cause?

These are some of the questions that we Catholics must face and work through.

Pro-life committees in the parishes and high schools (3.1), as well as religious education programs (3.3), should not neglect the importance of civic education. In this area The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World of the Second Vatican Council is a fundamental guide that warrants study and discussion (see especially chapter IV). Committees can also find assistance from resource persons in the pro-life organizations (6.1), Campaign Life Coalition B.C. in particular.

4.2 Coordinated response to political developments 

Constantly laws are introduced or passed, hearings take place, court cases are heard, which affect the protection of innocent human life.

While respecting the autonomy of the State and avoiding partisan politics, the Church cannot remain indifferent to these developments. On the contrary, she is called to “pass judgment even in matters relating to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it” (Vatican II, Guadium et Spec, n. 76).

Parish pro-life committees, working in consultation with pro-life organizations and in harmony with their pastors, may and at times should provide a coordinated response to political developments. At the same time, as citizens Catholics are free to act politically in their own name either individually or in league with others, and circumstances frequently require that they do so.

Archdiocesan Pro-Life Strategy
1. Introduction: Some Shaping Principles 
  1.1 The Grace of Conversion 
  1.2 Impetus for a New Pro-Life Strategy 
  1.3 Primary Emphasis of Strategy: Prayer 
  1.4 The Strategy: More Than Prayer 
  1.5 Long-Range View 
  1.6 “Toward a Culture of Life
2. Elements of Strategy 
  2.1 Prayer 
  2.2 Crisis Response 
  2.3 Education 
  2.4 Civic Action 
  2.5 Ecumenical Relations 
  2.6 Liaison with Pro-Life Groups 

The Pro-Life Strategy was developed in 1993
Revised: May 1995, November 1995, February 2000


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