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down syndrome children, and us

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 22, 2009

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput has written an essay on children with Down syndrome -- and on our responsibilities towards them -- with some real wallop. An excerpt (from the First Things site):

Every child with Down syndrome, every adult with special needs -- in fact, every unwanted unborn child, every person who is poor, weak, abandoned, or homeless -- is an icon of God’s face and a vessel of his love. How we treat these persons -- whether we revere them and welcome them or throw them away in distaste -- shows what we really believe about human dignity, both as individuals and as a nation.

The American Jesuit scholar Father John Courtney Murray once said that “Anyone who really believes in God must set God, and the truth of God, above all other considerations.” Here’s what that means. Catholic public officials who take God seriously cannot support laws that attack human dignity without lying to themselves, misleading others, and abusing the faith of their fellow Catholics. Catholic doctors who take God seriously cannot do procedures, prescribe drugs, or support health policies that attack the sanctity of unborn children or the elderly, or that undermine the dignity of human sexuality and the family. And Catholic citizens who take God seriously cannot claim to love their Church and then ignore her counsel on vital public issues that shape our nation’s life. God will demand an accounting. As individuals, we can claim to be or believe whatever we want. But God knows our hearts better than we do. If we don’t conform our hearts and actions to the faith we claim to believe, we’re simply fooling ourselves.

Spoken like a pastor of souls.
 

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  • Posted by: rmcguire8235 - Oct. 24, 2009 1:32 PM ET USA

    Archbishop Fulton J Sheen said, "If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave." US Catholics need to wake up and live as Catholics should.

  • Posted by: New Sister - Oct. 23, 2009 7:08 PM ET USA

    Archbishop Chaput - what a grace. Thank you, Holy Spirit.

  • Posted by: Pogo - Oct. 22, 2009 8:01 PM ET USA

    As the mother of a young lady with Down Sydrome, I applaud Bishop Chaput's comments. I could often sense a person's ability to see Christ in others by the way they related to her. She died 4 yrs ago at age 40; we miss her, but I talk to her daily.

  • Posted by: rpp - Oct. 22, 2009 4:11 PM ET USA

    Blessed Virgin Mary, we thank you for the graces your intercessions have brought this wonderful archbishop as we see demonstrated here. We humbly ask that you continue to intercede for Archbishop Chaput, and all other faithful bishops, giving them strength, courage, eloquence and charity, and whatever gifts they need, that they may continue to lead people to greater faithfulness and holiness. AMEN

  • Posted by: thecrossreference8142 - Oct. 22, 2009 3:45 PM ET USA

    Way to quote Fr. John Courtney Murray without falling into error! ;) In all seriousness, though, this is the type of thing that politicians (and voters) need to hear.

  • Posted by: singer - Oct. 22, 2009 10:34 AM ET USA

    Oh, to only see this man elected president of the USCCB! He would actually bring some credibility to it.

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