I am going to start this post by saying that I have been -- up until now -- a huge fan of Jesuit Father James Martin. When I read his book, My Life With the Saints, I was profoundly moved. In fact, I told Father Martin that in person when I met him at a Catholic Press Association convention a few years back. For me, the saints had moved into the background of my spiritual life and his beautiful writing and personal insights brought them back to the fore. I started reading everything he wrote and soaking up the wisdom and spirituality.
And then I read the transcript of his commentary on the Notre Dame scandal and went from sad to disappointed to infuriated in a matter of minutes. To see someone in his position sidestep the centrality of abortion among all the life issues is disheartening, to say the least.
Here's the most offensive of all his comments, but there are plenty of others to choose from:
"I think, unfortunately, for a lot of people in the pro-life movement, life begins at conception, but seems to end there."
What?!?! I know a lot of pro-life people, good people who stand outside clinics on Saturday mornings and march in the freezing cold in Washington, D.C, every January. I am offended that anyone would suggest that they have no concern for life once it is past conception. To all the people who work for Birthright, who collect clothes and food and diapers for children in need, who promote adoption and advocate for single mothers and poor families, thank you for your work and please ignore the careless comments of a priest who really ought to know better.
Please click HERE and read the transcript of Father Martin's comments over at Insight Scoop. Thanks to Ed Mechmann at Stepping Out of the Boat for the heads up on the transcript and accompanying analysis. Looks like I'll need to find a new favorite author.