Dublin, Feb 9, 2009 / 05:34 am (CNA).- During a trip to Ireland this past weekend, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver delivered a talk to the Irish chapter of Human Life International that outlined the “dos and don’ts” for the pro-life movement. Those who claim pro-lifers should avoid the “divisive” issue of ending legalized abortion and focus on providing better support for pregnant mothers are creating a false division, the archbishop insisted.
Following the theme “An American view on how to build a culture of life,” Archbishop Chaput explained that his goal was “to offer some lessons from the American experience that Irish Christians might find useful.”
More than three decades after the legalization of abortion in the U.S., Archbishop Chaput diagnosed Americans’ beliefs on abortion as schizophrenic as he gave an overview of the current situation. “Most believe abortion is wrong. But most also want it legal under some limited circumstances,” he said.
The consequences of holding two such divergent views are that the U.S. has “a large and well-funded abortion industry” and that a “very vigorous prolife movement” has grown up “right alongside the abortion industry,” Chaput observed.
“American pro-lifers have had many setbacks. They never have enough money. They don’t get treated fairly by the media. Too many of their leaders argue with each other too much of the time. But they just won’t give up or die. And so they’ve won quite a few modest but important legal victories. Meanwhile they continue to work toward the strategic goal of overturning the 1973 Supreme Court decision.”
With all of this in mind, Archbishop Chaput offered what he sees as six “don’ts” and five “dos” that pro-lifers around the world should learn from their American counterparts.