Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (75), November 11, 1986

Take Opportunity to Affirm Life

At the risk of perseveration, I would like to share a few more thoughts on the issue of abortion in light of Vincent Ferreni’s eloquent letter appearing in the Oct. 30 issue of the Times. In declaring my concern at the death of the unborn, it was not my intention to point an accusing finger at those who have agonized over the decision to terminate their pregnancies — their suffering is a testimony to the presence of a conscience, and I know all too well that we live in times of difficult, painful choices.

Vincent asks if the space shuttle accident and the crucifixion could be considered “abortions.” It is an interesting question, and I find a truth in the converse — every abortion is a reenactment of the crucifixion. Jesus died on the cross to wash away our sins, to free us from the overwhelming and terrifying reality of our own human weakness. Only by God’s experience of every human suffering — humiliation, abandonment, torment and finally, death, could the door to human salvation be opened — Jesus rose from the dead to declare the end of death and suffering.

Every time we suffer, we share in the passion of Jesus Christ. Our consciousness of suffering lends us two options — like the two thieves, one on the left, and the other on the right of Jesus at the crucifixion. We can close our eyes and suffer alone, or open our eyes to the reality of the living Christ within us.

In times of sorrow, confusion, torment and indecision, Jesus is present, suffering every moment with us. And in those times, the opportunity is present to affirm life, to actualize the experience of Christ’s resurrection by our actions. This experience is actualized with the birth of every child, the dressing of every wound, the bowl of rice given to every hungry person, and the world of comfort given to every abandoned, desolate partner in our human experience.

I close this letter with a prayer that each voter and citizen act to affirm life.

Paul Pallazola, 127 Ocean Ave., Lynn

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House of Lords 17 October 2017

Text of John Rankin’s address on the occasion of the 500th annive5rsary of the Reformation.