May 20, 2005

Letters to the Editor

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All human life deserves our protection

On April 27, I stood beside dozens of people on Monument Circle to honor the brief lives of the 57 Indiana children who died of abuse or neglect last year. Just hours before the candlelight vigil, sponsored for the seventh year by Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, a 5-year-old boy died at Riley Hospital for Children following a savagely brutal beating.

It’s almost incomprehensible that right here in our midst children are dying at the hands of their parents or caregivers at the rate of about one per week. Yet at the same time, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, we live in a society in which more than a million unborn babies are killed every year, unwanted newborns are discarded in garbage dumpsters, and a disabled but otherwise healthy woman was forced to die of dehydration and starvation by court order. It seems that the most vulnerable among us are at ever greater risk for harm.

I was among those privileged to hear Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, during his Indianapolis visit in early April. Just over a week earlier, he had been at the bedside of Terri Schiavo in her dying hours, a witness to the abomination that was unfolding before the country. In one of his numerous media appearances outside Mrs. Schiavo’s hospice, when her death was imminent, he proclaimed that a movement was born that day.

Thousands of miles away in Rome, our Holy Father was in his final days, yet he remained deeply concerned about the fate of this woman—and the moral implications for the most powerful and influential nation in the world.

As Catholics, the best way we can honor Pope John Paul II, the “pope of life,” and our new Holy Father, Benedict XVI, is to more vocally and actively stand up for the sanctity of all human life. The day when the senseless deaths of innocent human beings spark only hopelessness and apathy will be the saddest day of all.

-Victoria Arthur, Brownsburg  

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