gospel of life

EDITORIAL | Opening the door to joy

A new Pew Research Center survey shows that there is a continuing decline in the number of people who consider themselves part of any religion. The largest shift is occurring among the "millennial" generation, generally defined as those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

The survey, conducted in 2014, revealed that the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as Christians has declined by 8 percent since the last survey in 2007. Forty-one percent of respondents who said they were raised Catholic no longer identify with the faith.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Life is at the heart of Jesus’ message

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

In 1995, Blessed John Paul II published his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life). The Holy Father told us -- in no uncertain terms -- that life is at the heart of the message of Jesus and that we are called to preach the Gospel of life "with dauntless fidelity as 'good news' to the people of every age and culture."

The pope's teaching was (and is) timeless. But it is also particularly appropriate for our time and place. This same pope, while he was still a cardinal, once observed the following:

Pope calls on Catholics to 'say yes to life'

Pope Francis greeted people in wheelchairs after celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 16. The Year of Faith Mass concluded a weekend of events calling attention to care for the aged, the sick, the unborn and those with disabilities.

VATICAN CITY -- Ideologies and practices that destroy human life arise from false ideas of freedom without God, Pope Francis told a crowd in St. Peter's Square, including thousands of pro-life activists from around the world.

"Whenever we want to assert ourselves, when we become wrapped up in our own selfishness and put ourselves in the place of God, we end up spawning death," the pope said in his homily during the Mass June 16.

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