From the Archdioceses of Miami’s Website:
The Respect Life Office exists to uphold the sanctity of each human life from conception to natural death. A ministry of the Archdiocese of Miami, we are faithful to the Holy Father and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
We seek to implement the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities:
“Our goal is to eliminate violence against unborn children, their mothers, and those who are dying. We unalterably oppose the use of violence in any form to achieve this objective, and we condemn the actions of those few who advocate otherwise. […] It is our hope and expectation that in focusing on the need to respect and protect the lives of the innocent unborn and those who are disabled, ill, or dying, we will help to deepen respect for the life of every human being. […] This pastoral plan calls upon all the resources of the Church its people, services, and institutions to pursue this effort with renewed energy and commitment in four major areas.
- Public Information and Educationto deepen understanding of the sanctity of human life and the humanity of unborn children, the moral evil of intentionally killing innocent human beings whether at the beginning of life or at its end and the mission of the Church to witness to and serve all human life.
- Pastoral Care for women with problems related to pregnancy; for all who have been involved in abortion; for those who are disabled, sick, and dying, and their families and caregivers; for those who have lost loved ones to violent crime; and for those in prison sentenced to death.
- Public Policy effortsdirected to restoring legal protection to the lives of unborn children and those vulnerable to pressures to end their lives by assisted suicide, and to providing morally acceptable alternatives to abortion and assisted suicide.
- Prayer and Worshipdirected to participation in the sacramental life of the Church and in programs of communal and individual prayer, that the culture of death that surrounds us today will be replaced by a culture of life and love.”
Project Rachel Project Rachel is the Catholic Church’s post-abortion healing ministry which operates through the Respect Life Office in the Archdiocese of Miami as a network of lay personnel, lay volunteers, priests, deacons, and licensed counselors who provide one-on-one spiritual and psychological support for those who are suffering from the trauma of abortion.
For help or more information on the Project Rachel Program, please call us at 954-981-2984 (local) and 888-456-4673 (toll free) or email us at ProjectRachel@theadom.org. The program is free of charge and all information is kept strictly confidential.
Science and Religion: Conflict or Compatibility?
The idea that science and religion are in conflict with each other is a reoccurring subject. The truth of the matter is that religion does not claim to verify scientific facts and scientists cannot claim to establish ethics and morality. Science deals with givens, measures – the How? Religion asks Why?
By definition, science is concerned with observation and classification of facts, the quantitative formulation of verifiable general laws. The operative words observation and quantitative require measure by humans of physical things; they imply tangibles. Religion is defined as a personal awareness or conviction of the existence of a supreme being; a system of tenants held with ardor, devotion, conscientiousness, and faith. The operative words are personal, supernatural, and faith. We go from the visible of science to the invisible, operating with reason and faith, not senses. St. Augustine says, “My soul is restless until it rests in Thee”. He is reaching for answers to Why.
Science and religion can never be at odds because they ask different questions. They are about different realities: physical versus spiritual. Science relies on measurements of physical givens, it is subjected to human perception and limited by the senses. Because of this, scientific “facts” are not always truths in that our knowledge of the world and universe is changing the more we discover. For example, in 1923 the number of human chromosomes was determined to be 48 as determined by inspection through the microscope. This error was repeated by others until 1956 when a cytogeneticist determined there were 46 chromosomes.
Spiritual/moral truths, on the other hand, are not relegated to our human senses and are not measured by human scales. We cannot measure love, spirit, justice in pounds or inches or megahertz. These truths are sought in the spiritual realm and do not change. If science was truly able to answer all physical questions, the meaning of life would be left unanswered.
Science and religion cannot conflict because each looks at a different reality. Both seek truth, and truth must be one with both worlds for each to exist. Man relies on reason and limited senses for understanding both worlds. The use of reason for understanding the supernatural, especially mysteries such as the Trinity, is not sufficient without faith. Christ speaks to us through His Word in the gospels to tells us what truth is. He does not state scientific facts, does not try to measure things. For example, in the passage that states the limit of forgiving is not seven times but seventy time seven; He is not saying the limit is now 490, but that forgiveness should be limitless. Any quantification in Scripture is merely an example with an underlying a basic truth. The coming of Christ and His sharing in our human experience allows us to see God in very intimate terms: “Anyone who does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” The sending of the Spirit enables us to share in the divinity, our potential to be divine. It is the Spirit that leads us into complete truth. Truth is found through lived experience and, more particularly, in terms of relationship where we can sense what God is all about. As one theologian puts it, “My God is found in the passionate embrace, the bringing to birth of a helpless infant, the wondrous eyes of a child looking at the moon.”
Science can never disprove God and intelligence, unaided by reason, misses the truth. Science determines what can be done, not what should be done”. (M. Coors, J Medicine and Philosophy, 2002) The conflict that appears to exist is with man who with all his knowledge and perhaps ego, cannot go beyond his limited senses to fully know and understand truth.