By Judie Brown
Malice is a “desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another.” America serves malice to her citizens every time she insists on the legitimacy of abortion, contraception, or imposed killing of any kind. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines sin through malice as the commission of an act “by deliberate choice of evil” and labels this the gravest of sin.
But we are called to put “away falsehood [and to] let every one speak the truth with his neighbor” because we are all members of the body of Christ. When we succeed in this regard, we are ready to become evangelists for truth, or as St. John Paul II taught, embrace our assignment to speak the truth at all times because we are missionaries. We are called to tell the truth and to be people of hope. As he wrote in Redemptoris Missio, “We must increase our apostolic zeal to pass on to others the light and joy of the faith, and to this high ideal the whole People of God must be educated.”
As we confront the rising tide of malice toward the innocent preborn and the elderly, we understand that without the proper level of commitment the cultural rejection we experience would be far too painful. This is why we need to be bold in Christ and never fear saying and doing what is right. The malice within our society is growing, which means we must become bolder.
If not for us, who would call attention to the crime of making it possible for others to view a show such as Teenage Euthanasia, which is now in season two, or to the fact that preborn children are so disrespected that when a teenager killed her baby by ingesting pills and then burned the baby’s body, a judge sentenced her to 90 days after she plead guilty to the crime? According to Live Action, the mom “was said to have been 24 weeks pregnant at the time. Prosecutors have since said she was actually 29 weeks pregnant.” (emphasis in original) The expectant mother likely already felt her baby moving on a regular basis.
While the baby was clearly intentionally killed by the actions of her mother, justice was not served because malice is practiced these days, even by judges.
Further, the very idea that an attorney like Leonard Leo, married father of seven children, could be targeted by activists because he represents a pro-life position was beyond the imagination 50 years ago. But today those who are driven by their zeal to protect the act of killing babies is not uncommon. That kind of malice is characteristic of those who endorse or actually kill the babies, the elderly, and the innocent.
This is why we were astounded to learn that Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley contrasted the act of abortion with the death penalty for Jemaine Cannon, a man who murdered Sharonda Clark after he had escaped from prison in 1995. Cannon had previously assaulted another woman and was sentenced in that crime as well.
We cannot read the archbishop’s mind, but we can encourage him and every ordained priest in the Catholic Church to teach what it means to evangelize their sheep with the truth, by their actions, and with the stated principles of Pope John Paul II, who taught in Veritiatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth):
If man does evil, the just judgment of his conscience remains within him as a witness to the universal truth of the good, as well as to the malice of his particular choice. But the verdict of conscience remains in him also as a pledge of hope and mercy: while bearing witness to the evil he has done, it also reminds him of his need, with the help of God’s grace, to ask forgiveness, to do good and to cultivate virtue constantly.
By meeting this truth in our daily lives, we can resist the malice in our society and constantly cultivate virtue—in our lives and with those with whom we have contact.