The horrific loss of innocent lives in the Newtown shooting was a shocking call to conscience in a sad, growing litany of such events. Those that have called for an examination of the morality of our society in seeking a root cause for these senseless murders are right to do so.
My own reflection on this issue at the recent 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion in this country compels me to offer that the growing number of abhorrent murders of innocent lives, whether by shootings, abortion or other means in this country and elsewhere, is the direct result of a steady turning away from moral values in our societies, and particularly from the fundamental truth that human life is sacred at all stages and that no one can claim the right to destroy an innocent human being.
We are called to act with a deep, abiding and overwhelming reverence toward human life. In turning away from this fundamental truth in every aspect of our lives, we have taken steps down a slippery slope and have become mired in, as Pope John Paul II described, a culture of death.
If we are to emerge from our current culture of death, we must use the fundamental principle and practice of a deep, abiding and overwhelming reverence for human life at all stages to examine and guide our every action as individuals and as a society, from the legislation we make to how we choose to entertain ourselves. God help us.