US Catholic has a new interview with Cardinal Joseph Tobin, in which he shares his insights on faith and why being pro-life demands a consistent commitment to life:
We’re encouraged to compartmentalize faith. Faith is seen as equivalent to worship and thereby reduced to an hour on Sunday morning, if that. It really impoverishes the notion of faith, of which the biblical image is a type of vision, a different way of looking at things.
Faith is not an opiate or belief in the pie in the sky and the great by‑and‑by. It’s about the great drama of human existence and seeing something differently. I think that part of ministry and the life of the church is to help people make that connection, to see something differently.
Faith tells me that my life with God is not simply about me and Jesus, because if it’s just me and Jesus, then it’s mainly about me. Faith impels me to have the vision to see other people not as objects or people who will do things that will meet my needs but as fellow daughters and sons of God, as brothers and sisters, as fellow pilgrims….
One of the great services of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, the late archbishop of Chicago, was how he talked about the seamless garment. There’s a certain coherency that the life ethic brings us to. We may have gotten off the track when that coherency was reduced to a couple of areas.
We don’t sound coherent to other people when we take a very proactive stance in one area and then are silent or quite contrary on other life issues. But I think if we understand the life ethic as Cardinal Bernardin tried to teach, then “pro‑life” can mean something. Right now it’s heard as just having to do with one very narrow area. We need to be able to say, “It’s just all. It’s all.”
Read the full interview here.