General Information & Education

Archdiocese of New Orleans...



Church Documents on Life Issues — links to full documents:

4 Pillars of Respect Life work

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops additionally gives us a framework to carry out all Respect Life activities.  In each area of Respect Life focus, we put into action their Pastoral Plan under these 4 Pillars...

1. Public Information and Education

“Education programs should include the following, as appropriate: biblical and theological foundations that attest to the sanctity and dignity of human life; scientific information concerning the humanity of unborn children, especially that made available by modern genetic science and technology; American founding principles, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence, that reflect unchanging truths about the human person; society's responsibility to safeguard every human life, to defend life by non-violent means wherever possible, and never purposely to destroy innocent human life; discussion of effective and compassionate care for those who are terminally ill and for persons with disabilities; education on Catholic teaching regarding end-of-life decision making; and information about effective, compassionate, and morally acceptable solutions to the very real and difficult problems that can exist for a woman during and after pregnancy, as well as help for those who suffer from the consequences of abortion” (USCCB Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities)

2. Pastoral Care

“Pastoral care encompasses a broad range of services provided with competence, compassion, and dignity. It includes spiritual assistance and essential material help, and may include supplementary services beyond those available in the community. Providing pastoral care to those in need is a primary way that the Church expresses its love for all God's children” (USCCB)

3. Public Policy 

“…efforts directed 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” (USCCB)

4. Prayer and Worship 

“…directed 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” (USCCB Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities)

Respect Life Everyday for Everyone

“What we can contribute to the cause of human dignity and rights is likely to take humble, everyday forms.  For instance: the mother who conscientiously teaches her children to respect the rights and interests of siblings and playmates, carefully correcting them when they violate this norm; the office manager who attempts consistently to deal with subordinates---even those whom he or she finds irritating and troublesome-with fairness and charity; the supermarket checkout clerk who gives every customer, even the annoying ones, a smile, courteous service, and a kind word; the teacher who goes out of his or her way to give students a hand when they are having trouble at home (sickness in the family, an absent father, whatever it may be); the priest who is never brusque with parishioners, not even those who want to talk his ear off or gripe.  None of this may seem profoundly world-changing, yet through these ordinary, everyday displays of respect for other people the world is changed into a more genuinely human habitation.”  Russell Shaw, The Catholic Laity in the Mission of the Church, Requiem Press, 2005)