The Gift of Georgie

//The Gift of Georgie

The Gift of Georgie

Last month, I was contacted by Alfa y Omega, a Catholic newspaper in Spain. (See here for newspaper.)  The reporter contacted me because the Spanish government is preparing a “Protection of the Unborn and of the Pregnant Woman’s Rights’ Bill” to be approved in the Spanish Parliament next fall. This Bill would greatly limit eugenic abortion and also provides a stricter protocol that could limit it abortion in general.

Alfa y Omega contacted me partly because of my position as President of the USCCB, but also because of my personal experience of having cared for a brother with Down Syndrome. Here is the reflection that I shared with this newspaper:  (The Spanish version of this article can be found here.

Archbishop Kurtz with his brother George.

Archbishop Kurtz with his brother George.

Each life is a gift from God. And each person has a fundamental right to life, which is not limited by age, gender, location, or disability. Sometimes it is argued that abortion is justified because a baby will perhaps suffer a life of pain, disability, or deprivation, but as we’ve said before, such reasoning is appalling. Such persons deserve our compassion, help, and justice, not violence.  We must not excuse our indifference, fear, or desire to avoid difficulty as some kind of mercy. It is killing; it is violence.

I have had some experience with disabilities as my brother Georgie had Down’s syndrome. Following the death of our mother, I brought Georgie to live with me and he did for 12 joyful years. Georgie brought tremendous joy, friendship, and a sense of groundedness to me and to all those who met him. I have said it before, but in the case of my relating to my brother, it is not a cliché to say I have received much more than I have given. As persons with disabilities share their gifts and needs, they bring out the best in our mutual humanity and challenge us to live out the gospel. As family members and as a society, we need to ensure that they know they will not be shoved off as a burden, but will be valued for their true dignity and worth as fellow sisters and brothers in Christ.

 

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2017-10-13T15:53:06+00:00July 24th, 2014|Archbishop's Blog|