Fr. Paul Marx died March 20, 2010. The following is a Human Life International press release, with contact information redacted. (That's available through HLI, online.)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEI'll miss him.
March 20, 2010
HLI Mourns Loss of Beloved Founder,
Father Paul Marx
Front Royal, VA /Christian Newswire/ -- Shortly after 8:00 a.m. on March 20th of this year Fr. Paul Marx, OSB passed from this world into the Life that never ends--this is the hope that the whole pro-life movement nurtures in its heart for the one whom Pope John Paul II called "the Apostle of Life."
"In the more than forty-year pro-life career of Fr. Marx, and through his almost three million miles of world travel, Human Life International (HLI) saw the blossoming of the world's conscience about the issues of life," said Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, Fr. Marx's successor as president of HLI. "Father put pro-life 'on the map' in a literal sense and through his efforts gave the world direct and organized opposition to the culture of death."
Often referred to as "the father of the international pro-life movement", Fr. Marx visited all 50 states and 91 countries in his over 40 years of pro-life activism. Seeing the advance of anti-life forces before most did, he founded the Human Life Center in 1971, two years before Roe v. Wade. In 1981, the Human Life Center became Human Life International (HLI), the world's first and largest international pro-life organization. Fr. Marx was president of HLI until his retirement in 1999.
Father Marx authored over one dozen books, including The Death Peddlers: War on the Unborn (1971), Death Without Dignity: Killing for Mercy (1982), Confessions of a Pro-Life Missionary (1988), Fighting for Life (1989), The Flying Monk (1990), The Warehouse Priest (1993), and his autobiography, Faithful for Life (1997).
President Ronald Reagan once wrote in a personal letter to Fr. Marx, "You can be proud of all you've done to summon this Nation and others to reflection and positive action on issues affecting the sanctity of human life. God bless you."
"We pray for the repose of his soul and for the strengthening of the spiritual children and pro-life family that Father leaves as a legacy in more than 100 countries" said Rev. Euteneuer.
Father Marx died just short of his 90th birthday. He liked to point out that he was born 10 days before the late Pope John Paul II, who once said to him, "You are doing the most important work on earth."
A Mass of Christian Burial for Fr. Marx will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 26 at St. John's Abbey.
Below is the full text of the statement of Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, president of HLI.
"Shortly after 8:00 a.m. on March the 20th of this year Fr. Paul Marx, OSB passed from this world into the Life that never ends -- at least that is the hope that the whole pro-life movement nurtures in its heart for the one whom Pope John Paul II called 'the Apostle of Life.'
"In the forty-year pro-life career of Fr. Marx, and through his three million miles of world travel, Human Life International saw the blossoming of the world's conscience about the issues of life. Father put pro-life 'on the map' in a literal sense and through his efforts gave the world direct and organized opposition to the culture of death. He will be missed dearly by all pro-lifers, especially those of us who had a chance to work intimately with him, and whose lives were changed irrevocably as a result.
"When that blessed day comes, when the fight for life is finally won, people will look back at this dark age of destruction and wonder who opposed the onslaught. Standing among the greatest champions for life will be Fr. Marx, not only for his own work, but for the work done by the countless other pro-life warriors he inspired."
"We pray for the repose of his soul and for the strengthening of the spiritual children and pro-life family that Father leaves as a legacy in more than 100 countries."
But I'm not disheartened. As the press release said, quoting Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer: "..."When that blessed day comes, when the fight for life is finally won...."
Not "if" - "when". There will be no final victory over death until this world is sorted out, at its end, but victory there will be. I'm optimistic about the short term, too.
It may take a year, a decade, a century, a millennium or more, but make no mistake: We will win.
I think it's partly because so many of today's adults realize that they're the ones mother didn't have killed. I'm not faulting the women so much. All too often it's the teacher, employer, boyfriend, or husband who pressured her into having his love machine 'fixed.' And the torrent of propaganda for "women's health" rights has been steady and massive.
Still, knowing that your brothers and sisters were offed by your mom must have an effect on your view of what's nice and what's not.
Advances in imaging technology have changed the cultural landscape too, I think. When I was growing up, lines like "formless blob of protoplasm" worked: because very few people really knew what was going on inside the mother before birth.
Now, not so much.
Excerpt from an op-ed piece:
"Neugebauer: 'Outpouring' of support since 'baby killer' outburstLike I said, this isn't the sixties any more. Back then, "baby killer" was what we were being taught to call American soldiers who were fighting a war: one being micromanaged by the nitwits back in Washington. When I was reading management trade journals, Vietnam was used fairly often as an example of how not to run anything.
Ben Smith, POLITCO.com (March 23, 2010)
"Rep. Randy Neugebauer said this afternoon that his shout of 'baby killer' amid Congressional debate over health care legislation Sunday night has drawn a "tremendous outpouring" of phone calls, emails, and financial contributions "telling me, "Congressman, thank you for taking a stand." '
" 'You wouldn't believe the emails and the phone calls of people calling and saying just, 'Thank you, Congressman, for taking a stand for the unborn,' he told POLITICO in an interview. He said he had 'no idea' how much money he's raised, though he addresses the subject just above a 'Donate' button on his campaign website.
" 'People are outpouring their support to me and that's whats important – this is not about money,' he said.
"Neugebauer maintains that his shout was directed at the health care legislation, not at Rep. Bart Stupak, and he said he called Stupak and then approached him on the floor of the House to apologize. But Stupak today said he thought Neugebauer should apologize more formally during House proceedings...."
Now, well, like I said: this isn't the sixties any more.
God isn't On Our Side: We're on HisWe've been given quite a few promises in the Bible, including this one:
"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."I'd recommend reading that footnote. It ends with:
"...The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it: the netherworld (Greek Hades, the abode of the dead) is conceived of as a walled city whose gates will not close in upon the church of Jesus, i.e., it will not be overcome by the power of death."Remember, I'm a layman, and have about as little authority in the Church as a person can have. What I say next is strictly my ideas.
(footnote 13, on Matthew 16:18, The New American Bible)
I agree wholeheartedly that the power of death will not overcome the church of Jesus.
I think, however, that it may be a mistake to think of the power of death or of Hell as being in an entirely offensive role. Gates in a fortification may be used as outlets from which offensive forces may issue. But their primary purpose is not to attack. It is to defend.
Matthew 18:16, it seems to me, shows the netherworld as a walled city. One that is under attack - and whose gates will not stand against the attacker.
Yeah: We'll win. Not because God is on our side. Because we're on His.
- "Health Care Reform, or 'Who Needs a Conscience? This is Medicine!' "
(October 31, 2009)
- "Kennedys, Catholicism, and Abortion: So That's What Happened"
(August 26, 2009)
- "Firebase Earth"
(April 5, 2009)
- "Medical Ethics and Human Experimentation: Why I Take it Personally"
(February 3, 2009)
- "Pro-Abortion Slogans Sound Nice, Hide Nasty Facts"
(November 15, 2008)
- "Life: It's a Single Issue, and an Important One"
(November 2, 2008)
- "The Present Crisis through the Lens of the Laity"
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, Commonweal Magazine, via USCCB.org (June 13, 2002)
- About the Church and crises, not abortion