A reader writes:
I’m a private tutor at a university; I also help at the Newman Center and conduct Bible studies with students and so forth. One of my Catholic students… his girlfriend is pregnant. She is under tremendous pressure from her family and church to get married immediately… So she is using the threat of an abortion to try to coerce my student to marry her. (In her view, her baby isn’t a human being until the 12th week of pregnancy. She’s in her 9th week at the moment.) He is devastated, confused, and overwhelmed. I don’t doubt she is too, but I can’t see how a ‘marriage’ undertaken in these circumstances would even be valid, much less a good idea for anyone concerned.
She has expressed willingness to learn more about his Catholic faith, and I’ve met her once to answer some of her questions. She was respectful about things to my face, but according to my student she called the Church a cult to him afterward. (Now there’s a basis for mutual respect in married life!) My read is that she wants to be sure when she has irrevocably ‘snared’ him in the Church’s eyes.
My student is at a loss of what to do, and frankly I feel well out of my depth as well. Unfortunately the Newman priest he has a real rapport with is leaving soon. He’s meeting with one of the other priests to try to sort things out.
Please pray that, above all, the child’s life be spared. And for clarity and charity for everyone involved.
Father, hear our prayer that this child’s life will be spared and that provision will be made for mom, dad and baby by your Providence and your people acting with the love and generosity of Christ so that all will happen to the glory of your name and to their good. Give your servants wisdom and charity to help and bring grace and joy into their lives. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Mother Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for them! We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!