Urgent prayer for a baby’s life

Urgent prayer for a baby’s life February 3, 2015

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!

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  • Uh, he had sex didn’t he? What was he thinking? His duty is to marry this girl and give her child a father!

    • IRVCath

      Actually, support, yes, assume the duties of a father, yes, but this kind of coercion is actually a gimme for the diocesan tribunal. It is generally good policy to avoid the acrimony that would result from a marriage being declared null and void.

      That is, of course, if the Church will even let them marry. I’m not sure that there is a real reassurance that the potential bride will not interfere with the religious observance and obligations of this young man or their child together. The Church tends to disapprove of mixed marriages precisely because of scenarios like this one, and given the facts I don’t think a dispensation is likely.

      • There is that. But as a man who converted his wife before the marriage- we were lucky enough not to have a pregnancy, or even the appearance of scandal interfere, we spent $3000 on the last six months of the lease on her apartment- I’ve got to say I don’t see a mixed marriage as much of a problem. Give her a copy of Scott Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home to read during the pregnancy, and use the remaining six months of the pregnancy well in premarital counseling.

        If she’s from one of those Evangelical Protestant homes (which seems to be likely given the parental pressure towards pro-life and pro-marriage) then her own beliefs about household structure and Kimberly Hahn’s descriptions of her conversion may also be useful.

        Marriage is not a wedding, marriage is a lifetime. If she can come to that understanding, there’s plenty of time for the rest.

        • irena mangone

          I sure hope there is love in there somewhere. Forcing marriage is not exactly receipe for. Happiness. Please let the baby live don’t kill. Him or her. Just to spite

          • Love grows from the circumstances, if it is allowed to. There was enough love to create this child, the baby deserves both parents, thus the marriage. Marriages have been successful on a lot less.

            • W. Randolph Steele

              I have two divorced and annulled Prostestant ex-wives who would disagree with you. I feel for this guy,but IF she’s trying to manipulate him then there will always be resentment and not much of real marriage. PLUS, if she’s privately dissed the Church as a cult,but publicly says she open to the Church, trust me take what she says in private as the truth. Been there, done that although mine didn’t include children. Mine all ok with it, including pre-Cana etc even going to Mass with me. LESS than a year after that, the mask came off when the Pope said something she didn’t like and not only did she stop going with me, she openly derided my Mass attendance and did everything to get to leave the Church. After 4 years we separated and divorced 4 years after that. 2 years after the annulment was final. When I asked her WHY she had agreed to marry me in the Catholic Church she said that she was worried about never having been married at age 32 and that people would think that she was gay and she figured that IF marrying me in the Church was the price she had to pay, then she’d pay it and manipulate me to her way of thinking later. She was STUNNED when it didn’t work. I’m told that her anti Catholic attitudes came out during her annulment interview. Essentially, she married me under false pretenses.
              So IF this woman is saying one thing privately an another publicly, then I’d say DON’T marry her. AND I’d call her bluff and refuse to marry her and see if she REALLY will make an appointment for an abortion.
              I once had a girl friend tell me that she was pregnant and I was all of 20 and in college, so I looked her in eye and said “Well, I can’t marry you” and before i could finish my sentence, she said “I’m not” Telling me that she was going to try to coerce into a marriage because she always wanted to get married and she was only 18. That taught me a valuable lesson that situations like that to call their bluff and it works. So if I were this young man, that’s what I’d do.

              • IRVCath

                Precisely. In the totality of the circumstances, It seems very unlikely that they can contract a valid marriage at this time within the Church.

                • W. Randolph Steele


  • Rob B.


  • Artevelde


  • In Jesus name all things are possible for these who believes !

  • anna lisa

    Anybody who would threaten to have an abortion, or use her pregnancy to coerce someone has questionable moral fiber.

    The young man needs to search his soul and ask himself if he loves her. If he doesn’t than he used her. Use is abuse.

    If she is frightened and the fear of shame is bringing out the worst in her, than he needs to not judge her on this, but be honest with himself about everything else he has experienced with her in the past. I would worry more about someone willing to suddenly sign on the “Catholic” dotted line than the one who has questions. The world is filled with lies and half truths about the faith, and someone needs to have the patience to answer all of her questions.

    If she is a good human being, and he can learn to love her more than the way he is behaving right now, he should propose to her, and they should take their engagement one day at a time. They definitely need counseling either way.

    There is no such thing as a problem pregnancy. A human being is always a blessing no matter what.

    I’ll pray for them at mass.