“Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed so easily.”
That’s what Dorothy Day, founder of The Catholic Worker newspaper and social justice movement, famously said about herself before her death at age 83 in 1980. Yet a big step was recently taken toward that end when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops endorsed her cause after Cardinal Dolan of New York called her “a saint for our time.”
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Our works are very much pro-life. We would question, however, any policy that is more pro-fetus than actually pro-life. If the rights of the unborn trump all of the rights of all of those who are already born, that is a distortion too — if there’s such an emphasis on that. However, we have sisters who work in right to life issues. We also have many, many ministries that support life. We dedicate to our lives to those on the margins of society, many of whom are considered throw-away people: the impaired, the chronically mentally ill, the elderly, the incarcerated, to the people on death row. We have strongly spoken out against the death penalty, against war, hunger. All of those are right to life issues. There’s so much being said about abortion that is often phrased in such extreme and such polarizing terms that to choose not to enter into a debate that is so widely covered by other sectors of the Catholic Church — and we have been giving voice to other issues that are less covered but are equally as important.