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Roe V. Wade anniversary brings memories of a special priest

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Steve TrosleyThis month marks the 44th anniversary of the Roe V. Wade decision by the Supreme Court.

As most of us know, the High Court by a 7-2 vote, decided that the 14th Amendment guarantees a right to privacy and this right protected a woman’s right to abort her child.

What to say about this that hasn’t been said before? Asking questions puts the brain in gear and I recalled a pastor, Father Henry Weckerle, who I met in Savanna, Ill., in the late 1970s.

Father Weckerle told me how he had made an arrangement with a local hospital and cemetery to recover the remains of miscarried and aborted babies – although officially the local hospital did not perform abortions – so he could see to it that the baby had a proper burial. In many instances, the parents accepted the option of having him take care of the disposal of remains.

He described how often the remains he blessed were a perfectly formed human, complete with fingers, toes and tiny facial features. He described this with a certain amount of wonder in his voice and then would say he found it hard to fathom how anyone could deny that this tiny body could be anything but that of a human being.

Father Weckerle, who was a licensed pilot and flew his own plane, died when his Cessna failed to climb above a knoll masked in fog, at the end of a runway. The Clinton County, Iowa, sheriff’s department said the plane crashed at twilight on a Friday evening and rolled down into a depression. It was not discovered until the next morning when another private plane taking off spotted the wreckage below.

When I heard the news, I hoped he died at the time of the crash and had not spent the night, critically injured and all alone. At the same time, I envisioned the souls of all of those babies, who he had befriended in death, greeting him in God’s glorious heaven. He was truly a man of mercy. The corporal works of mercy instruct us to bury the dead but he surely touched on most of the proscribed works of mercy, spiritual and corporal, in his ministry.

As I was trying to recall the details of his special mission, I came across an article by Kevin Williamson of the National Review, entitled “The Golden Age of Mass Delusion.” It begins:

“Texas has passed a regulation requiring that human corpses be disposed of in accordance with the state’s regulation for the disposal of human corpses.”

The article explores the controversy created by this new regulation that requires that Texas follow the state’s rules on burial or cremation of human remains. The bodies of miscarried or aborted babies are no longer allowed to be considered medical waste, tossed in the trash.

You can read all of the article here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442562/texas-fetal-burial-rule-abortion-remains-cremation-greg-abbott.

Note this from the Ohio Right-to-Life newsletter: “Late May, the Ohio Senate passed Sub. Senate Bill 254, the Unborn Child Dignity Act; lead sponsor Senator Joe Uecker (Clermont County).
The Unborn Child Dignity Act was prompted after Attorney General Mike DeWine investigated and discovered that abortionists in the state are ignoring Ohio code requiring humane disposal of aborted babies’ bodies, with these little ones’ remains callously dumped as medical waste…

“Sub. Senate Bill 254 is now in the Ohio House Health & Aging Committee but has not yet been scheduled for hearings and vote. If the legislature does not address the bill in the next week or so before the end of the year, it will die.”

As expected in both states, the usual pro-abortion voices have sounded the alarm. Reminds me of a snake. When as boys we went into the woods and found a snake, we would pin it down with a forked stick and it would thrash about, survival instinct kicking into high gear.

Something to think about on this nefarious anniversary.

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