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Evangelium vitae Day: answering the challenges to the Gospel of Life

(Vatican Radio) “I wanted to talk about how to communicate the pro-life understanding to a culture that’s largely hostile to it,” says Dr Francis Beckwith, a Catholic philosophy professor at Baylor University in Texas. He was speaking with Vatican Radio ahead of the Day Celebrating Evangelium Vitae. Dr Beckwith will be taking part in a panel discussion on Saturday that will discuss “The Gospel of Life and the New Evangelization.”

“The case that I make,” Beckwith says, “is that even those who are hostile to a culture of life, down deep, assume or rely on understandings of the human person that we can use to show them that ultimately their own view is incorrect.”

The New Evangelization, he says has different, but related meanings. “In every case it always involves the Good News – that is to say, telling people about the good news of Jesus Christ.” But the New Evangelization is not just about telling people the Good News – we must also be able to explain why people should accept the message. Quoting Saint Peter, he says, “That also means being able . . . ‘to give an answer to those who ask of us.’ And so I envision the application of the New Evangelization to the Gospel of life in this sense: giving answers to people who are in fact challenging us on the Gospel of Life.”

The Gospel of Life is rooted in the teaching of Christ, he says, and so it has a practical dimension: “If you look at, for example, the teachings of Jesus – the Sermon on the Mount, the way in which He talks about our obligation to those who are vulnerable and poor, and those that require the assistance of others – that’s the central focus of the Gospel of Life. And so, to actually advance the Gospel of Life is in fact to advance the charitable commands of Christ.”

At the end of the day, he says, the Gospel of Life “a sort of real life application of the moral commands that Christ gave us in the New Testament.”

Listen to the full interview of Dr. Francis Beckwith speaking with Christopher Wells: RealAudioMP3