Trial For Life Commemoration Review

At The Grave of Joe Borowski with two of his daughters

At The Grave of Joe Borowski with two of his daughters

There Are No Outsiders in the Family of God:  A Commemoration of the Late Joe Borowski

 

 

By Fr. Jeffrey Stephaniuk

 

In Wynyard, Saskatchewan during the weekend of September 5th and 6th, 2008 an event was held to commemorate the late Joe Borowski, a folk hero to the pro-life movement until his death in 1996.  In many ways he was an arch-rival to Henry Morgentaler in the race to convince the Supreme Court to either strengthen abortion laws or remove them.  The year 2008 is the 25th anniversary of the Trial for Life, initiated by Mr. Borowski and held in Regina in 1983.  A long-time friend of Mr. Borowski, historian Fr. Alphonse de Valk from Toronto, sent a letter of greeting to those gathered in Wynyard, describing the trial with these words: “it is the 25th anniversary of Joe’s greatest intellectual contribution to the defence of the unborn in Canada, namely his decision to marshal the best quality defence of medical, legal, and theological arguments available in order to explain the human nature of the unborn child. The fact that an ill-willed supreme Court of Canada ignored testimony delivered in the Regina courtroom in their haste to approve abortion on demand is to their everlasting shame.”

            Guest speaker, Andras Tahn, currently Executive Director of St. Therese Catholic College of Faith and Mission in Bruno, Saskatchewan (www.sttherese.ca) presented a talk entitled, “There Are No Outsiders in the Family of God”.  He spoke about being an eyewitness to the Trial for Life in Regina in 1983, at which expert medical and scientific witnesses were called to have read into the court documents the fact that human life begins at conception (fertilization).  Dr. Jerome Lejeune was one of those expert witnesses.  From Paris, France, he discovered the cause of Down Syndrome.  The life of each individual new human being, he repeated often in the course of examination and cross-examination, “begins at the instant that all the necessary and sufficient information is combined in order to define the new being.  That is right from the beginning.” 

After his death in 1994, a Cause of Canonization was initiated on his behalf.  Quotes such as the following can also be read in his testimony: “If, and I hope God will never permit that – the Pope was saying that abortion was killing nobody, I would stop being a Catholic for scientific reasons, because no moral authority can make me believe that discarding an early human being is not discarding a human being.”

Our second guest speaker was Mr. Ted Byfield from Edmonton.  A revered journalist and publisher, Mr. Byfield is currently working on the Christian History Project (www.christianhistoryproject.com).  His presentation asked the question, “How did we get to this predicament?”  He traced the influence of education reformer John Dewey and his effect on divorcing the new generation from the values of the previous generation while marginalizing the concept of right and wrong.  He also spoke to the concept of sexual revolution:  when men free themselves from responsibilities to women it leads to pornography; when women free themselves from the responsibilities associated with sexuality, similarly insisting on a consequence-free sex life, they do so under the guise of liberating themselves from men, though in reality it is the children who are punished through abortion.  It is possible to add the scenario of contraception in this explanation as well. 

Mr. Byfield also commented on the current federal election campaign, with a message that since the federal Conservatives assume that they have the vote of social conservatives, we need to tell them if they have gone too far in their efforts to compromise for the sake of political gain.

One of the other letters of greetings presented in Wynyard was from Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the Apostolic Nuncio to Canada.  As the Pope’s Ambassador stated, “Let the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI’s words during his recent pastoral visit to the United States, be a source of encouragement and inspiration: “May you find the courage to proclaim Christ, ‘The same, yesterday, and today and for ever’ and the unchanging truths that set us free!  They are the truths which alone can guarantee respect for the inalienable dignity and rights of each man, woman and child in our world – including the most defenseless of all human beings, the unborn child in the mother’s womb.”

Video clips of the commemoration of the late Joe Borowski on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Trial for Life can be viewed at youtube.com by searching for “Ted Byfield” and “Joe Borowski Commemoration.”

 

Thank you.

Fr. Jeffrey Stephaniuk

306-752-3182

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