While Jack Layton’s death should be met with sadness by Canadians, it is important for Catholics and all pro-lifers to know why we should be sad.
We should be sad because Jack Layton had the intellectual and charismatic capacity to do great things for Canada and for the persecuted and the oppressed in this country, but instead chose to do the opposite. He espoused many beliefs which are completely contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Abortion and sodomy are only two of them. While he showed many admirable qualities as a human being, to extol and lionize a figure who spent much of his political life promoting causes which undermined and attacked the most helpless of human beings and the human family is not appropriate.
On the hopeful side for Jack in his last few years, he seemed to warm up to those who were praying for him:
Well, you could have knocked me over this morning at the Canadian National Prayer Breakfast when NDP Leader Jack Layton shared his newfound insights into the power of prayer. Layton told how, after he had made a public announcement last February about his diagnosis of prostate cancer, he felt “this incredible sense of joy” and like “something was under my wings.” He had no idea why he felt so good, until the emails, cards and conversations began revealing how many people were praying for him. He said he had previously had doubts but now he was convinced. (Source)
People of Faith genuinely love our opponents and we pray for them. We wish and will only their good. We hope that Jack was on his way to a heart-felt and genuine conversion to God, even though his politics did not reflect this conversion in the most recent election campaign.
While we commend Jack’s soul to God’s mercy and pray that he came to a final and authentic conversion in his private life before He met God (and there are indeed signs that that was happening), it is necessary as Catholics and pro-lifers not to give blanket public accolades to his public work without acknowledging the serious crimes that he advocated.
A public recognition of a man’s life must take into account not only the good but also the bad.
Please pray for the repose of Jack’s soul.