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Profiles in Catholicism
 
An Interview with Denise Mackura

by Gordon Nary






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Gordon:
 

You are fortunate in being a member of Holy Rosary Church which is on the National Register of Historic Places.  When did your join Holy Rosary Church?

 

Denise:

Mid-2000

 

Gordon:
 

There are several other Cleveland Churches on the National Register of Historic Places. If someone who was seeking to join a Cleveland parish asked you for a recommendation of which parish to join, what are the special qualities of Holy Rosary that you would mention?

 

Denise:



 

The parish of Holy Rosary is truly a loving Catholic community, some members going back generations.  Through various outreach programs to the poor, the elderly, pregnant women and others, the pastor, staff and parish members really get to know each other. For example, there is an annual street festival to celebrate the feast of the Assumption, outdoor community
stations of the cross, and other very visible community activities. 
 

Most important, the sermons and activities reflect our spiritual journey and how that should be lived out day to day.

 

Gordon:

 

I understand that Holy Rosary is a very pro-life church; Could you provide an overview of some of their prolife outreach?
 

Denise:


 

The parish has sponsored the 40 days for Life program, raised money through the baby bottle program for pregnancy help centers, held special prayer services for those suffering from post-abortion trauma, and conducted spiritual adoption programs,  The issue of abortion has remained an important part of the regular prayers of the faithful.

 

Gordon:

 

In addition to your career as a leading Cleveland pro-life attorney, you have also had a strong background as a pro-life community and national  leader. Could you provide us with an overview of your pro-life professional career?
 

Denise:



 

I have been honored to serve as one of the founders of Cleveland Area Students for Life before & after Roe v. Wade, as Legislative Counsel at Americans United for Life (Chicago), Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life. and the Thomas More Society (Chicago) as well as Cleveland Right to Life.  I also taught a course in the history of abortion in America at Eastern University in Pennsylvania. I have also served on the boards of the National Lawyers Association and Democrats for Life of America I recently successfully represented a woman who was the victim of a forced abortion in Cleveland. 

Gordon:
 

In the past 42 years, how has the national pro-life movement in the United States changed?
 

Denise:

 

An increasing percentage of young people have become involved at all levels and in all aspects facets Ė service to pregnant women, political activity, educational efforts, and others.  The movement as a whole, despite predictions to the contrary, has increased in strength, as evidenced by the large quantity of pro-life state legislation throughout the country.
 

Gordon:
 

Have you noticed any change in the Catholic Church in the US as a leader in the pro-life movement?
 

Denise:



 

The Catholic Church was in the forefront of protecting unborn children in the decade prior to Roe v. Wade, when the vast majority of states rejected the efforts of those who were trying to make it legal to end the lives of unborn children.  Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court ignored the will of the people when it decided Roe.  The Catholic Church
has remained faithful to the mission of protecting the human rights of unborn children, supporting parish pro-life groups, pregnancy help centers and other efforts.  Unfortunately there are a few parishes in every city Iíve visited that do not support these efforts, but the vast majority do.
 

Gordon:

 

In 2014, there was a UN charge about the Vatican's anti-abortion teaching. Could you provide us with an overview of
this challenge and how it was addressed
?
 

Denise:


 

I believe the actions of the UN were based on an attempt to discredit the Churchís teaching on several subjects by using the child sex abuse scandal as a bludgeon.  There has been a struggle at the UN for years between those who support the human rights of unborn children and those who want to sacrifice their rights. I am not defending the Churchís behavior regarding the abuse of children in its care.  But because some in the Church made a mistake does not automatically discredit Church teaching.   
 

Gordon:


 

You also serve as President of the Human Family Research Center which somewhat extends the traditional focus of the pro-life movement to a much broader series of challenges including Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Bullying. Could you provide us an overview on how all of these issues are interrelated with some of the more traditional challenges such as abortion?
 

Denise:




 

The Catholic Church was one of the earliest voices for the belief in the value and dignity of every human being.  This belief ve was not always a part of human culture and it brought about a profound change in culture law.  Unfortunately, there are still those who deny this basic truth and therefore act as though it is their right to ignore the rights of others if they believe it is in their own best interests.  I sincerely believe that you canít diminish the rights of another human being without diminishing all human rights.  They are all interrelated.  The Human Family Research
Center seeks to help people to realize that we are all part of the same family and should act like it!  Of course families have problems, but that doesnít mean they donít keep trying to work for individual and the common good.
 

Gordon:

 

My first introduction to your pro-life leadership was through your book American Democracy in the Wake of Roe Prospects for Just and Rational Change which is a recommended resource for many pro-life organizations including the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. Thank you for taking time for this interview and your leadership in the pro-life movement.