After 40 years of abortion, bishops voice sorrow, hope
By Michelle Bauman
Pro-life supporters participate in the West Coast Walk for Life 2012 in San Francisco, Jan. 21, 2012. Credit: West Coast Walk for Life.
Pro-life supporters participate in the West Coast Walk for Life 2012 in San Francisco, Jan. 21, 2012. Credit: West Coast Walk for Life.

.- Church leaders across the U.S. expressed both grief and renewed determination on the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout America.

“Forty years after Roe v. Wade, the scourge of abortion is still a part of our land,” said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C., “but the faith, love and witness of our young people is a reminder to all of us that in the end, truth, goodness, life and love will win out.”

“Abortion continues to be the defining human rights issue of our age,” the cardinal said in a Jan. 22 blog post.

He called for “serious reflection, prayer and action” on the millions of lives that have been lost in the name of “choice.” At the same time, he said, there is ample reason for hope.

Recalling the Holy Spirit's “palpable” presence at Pentecost, the cardinal pointed to the vibrant energy of the huge crowds of young people that gather in Washington, D.C. every year to stand up for life.

This “next generation of pro-life disciples” sheds the light of hope on the darkness of the past four decades of legalized abortion, he said.

“As I process into the Verizon Center each year to celebrate the Mass for Life, I experience their faith and their joy and their incredible witness for life and love,” he reflected. “Each year, their witness reminds us of the urgency of the moment, the commitment of our young people, and the power of the Eucharist.”

Catholics are called “to be confident in the truth of our faith and share it with others,” particularly in this Year of Faith, Cardinal Wuerl said, stressing that “the Gospel of Life will continue to change hearts and will ultimately change our nation.”

Other Church leaders also joined in expressing both sorrow and hope at the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, using the internet and social media to convey their message.

“Today is a day of mourning for our nation,” Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City posted on Twitter. “Forty years after Roe v. Wade we beg the Lord's mercy and pray for conversion and repentance.”

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison posted on Facebook that he was praying in a special way “for our nation, that individually and as a society we might experience the conversion of heart necessary to view every life as sacred.”

“The forces of death press on from every side in contemporary American culture,” added Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn. He called for “direct conversation” and political courage to restore a sense of respect for both life and religious liberty.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston observed that it is “wondrous to see so many young people who have become enthusiastic participants in the pro-life movement.”

In a Jan. 22 blog post, the cardinal reflected on both the growing numbers of pro-life Americans and the “somber” and “daunting” task ahead of them.

“What was not foreseen in 1973 was that the fledgling Pro-Life Movement of that time has not only remained, but also has grown in tenacity and confidence,” he explained.

In addition, he said, through programs such as Project Rachel, those who have been harmed by abortions have found healing, forgiveness and peace.

Looking to the future, Cardinal DiNardo acknowledged that changing hearts “requires much work, much persuasion, good teaching and financial backing.”

However, he added, these elements alone “will never accomplish anything if they are not matched by insistent and consistent prayer to the Lord to grant us what we need to turn hearts towards the true meaning of human life.”

Tags: Abortion, Pro-life, US Bishops

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »


Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: