Cardinal O'Malley urges 4,000 women to stand up for life, family

.- Cardinal Sean O'Malley called on thousands of Catholic women in Boston on Sunday to stand up for their values regarding life, marriage and family.

"You have a credibility, just by being women … that oftentimes is not accorded to priests and bishops," he reportedly told more than 4,000 women at the second Boston Catholic Women's Conference. "The Church is counting on our women to speak that word. I ask you to be courageous."

The women packed the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, surpassing the number of men at a similar conference on Saturday. The snowstorm reduced attendance at the men's conference to 3,000, about 2,000 fewer than expected, reported the Boston Globe.

Local parishioners started the men's event three years ago in response to the cardinal’s call for lay people to help rebuild and strengthen the Church, after the clergy sexual abuse scandal. These meetings have now become the nation's largest meetings of their kind.

One of the speakers at the women’s conference was Immaculee Ilibagiza of Rwanda, who shared about how her faith helped her survive the 1994 genocide. The program also included confession, singing, and Mass with the Cardinal.

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