Catholics in South Bend, Indiana marked the tragedy of the legalization of abortion at an evening Mass and vigil at St. Matthew Cathedral on January 18. During his homily, Father Tom Foley asked the assembly to pray for President Obama and described the devastating effects that the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) could have on the U.S. if it reaches the president’s desk.
According to the Fight FOCA website, the legislation would rescind any state laws limiting abortion in any way such as parental consent for minors, informed consent for the mother, partial birth abortions and the requirement that only licensed physicians perform abortions. It would compel taxpayer funding of abortion and force faith-based hospitals and healthcare facilities to perform abortions.
Father Foley also mentioned two ways that American Catholics can help prevent the passage of FOCA. The first is to participate in the postcard campaign that is being launched by the American bishops on January 25. This coming weekend, post cards will be provided by local churches nationwide for parishioners to fill out and send to their congressmen and senators.
Additionally, Fr. Foley reminded the congregation of the bishops’ call for a day of prayer and fasting on Thursday, January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion.
Following the Mass, Bishop D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend led a vigil which included Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction, hymns and special prayers for women who have had an abortion and for the men involved in the decision.
The bishop also led prayers for elected officials and those in the medical profession.