Archdiocese of Washington cancels Youth Rally, Mass for Life held at March for Life events

Cardinal_Gregory_Archbishop_Wilton_Gregory_a_Mass_celebrated_at_the_Capital_One_Arena_before_the_2020_March_for_Life_Peter_Zelasko_CNA.jpg Then Archbishop Wilton Gregory at the 2020 Youth Rally and Mass for Life | Credit: Peter Zelasko/CNA

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., announced that its annual Youth Rally and Mass for Life, which both typically take place in conjunction with the national March for Life in Washington D.C., have been canceled.

“After a consultation process that involved dialogue with other dioceses, ministry leaders, and the partners who assist the archdiocese in hosting the annual rally and Mass, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has decided not to move forward with hosting the larger multi-diocese rally,” a statement from the Archdiocese of Washington says.

The announcement comes about five months following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that legalized abortion nationwide. The annual March for Life, which is now in its 50th year, began in opposition to Roe.

“During this consultation process, we heard from many dioceses who shared that they are turning their efforts to their state’s March for Life now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned,” the statement says.

“We certainly support their local work and pray for their success,” the statement says.

According to the statement, the Youth Rally and Mass for Life had been held for over 25 years. According to the archdiocese’s youth ministry website, the Youth Rally aims to “encourage the youth participating in the national March for Life in their witness as disciples of Christ and promoters of the Gospel of Life.”

The Youth Rally is the archdiocese’s largest annual event, according to the website.

Last year, the Holy See granted a plenary indulgence for any Masses that were held in the archdiocese during the March for Life, the website says.

“As difficult a decision as it was to cancel, we encourage groups traveling to Washington, D.C., to participate in the National March for Life at the National Mall and to attend the Vigil Mass at The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception,” the statement says.

“Wilton Cardinal Gregory, archbishop of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, would like to express his deepest gratitude for the support and participation of archdiocesan youth and young people who traveled to Washington, D.C., over these past 25 years,” the statement says.

Youth from the Archdiocese of Washington are still invited for a Mass of Celebration and Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle Jan. 20, 2023, the statement says.

A video of the 2022 Youth Rally and Mass for Life can be seen below.

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