Bishops speak of ‘moral crisis’ before March for Life in Victoria, British Columbia

March for Life in Victoria Archbishop J. Michael Miller celebrates Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Delta before the March for Life in Victoria, British Columbia, on May 9, 2024. He prayed that they “may be worthy and effective messengers of hope.” | Credit: Paul Schratz

At a pro-life Mass before the March for Life in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller prayed that those heading to the British Columbia Legislature “may be worthy and effective messengers of hope to a world where self-centeredness, greed, violence, and cynicism so often seem to choke the fragile growth of grace in people’s hearts.”

The acceptance of abortion in particular in the law and the popular mind is “a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil,” the archbishop said.

He told the pro-life worshippers that they are “praying in a special way that reverence for life will grow and increasingly be realized in concrete ways in our province of British Columbia and in our nation of Canada.”

Speaker Brittany Garisto speaks at the March for Life in Victoria, British Columbia, on May 9, 2024, about her love for her baby, who died at a young age. Credit: Paul Schratz
Speaker Brittany Garisto speaks at the March for Life in Victoria, British Columbia, on May 9, 2024, about her love for her baby, who died at a young age. Credit: Paul Schratz

Speakers at the legislature told the crowd of about 1,000 people that they need to remember the causes behind society’s choices of accepting death through abortion and euthanasia. 

Victoria Bishop Gary Gordon told the crowd that fear lies behind those who choose abortion and euthanasia. “Everybody loves life,” Gordon said, but fear of an unplanned pregnancy or being abandoned leads them toward what they see as the solution to their fear. 

“If we listen to people who choose things we don’t agree with, listen deeply — you will hear the fear. And we have the ability to dispel the fear, with love.” 

Archdiocese of Vancouver pro-life chaplain Father Larry Lynn at the March for Life in Victoria, British Columbia, on May 9, 2024. Credit: Paul Schratz
Archdiocese of Vancouver pro-life chaplain Father Larry Lynn at the March for Life in Victoria, British Columbia, on May 9, 2024. Credit: Paul Schratz

Amanda Achtman, whose mission to end euthanasia in Canada led to her online project Dying to Meet You, reminded the crowd that people who choose euthanasia typically fear “the loss of ability to participate in meaningful life activities.” Doctors who perform euthanasia “think that they are doing something good, she said. 

“The dying person deserves not to be abandoned as they’re suffering and dying. When someone requests euthanasia, it betrays that insecurity.”

Participants at the March for Life in Victoria, British Columbia, walk down a street with signs calling for life to be respected at all stages. May 9, 2024. Credit: Paul Schratz
Participants at the March for Life in Victoria, British Columbia, walk down a street with signs calling for life to be respected at all stages. May 9, 2024. Credit: Paul Schratz

Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition said: “We have a feeling of hopelessness among many people … We have a serious problem with loneliness and feelings of lack of hope and meaning so what we really have is a cultural abandonment going on. This is not about freedom and choice and autonomy, it’s about killing people who are in despair. And those people need you as people of hope.”

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