Baltimore’s archbishop, who Thursday celebrated Annual Pro-life Vigil Mass at Washington’s National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, while Catholics for Choice projecting pro-abortion messages upon the church’s façade, gave his reaction to The Star News Network.
“Well, the real action was what was going inside the basilica,” said Archbishop William E. Lori, who spoke to TSSN in front of the Supreme Court Friday as the tens of thousands of March for Life participants passed by.
More evidence that Catholics for Choice is an evil organization that doesn’t actually care about the Church at all https://t.co/AtbNdJHw8x
— ❤️🔥Emily🕊 (@ThatRosaryGirl) January 21, 2022
“The upper church, the lower church were filled again with young people,” said the prelate, who, in addition to leading the Church in Baltimore, serves as the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus.
“We were in prayer. We were celebrating the gift of life. We were talking protecting the lives of mothers and babies,” he said. “And we were also talking about reaching out to those who are conflicted about abortion.”
Lori said he was thrilled with the turnout and atmosphere at the march after last year’s hiatus. “I think it’s wonderful that we’re back in person. It’s wonderful that so many people turned out—wonderful as usually that it’s a young crowd and full of energy.”
The archbishop said people are always surprised how many young people are part of the March for Life.
“It always is, and there is joy and commitment and hope,” he said. “When you see these young people, you know that the movement has a great future.”
In his homily Thursday, the Kentucky native referred to the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion across the country.
“As we celebrate this Pro-Life Vigil Mass, we are deeply conscious that the Supreme Court is weighing Dobbs vs. Jackson,” he said. “This case gives the high court an opportunity to undo the grave injustice it did in 1973 when in Roe vs. Wade it decided that a whole class of human beings, the unborn, are outside the protection of the law, and thus ‘non-persons.’”
Lori said the Roe decision took a massive toll on human life.
“Since that tragic decision, more than 60 million innocent lives have been taken,” he said.
“If Roe is overturned, states will again be able to protect the lives of unborn children,” said the archbishop, who was ordained a priest in 1977 after attending Seminary of St. Pius X in Erlanger, Kentucky.
“If legal protection is accompanied by more care for mothers and their children, then it will be more and more clear to more and more of our fellow citizens that choosing life does not hinder happiness or burden society,” he said.
“On the contrary, choosing life creates a society that looks to the future with hope, a society where a woman is never forced to choose between her future and the life of her child.”
Catholics for Choice issue a statement
Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson said in a statement posted Thursday that the group rejects the message and purpose of the March for Life.
Manson’s statement read in part:
The March for Life twists our faith to villainize people who seek abortion services and silences the 68 percent of Catholics who do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. That’s why, during the “Vigil for Life” at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., we prominently projected our message to Catholics who support legal abortion access and those who have abortions themselves: no matter what the Church hierarchy tries to make you think, you are not alone.
“We took our message to the largest Catholic Church in the United States to remind religious leaders that many of the faithful have had abortions, and will have abortions and that they participate in the life of the church. We must embrace this reality by hearing their stories and breaking the silence and shame that the hierarchy has created around this issue.”
Today, we celebrate the 49th birthday of #RoevWade. The anti-choice minority has stopped at nothing to prevent people from accessing basic reproductive healthcare. Particularly for low-income and rural people, Roe was never enough. We must keep up the fight to #LiberateAbortion! pic.twitter.com/GmSjzpg9vY
— Catholics for Choice (@Catholic4Choice) January 22, 2022
Washington’s archbishop responds to Catholics for Choice with allusion to Judas
Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, condemned the stunt in a statement and said the group’s members, who identify as Catholic, are operating outside of the Church, making a Scripture reference to Judas.
“The true voice of the Church was only to be found within The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception last evening,” the cardinal said.
“There, people prayed and offered the Eucharist, asking God to restore a true reverence for all human life,” he said. “Those whose antics projected words on the outside of the church building demonstrated by those pranks that they really are external to the Church, and they did so at night – John 13:30.”
The verse the cardinal cited in his statement reads: “As soon as Judas had taken the piece of bread he went out. It was night,” and it follows the moment during the Last Supper when Jesus tells the apostles he will give a piece of bread to the one who would betray him.
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Neil W. McCabe is the national political editor of The Star News Network. Send him news tips: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @neilwmccabe2.
Photo “Archbishop William E. Lori” by Knights of Columbus and photo “.