Moving Forward for Life with the Encouragement of Archbishop Naumann

As we embark on another Lenten season, Archbishop Joseph Naumann has reminded Catholics that each of us possess the most powerful weapons in the war on abortion: Prayer and fasting.

“Our weapons to defeat the Culture of Death are not bricks, guns or, Molotov cocktails, but prayer, fasting and almsgiving,” the archbishop, chairman of U.S. Conference of Bishop’s pro-life committee, said during his homily for Vigil Mass for Life on the eve of this year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C. 

Archbishop Joseph Naumann by Scott Maentz / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

The archbishop spoke about the dramatic conversion of Bernard Nathanson, an architect of the movement to legalize abortion whose journey took him through pro-abortion atheism to passionately pro-life Catholicism. Many others have likewise converted from supporters of abortion to advocates for the unborn.

Prayer must intensify, as we see various pro-abortion policies come into being. On January 27, the day before the archbishop asked Catholics for prayer, the Biden Administration rescinded the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy implemented by President Donald Trump in 2017. 

That program expanded the Mexico City policy enacted by President Ronald Reagan in 1985 to prevent U.S. taxpayer money from flowing to non-governmental organizations overseas that perform or promote abortion as part of their “healthcare services.” Biden’s action will restart the pipeline for abortion funding and its poisonous ideology.

Commenting on Biden’s executive order rescinding PLGHA, Archbishop Naumann, in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee for Pro-life Activities of the US Bishops’ Conference, decried the action:

“This Executive Order is antithetical to reason, violates human dignity, and is incompatible with Catholic teaching,” the bishops said. “To serve our brothers and sisters with respect, it is imperative that care begin with ensuring that the unborn are free from violence, recognizing every person as a child of God.”

The abortion situation is dire at home as well, at least on the national level. While many people believe that abortion through all nine months of pregnancy is law in the U.S., the fact remains that Roe v. Wade is merely a decision reached by seven members of the U.S. Supreme Court. It was a bad legal decision then and its contention that it’s not possible to know when life begins has been unmasked as a lie by the advent of ultrasound. Nevertheless, the Democrats want to turn Roe into law. 

Through the Women’s Health Protection Act, they also would like to wipe off the books every state law enacted to protect the unborn and their mothers. Another bill, the Do No Harm Act, would strip Americans of their religious liberty. 

If we give in to complacency, the United States will become someplace we no longer recognize.

The first thing every person of faith must do is fall on our knees and beg God’s forgiveness for allowing the slaughter of 62 million innocent victims, and then to ask His help in stopping this bloodshed. Archbishop Naumann reminded us that in God, all things are possible.

We also need to spread the fact, which the Archbishop has often emphasized, that abortion is the most important issue we face today. This conviction then needs to lead us into action, lobbying our elected officials and educating our fellow citizens.

“Jesus tells us that He is the Way and the Truth and Life,” he said in concluding his Vigil Mass for Life homily. “Jesus, who is Life itself, has already won the victory over sin and death. We know, therefore, with complete and utter confidence that Life Will Be Victorious. Adversity only makes our love purer and more powerful.”

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Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

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Father Frank A. Pavone is an American Roman Catholic priest and pro-life activist. He is the National Director of Priests for Life and serves as the national Pastoral Director of Rachel's Vineyard and the Silent No More campaigns.

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