At National Prayer Vigil for Life, cardinal looks to future

WASHINGTON (CNS) — At the opening Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston focused on the direction in which he believes the pro-life movement should be headed.

The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities called upon Catholics to work to change society’s negative perception of adoption so that it is seen as a better option than abortion for women, especially those facing a crisis pregnancy.

He said the Year of Faith, which runs through November, “is a call to a deeper conversion so we can become effective apostles of the Gospel of life in the new evangelization.”

Citing the Gospel reading for the Mass — Luke 1:39-45, Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth — Cardinal O’Malley said the “the Gospel of life is imperative to Christ’s disciples.”

“God is urging us to be defenders of life in the midst of the culture of death,” he said in urging widespread efforts to change the perception that adoption is a bad choice for women.

“Too many Americans see abortion as a necessary evil,” he added. “We need to educate the public about the damage done to women by abortion.”

Pointing to the important work done by staff and volunteers at pregnancy centers and programs that support single mothers, Cardinal O’Malley called for broadening such efforts so that women turn away from abortion.

Work also must continue on the legislative and judicial fronts so that legalized abortion comes to an end, he said.

At the same time, he explained, Catholics must work more than ever “to change people’s hearts, to help Americans understand that abortion is evil and it is unnecessary.”

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