The mood was decidedly different at this year’s Vigil Mass held on the eve of the March for Life. A cautious optimism about the fight on behalf of the unborn was reflected in the homily given by Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore.
“As we celebrate this pro-life vigil Mass, we are deeply conscious that the Supreme Court is weighing Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” said Lori, the chair of the United States Conference on Pro-Life Activities.
“This case gives the High Court an opportunity to undo the grave injustice it did in 1973, when in Roe v. Wade it was decided that a whole class of human beings, namely, the unborn, are outside the protection of the law, and thus ‘non-persons,’” he said to the assembled pro-lifers at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
If Roe is overturned, Lori said, Catholics must fight for laws that support women and their children.
“If legal protection is accompanied by more care for mothers and children, then it will be more and more clear to more and more of our fellow citizens that choosing life does not hinder happiness and does not 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 her unborn child,” said Lori.
Catholics should unite in favor of a society and laws that “protect and care for women and their children, and “redouble our efforts to accompany women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies, offering them loving and compassionate care.”
Lori applauded the contributions of pro-life ministries USCCB’s “Walking with Moms in Need,” the Sisters of Life, pregnancy centers, and Project Rachel, which support both pregnant women, and in the case of Project Rachel, women who have survived the trauma of abortion.
“In all these ways and more, the Church seeks to bring light, healing, and hope, thus witnessing to the beauty of life, and ‘building a culture of life,’ one mother and child at a time,” he said.
“Go forth from this Mass with renewed resolve to reach out to a family member, a neighbor, or a fellow parishioner, to encourage them to join in this great cause for life,” and to “reach out in a personal way to help a mother and a child in need,” Lori told those in attendance.
“This is our time to create a new culture of life in America,” he said.