Cardinal O’Malley Calls For Prayer And Penance To Mark Roe V. Wade Anniversary

January 18, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The chairman ofthe U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities called on Catholics toparticipate in "Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage," January 19-27, tomark the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.

"Our nationgreatly needs our prayers and personal sacrifices," said Cardinal SeánP. O'Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston."The evil of abortion inflicts unimaginable pain, but Jesus offers us healingand renewal."

The full text of Cardinal O'Malley'sstatement follows:

On the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap.
Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities
United States Conference of CatholicBishops

January 16, 2013

January 22, 2013 marks the 40thanniversary of the tragicU.S. Supreme Court rulings Roe v. Wadeand Doe v. Bolton. Withoutgrounding in the Constitution, law or human rights, these decisions have madeit legal for the past forty years in the United States to end the life of anunborn child. Since then fifty-five million children neverhad the chance to be born. The scope of this loss is staggering, yet the Courtand many in our society relegate it to a matter of personal choice.

As part of the ongoingresponse to innocent children's lives being taken with the protection of thelaw, the U.S. Catholic bishops have launched a major pastoral initiativecalling for prayer and penance to promote and build a culture of life, marriageand religious liberty.

The initiative includes "Nine Days of Prayer, Penance andPilgrimage" from January 19 to 27, 2013. I invite Catholics in the UnitedStates to join me in this novena. It includes daily prayer intentions for thehealing and conversion of our nation, for elected officials who supportabortion, and for all people whose lives have forever been changed by anabortion. The novena is available through social media, text messaging andemail, to be helpful for youth and other pilgrims traveling to pro-life eventsand marches and for those wishing to participate from their parishes and homes.

Our nation greatlyneeds our prayers and personal sacrifices. The evil of abortion inflictsunimaginable pain, but Jesus offers us healing and renewal. He came not tocondemn us, but to free us from the burden of the wrongs we have done so thatall might be saved. His Divine Mercy knows no limits; we need only to ask hisforgiveness. If you know of anyone suffering from the effects of anabortion experience, please encourage them to seek help.

It is our hope and prayer that our defense of human lifeand religious freedom, our witness to the dignity of each and every humanperson, our compassionate service and our prayers calling on the infinite loveand mercy of God will spark a renewal of love and commitment to the true goodof others. Only a love that seeks to serve those most in need, whatever thepersonal cost to ourselves, is strong enough to overcome a culture of death andbuild a civilization worthy of human beings created in God's image.

 NOTE: Formore information: On the Supreme Court's abortion decisions:
To receive daily prayers and reflections forthe novena and learn how to promote them in your parish or

To see thehelp available after an abortion:


Keywords: Roe v. Wade, 40, anniversary, CardinalSeán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap., "Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage,"March for Life, abortion, USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, U.S.bishops

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