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Still Resolved: Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Roe v. Wade Has Got to Go
By Fr. Randy Sly
January 27th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Heading into the city on the Metro, I wondered how different this
year's March might be. With respect to the cause of life, this has been a
tough year in the United States. The recent election didn't do us any
favors so I was interested to gauge the commitment of the crowd.
Washington also looked a little different this year, with huge signs hanging off the sides of many buildings that were leftovers from the inauguration.
Heading into the city on the Metro, I wondered how different this year's March might be. With respect to the cause of life, this has been a tough year in the United States. The recent election didn't do us any favors so I was interested to gauge the commitment of the crowd.
With 40 years of legalized child-killing behind us and the most pro-abortion president in history, the stakes are high and the obstacles seem higher.
What I witnessed was a movement that has not lost any momentum. This was apparent in many ways.
On Friday morning, both Dn. Keith Fournier and I participated in the National Memorial for the Preborn at the Time of Death, held at Constitution Hall. This event, sponsored by the National Pro-Life Religious Council along with a number of denominations associations, is an ecumenical prayer service that brings pro-life supporters together to pray for our nation.
There was no lack of enthusiasm on the part of the crowd, who stood multiple times in applause during a stirring homily by Fr. Frank Pavone. Their response was especially strong when he stated that we not give up taking our cause to the White House, Congress, the Courts and the People. The call he gave was for both prayer and action. We must not give up on either front.
He also called upon the Church of Jesus Christ to reaffirm her resolve.
We must recall the Churches to their role and duty to both announce good and denounce evil, and to reclaim the confidence that the Lord places in us by telling us he has overcome the world, and that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. That is not simply about the Church withstanding attacks. It is about the Church taking the initiative against the culture of death, and causing the gates to fall.
We recall the Church to her duty to proclaim that abortion is the very opposite of love. Love says, "I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person." Abortion says, "I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself." And isn't it amazing, that the very same words used by the culture of death to justify abortion are the words used by our Lord to proclaim life and salvation and love: This is my body!
The same resolve I saw at the prayer service was evident during the March, where the number of marchers could easily break all records. Again this year, the large number of young people dwarfed "us older folks" not only in number but enthusiasm.
The March itself felt similar to all the Marches in the past. The banners from different parishes, schools, organizations and denominations were held high. The energy of the crowd was electric and chants filled the air.
"Hey, hey, ho, ho; Roe v Wade has got to go!"
"We want babies, yes we do; we want babies, how 'bout you?"
I came home today confident that the work for the cause of life will not only continue, but move on with even great passion.
I met two college students on the metro going home who, for me, represented what I felt all day at the march. "Coming to the March always gets us stirred up and confident. We see so many people who believe in the cause of life. Our (college) town is so publicly pro-abortion. This is good to see."
A group from Michigan that I met said very much the same thing. The March, for them, is an opportunity to join others of like heart and make our voices heard.
I had walked in the March with other priests and people from the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. While this was the first year we had all walked together, almost every one of us had marched before. It was very exciting to march under our banner, especially answering questions of those who wanted to know about our jurisdiction.
We walked with fellow Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, and many others all of whom want to the end of killing children in the womb. I have been a participant in many of these marches over the past 15 years. I have been there as an Anglican bishop, a reporter for Catholic Online and now a Catholic priest.
This year I sense a renewed determination will not pay heed to the arrogance of a political machine that is bound and determined to allow millions more to be aborted. I also sense a commitment to challenge the empty and often duplicitous rhetoric of those who affirm the need for abortion.
I want to have Fr. Pavone summarize where the pro-life movement is headed now. He is how he ended his address this morning.
I therefore call upon you today, my brothers and sisters, not only to commit yourselves to the mission of ending abortion, but to make the defense of the unborn your priority.
And there's no turning back.
When faced with trouble and opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded the civil rights activists that no dogs were going to turn them around, no water hoses were going to turn them around, no police clubs or jail sentences were going to turn them around, and no injunction were going to turn them around.
And I say to you today in the pro-life movement: no Planned Parenthood is going to turn us around, no biased media is going to turn us around, no HHS mandate is going to turn us around, and no Obama administration is going to turn us around.
It's been forty years. The Promised Land is in front of us! And we are going to enter it together!
Father Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and a priest with the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (http://usordinariate.org) established by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, through the Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus." He is currently the chaplain of the St. John Fisher Ordinariate Community, a priest in residence at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church and Director of Pro-Life Activities for the Ordinariate.
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