One of the most commonly heard themes (and frustrations) in the pro-life movement is that the clergy need to exercise more clear and courageous leadership in the cause of life. This, of course, is at the heart of my own fulltime ministry with Priests for Life.
When I explain to people the ways to increase the involvement of clergy, I always start with one simple piece of advice: always encourage and thank them when they do step up to the plate.
This year provides the entire pro-life movement an opportunity to do exactly that.
On Sunday, June 16, in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate a special Mass in Saint Peter’s Square at 10am. The theme of this mass will be the sanctity of life, because that day has been designated as the Day of the Gospel of Life. This is actually one of the official observances of the Catholic Church’s Year of Faith currently in progress.
The day before, there will be a special procession and prayers showing the connection between the faith and the dignity of life.
The Pope, relying on the help of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, has taken a significant step here. Now the ball is in our court. We, the pro-life movement in the United States and around the world, need to show our support, gratitude, and desire for the Church’s leadership in the cause of life.
In short, we need to show up! If an event like this is held and there is a massive turnout from around the world, a clear signal will be sent both to the Church and the world that pro-life themes are strong in the hearts of the people, and that when initiatives for life are taken by the pastoral leaders in the Church, the people will respond.
For more information, see the special website we have set up for this occasion, GospelOfLifePilgrimage.com.
LifeNews.com Note: Father Frank Pavone is the national director for Priests for Life.