For Immediate Release: March 11, 2002
Contact: Jerry Horn, 540-785-4733
Catholic Leaders: Annunciation a Key Pro-life
Over sixty national Catholic leaders have signed a statement drafted by three
Catholic pro-life organizations to call special attention to the pro-life
significance of the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25.
Priests for Life, Human Life International, and the Missionary Image of Our
Lady of Guadalupe sent out the short statement in February. The statement and
its signers are posted at
Catholic leaders may still add their names to it.
"The statement is an expression of a conviction that has been growing all
over the world for years," explained Fr. Frank Pavone, Co-Founder of Priests for
Life. "When I worked at the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome, I saw
letters coming in frequently requesting that the Church raise the Feast of the
Annunciation to an even higher level of solemnity. The reason is simple. We live
in an age when the human embryo and fetus are regarded as things rather than
persons. At the Annunciation, God Himself became an embryo, and gave human life
-- at its beginnings and at all stages -- an even greater dignity than it
The statement does not call for any canonical or liturgical changes, but
rather encourages the faithful to meditate more deeply on the pro-life meaning
of the Annunciation. Pastors are encouraged to have special celebrations on this
Feast each year that can enable the faithful to pray for an end to abortion and
to the exploitation of human life by destructive embryonic research and cloning.
In some nations, the Annunciation has been declared the Day of the Unborn
Child. The Knights of Columbus will observe the day in the same way. It is also
noteworthy that Pope John Paul II published his encyclical, The Gospel of Life,
on March 25, 1995.
This year, due to the date of Easter, the liturgical observance of the
Annunciation occurs on Monday, April 8.