On the day of remembrance for the cessation of World War I, a conflict which saw the disappearance of a large portion of an entire generation of Europeans fighting in the trenches, Pope Benedict XVI issued an invitation to join him in “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” on Saturday November 27, 2010 in the hope of ceasing the silent violence within the womb that results in the loss of so many human lives in our present day and age. The liturgy will be prayed by the pope at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome but he has asked all the Catholic faithful throughout the world to gather in their own local churches to pray with him. Human Life International had this to say regarding the nature of this invitation:
“We hope that Catholics understand the historical significance of Pope Benedict’s invitation,” said Joseph Meaney, HLI’s director of international coordination. ‘The Holy Father for the first time in history has asked the Universal Catholic Church to gather together in a common liturgical event and pray for our preborn brothers and sisters who are being slaughtered around the world by abortion and other attacks of the culture of death.“
Indeed while Pope Benedict has repeatedly condemned abortion and urged Catholics and all peoples to pray and work incessantly toward its end, his creation of a specific liturgical event for all Catholic bishops and faithful to participate in is a unique occurrence. The chosen Saturday is of particular significance as that evening begins the Roman Catholic liturgical season of Advent in which the entire Church begins its preparation for the coming of Christ’s birth at Christmas. During this season the Church meditates as a whole on the pre-born Jesus residing in the womb of Mary, joyfully awaiting his safe delivery at Bethlehem. Through the choice of such a date Pope Benedict seems to be reiterating the truth that all life in the womb is fully human and worthy of all legal protections afforded to life outside of the womb.
I wonder if this might help Nancy Pelosi understand that her Catholic faith teaches that the Word was made flesh at the moment of the Annunciation?
For Americans this date falls on our Thanksgiving weekend when most of us will be enjoying time with family and recovering from Black Friday’s demolition of our checking accounts. However, if you are a Catholic or simply a committed pro-lifer who wants to join fellow defenders of life around the world in prayer then please do participate in this fantastic display of faith and solidarity for the defenseless. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has set up a webpage giving details and material on the “Prayer for Nascent Human Life” here.