Sunday’s Pro-Life Witness on Fifth Avenue

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

(Note to Gov. Cuomo: #ProLifeNewYorkersAreHereToStay.)

“A life without sharing is one long suicide,” Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan said outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral after the 10:15 Sunday Mass he typically celebrates.

Today was a previously scheduled “pro-life Mass” opening what the cardinal referred to as “pro-life week.” On Tuesday and Wednesday, hundreds of thousands will gather in Washington, D.C. in prayer and protest marking the January 22 anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion throughout pregnancy.

Just two days after Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, voiced his opinion that those who value a “right to life” have no place in the state, Cardinal Dolan made clear faithful Catholics in New York will continue to join with ecumenical allies in making the state more hospitable to the unborn, helping mothers and fathers to love and provide for their children. 

Over 2,000 packed the cathedral, some of them pro-life activists, many of them men and women who help build a culture more welcoming to life in the Empire State. In giving thanks for their commitment, he urged continued penance and prayer. 

His disquieting suicide comment came as he was highlighting an ongoing ecumenical Catholic Charities food collection drive for the poor, drawing a full picture of the generosity the faithful are called to in the love of our shared Creator.

During Mass, Cardinal Dolan called for an end to human sacrifice and the sacrifice of innocents. He pointed to the sacrifice of Christ, who offered Himself in “reparation and atonement” for our sins and the “act of faith” that is living in confidence that God will provide as we seek to do His work, living witnesses of His Word.

Noting Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday Monday, Cardinal Dolan pointed to the civil rights of the unborn, the “innocent baby in the womb.”

“Wherever the dignity and sacredness of human person is threatened,” Cardinal Dolan said, “people of faith” must speak up and do the work of supporting life, of building a civilization of life and love.

“The more threatened … the more vulnerable” a human life is, “the more we reach out,” the cardinal said in both highlighting the work of the Church today and reminding the faithful of our responsibilities to our sisters and brothers whose lives are threatened by evil and injustice.

Beginning a week of national pro-life prayer and witness, the cardinal of New York made clear the work of Catholics in New York working ecumenically to reach out to the poor and the vulnerable continues — with or without the governor’s support. 

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