WASHINGTON, D.C. — “Tonight, Sisters and Brothers, we gather in prayer for the respect of life, the healing of those in error, and for a renewal of our ability to be effective witnesses of His truth which leads to everlasting life.” So spoke Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio last night during a reflection on Christ’s call to follow Him in the first Holy Hour of a nationally-televised virtual Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The annual Vigil for Life, marking the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade recognizing a “constitutional right” to abortion, normally draws thousands to the Basilica in Northeast Washington, but this year, on the 48th anniversary, it was held with the participation of 250 persons permitted by the District of Columbia in response to the pandemic, but also with the virtual participation of many through the live transmission by EWTN and several other Catholic networks.
Archbishop Broglio affirmed “the dignity of every human person from conception to natural death.” He called Roe an “error” that failed to recognize that dignity, and he invited the faithful to pursue forms of political action to bring about the “change and conversion” of a sinful people. “We make mistakes,” the Archbishop said. “Roe v. Wade cost 65 million lives. We mourn that loss and the grief of millions of mothers and fathers wounded by their decision.”
“You and I strive to correct that error in many ways. Tonight we reaffirm our willingness to treat every other person with his or her dignity as one created in the image and likeness of Almighty God. We can disagree on issues, but we never descend to name-calling, abrasiveness, or a lack of respect.”