WASHINGTON, D.C.—Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio today led some 40 members of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, (AMS), in the annual National March for Life on the National Mall. The delegation included a group of Catholic cadets from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, active-duty service personnel, Catholic military chaplains, and AMS staffers. The peaceful, pro-life demonstration was joined by tens of thousands on the one-mile route from 12th Street at the Mall, where President Trump spoke to a pre-march rally, to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Roe v. Wade decision, legalizing abortion, was handed down 47 years ago this week. The theme of the National March for Life 2020 was “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.”
Earlier today, Archbishop Broglio was the principal celebrant and homilist at the Closing Mass for the overnight National Prayer Vigil for Life in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (pictured). Two bishops and 42 priests concelebrated the Mass, and seven deacons assisted at the altar. Five-thousand believers packed the pews in a standing-room-only congregation. EWTN, CatholicTV, and We Are One Body Catholic Radio broadcast the Mass live. In his homily, Archbishop Broglio preached on the Gospel reading, Matthew 22:15-21, wherein Jesus takes a Roman coin and tells us to “repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” His Excellency said in part:
“Today you and I render a service to the Nation we love in an authentic act of patriotism, because we march to attest to the dignity of the human person and the duty of the State to protect and foster that dignity. It is an innate dignity, because the human person is created in the image and likeness of God. We can paraphrase Tertulian’s comment on this Gospel passage by saying that we give the State a coin, but we give God our very selves in gratitude for His gift of life.
“The problem behind today’s Gospel passage still plagues us. What is the relationship between faith and the political life? What is the role of the Church in civil society? Can we as the Body of Christ address the problems of everyday life? Why does the Bishop of Rome send representatives to some 183 Nations throughout the world—including our own?…
“Let us remember that the believer is charged to be the leaven of the Gospel in our world. We have been scented with the fragrance of Chrism so as to fill the world with the pleasing aroma of the Gospel. All of us are charged in his or her own way to propose the message of the Gospel in every corner of the world. That is a part of our baptismal mandate….”