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As Pro-Lifers Keep Up Their Hard Work . . . They Ask In Vain For Cardinal To Do His Share

February 3, 2019 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

January’s large annual pro-life demonstrations in the U.S. serve as an important public witness that also is growing in other countries, the leader of an international Catholic pro-life organization told The Wanderer.
“I see this on a global scale . . . I’m watching these occur around the world,” Fr. Shenan Boquet said in a January 21 interview, between the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., that he attended on January 18 and the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco a week later, where he spoke.
Boquet, president of the Virginia-based Human Life International (hli.org), has traveled one million miles to more than 80 countries, its website says, adding that he “offers guidance to civil leaders, speaks at numerous international conferences, and spreads the Catholic Church’s teaching on life and family as part of HLI’s global mission to build a Culture of Life.”
The March for Life continues growing in crowds and youthfulness and is a sign of hope, he said. “No one is there for themselves” but to speak up for others.
Pro-life marches also are growing in other countries, he said.
“People around the world look to the United States” for an example, he said, “. . . even though the secular media doesn’t cover” the marches. “It’s a sign of hope for them.”
Although the U.S. pro-life movement inspires pro-lifers elsewhere, Boquet told The Wanderer during a 36-minute interview, the U.S. also is home to major anti-life organizations with a global reach, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Pathfinder International, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The Trump administration has taken significant steps to reverse Barack Obama’s anti-life agenda, Boquet said. “In the current moment, we’re having much more impact” in government. But taxpayer money is still being spent on global contraception, he said.
With HLI as a strong defender of the principles of St. Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, Boquet said contraception is “the fundamental root upon which this abortion industry has grown.”
The priest said he hoped the Mexico City policy against U.S. funding to promote abortion, and also the Hyde Amendment restrictions against abortion funding, would be locked in instead of being subject to conflicting executive orders by successive administrations. Currently, “the wind changes with each election cycle. This should not be by executive order,” he said.
“In many African countries, I hear, ‘It’s your country…one of the countries doing harm here’,” the priest said, as the Western elite’s anti-traditional social agenda is promoted.
HLI has worked “throughout the years” with Obianuju Ekeocha, the founder and president of Culture of Life Africa (cultureoflifeafrica.com), he said, adding that he recently brainstormed with her “on how to go forward” with HLI’s and her own work.
Ekeocha “really is tapped in to very key pro-life groups and movements on a global scale,” he said, noting that they’re looking for opportunities in two areas — “Where do we have a strong Christian presence?…Where is there a strong footprint?”
It’s more difficult to meet with civic leaders in Europe, the U.S. and Canada than in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where they’re more receptive, Boquet said.
A Brazilian federal senator came to the recent March for Life in Washington to gather ideas to use back home, Boquet said. “I’m happy to see civil leaders taking that great lead.”
The conservative Jair Bolsonaro administration in Brazil is standing up for traditional values.
The Wanderer interviewed Ekeocha in 2016 before she spoke at that January’s Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. She warned of the serious damage Obama’s administration was doing to African morality.
In an interview in the January 14, 2016, hardcopy edition of The Wanderer, Ekeocha warned: “Since President Obama has been in office, Africa has experienced an undeniable erosion of our cultural and moral values.”
She added: “Africa has been led through a path of destruction to a dangerous cultural precipice since the beginning of the Obama presidency, and I pray we don’t completely jump off by the end of this administration.”
Boquet said HLI’s founder, the late Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, said, “‘Abortion is the evil stepchild of contraception’. . . . Look at what the mentality of contraception has created.”
Another priest long devoted to the pro-life movement, Fr. Frank Pavone, sent The Wanderer a note about attending the January 26 San Francisco rally and walk this year.
Pavone, national director of Priests for Life (priestsforlife.org), is a familiar face at both the Washington and San Francisco marches.
Seven pregnant mothers, including two former Planned Parenthood workers who became pro-lifers, took to the stage in front of San Francisco’s City Hall so that their preborn babies’ heartbeat sounds could be sent out to the tens of thousands in the crowd over megaphones.
This demonstration of the babies’ lives was “one of the most moving moments at the rally,” Pavone told The Wanderer. “. . . . This was a first. And what was so significant about it, as the large crowd was completely silent and the sounds of those heartbeats washed over the plaza, and over the nation via the broadcasting that was going on, was that this brought the crowd into direct contact with the children we were standing there to defend.
“It was not words, concepts, or arguments. It was the children themselves, and specifically their bodies, speaking to us,” he said. “This kind of human contact with the children we are defending is the single most important dynamic in waking up America to be more pro-life. After all, the reason we defend them is our common humanity, and listening to someone’s heartbeat is a beautiful way of humanity connecting with humanity.”
Before this rally began, Pavone said, he helped lead a Silent No More rally of women who regret their abortions.
“It was my privilege once again to lead, together with Georgette Forney of Anglicans for Life, the Silent No More rally. . . . Again, as we do all around the world, we had moms give testimony to the pain of their abortion and the healing that came afterwards,” Pavone said. “We urged the crowd to read and share these testimonies at AbortionTestimonies.com.”
It was a beautiful day in San Francisco, he said. “The weather was perfect and there was a very noticeable decline in the counter-protesters. In fact, I counted 14 of them snuggled together in one little corner” — the fewest he’d ever seen there.

What Message
Does This Send?

Meanwhile, Boquet, the HLI president, commented at the organization’s website on January 28 on a different event in the news, the scandal of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who claims to be Catholic but was escaping excommunication even though he had just enthusiastically signed the radically pro-abortion Reproductive Health Act and urged the rest of the nation to follow this example. (See also p. 4B of this week’s issue.)
“God’s mercy is infinite,” Boquet said. “Even the most extreme and hardened of sinners must be given the opportunity to repent — and yet I can well understand why some Catholic leaders are raising their voices asking when New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan will formally and publicly excommunicate Gov. Cuomo.”
Noting that Cuomo even ordered New York landmarks to be lit up in pink to celebrate the merciless new law, Boquet wrote:
“By all means, privately offer Gov. Cuomo every opportunity to recant. But if he is allowed to so publicly flout the absolute most basic of Catholic moral teachings by going so far as to co-opt some of New York’s most visible landmarks to express his boundless enthusiasm for the legalized murder of innocents, without any consequences from Church leaders, what message does this send?”
Boquet observed: “Bizarrely, this is the same man who announced last fall that — ‘in solidarity with Pope Francis’ — he was going to end the death penalty in New York. Get that? He’s with Pope Francis on not giving lethal injections to convicted murderers — but innocent unborn babies? That’s a different story.”
LifeNews.com posted on January 29 that Dolan admitted he was receiving overwhelming requests that Cuomo be excommunicated, but said he didn’t think that was the right answer. “He’s not going to be moved by this,” the cardinal said. “So what would be the use?”
The pro-life news service reported: “ ‘I get wheelbarrows of letters every day’ asking that Cuomo be excommunicated, Dolan told Fox & Friends on Monday (January 28). ‘I think that would be counterproductive, myself’.”
Dolan had an opinion column posted at the New York Post site on January 28 where he criticized Cuomo and the new law, but announced no strong action in response.
Post columnist Michael Goodwin followed up on January 29 by recalling that Cuomo’s father, the late New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, also set a bad example on abortion, back in 1984, with a speech at the University of Notre Dame, where he said he could separate his conscience as a politician from morality over the abortion issue.
The elder Cuomo never was excommunicated, either, Goodwin recalled — and this bad example had a definite effect on other Democrats’ consciences.
The Notre Dame talk was only 11 years after the Supreme Court had legalized nationwide permissive abortion, Goodwin wrote, “and it was a very different time in the Democratic Party. Many of its leaders and voters either opposed abortion or favored serious restrictions, and President Bill Clinton later tapped into that reservoir by saying that abortion should be ‘safe, legal, and rare’.”
However, seeing what Mario Cuomo got away with — and with pro-abortion pressures from interest groups and the media — the Dems marched steadily into the pro-abortion camp, while Catholic hierarchy increasingly rendered themselves irrelevant.
Today a Democrat with pro-life sympathies will be excommunicated quickly from good standing in the party, while a pro-abortion Catholic practically can slice up babies in the church pews without being kicked out.
In his January 28 Post column, Dolan lamented, “Those who once told us that abortion had to remain safe, legal, and rare now have made it dangerous, imposed, and frequent. . . .
“I’m a pastor, not a politician, but I feel obliged to ask these questions, as daily do I hear them from my people, as well as colleagues from other creeds. I’ve been attacked in the past when I asked — sadly and reluctantly — if the party that my folks proudly claimed as their own, the Democrats, had chosen to alienate faithful Catholic voters. Now you know why I asked.”
However, rather than putting down his foot even now, Dolan concluded his opinion piece by yearning for the happy days when he could join in promoting more liberal legislation.
Dolan wrote: “Genuine progressives work to pass a ‘DREAM act’ a ‘voters’ rights act,’ a ‘prison reform act,’ and we pastors of the Church pitch in to support them. That’s government at its best. I pray that spirit returns.”
The outrageously ineffective Dolan is a good reason why he is reduced to making such weak pleas.

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