In his homily, Bishop Burbidge, chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, cited two necessary focuses moving forward: Changing laws and changing hearts.
Part of changing hearts, he said, is communicating pro-life views “with love” and engaging in “respectful discussion” with those who disagree — “efforts to persuade rather than attack.” Bishop Burbidge emphasized, however, that doesn’t negate the importance of holding people, especially public officials, accountable.
“Those in public office who endorse policies that protect or grow the evil of abortion must know that they are accountable, yes, to the public they serve, but most importantly to Almighty God, the source of all life,” Bishop Burbidge said. “The child in the womb is first and foremost His child.”
He also noted that to change hearts, the pro-life movement must find “new and compelling” ways to communicate its stance. That includes teaching the gospel, engaging with experts who understand the federal and state landscape to coordinate efforts and strategies, and relying on resources like philosophy, the social sciences, technology, and psychology.
On changing laws, Bishop Burbidge highlighted at the national level advocating for an end to policies like those that promote abortion funding and facilitate alternative means of abortion at home. In the absence of Roe, there also needs to be a focus on advocating for anti-abortion policies at the local level, he said.
Traveling back to NJ - the Spiritual Center - Metropoilia of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, Vladyka Daniel spoke with the seminarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary (Subdeacons Andrii Vatrych, Maksym Zhuravchyk, Andrii Akulenko, Roman Marchyshak and Yurii Izhyk) urging them "to be witnesses to life, witnesses to the truth that every life matters… Pray and be confident that God can and will do great things.
"Witness by the way you love your family, and especially the smallest, most helpless around you. Witness by your words in defense of the unborn, witness to God's mercy, inviting everyone back to the joy of Confession…
The law has changed … (but) hearts need to change toward advancing a culture of life in this nation… Some of the biggest battles are in front of us.
Celebrating "the gift of life and the beauty of the human person" is essential to that task!”