Last Friday, January 19, was the 51st annual March for Life in Washington D.C. Over 100,000 pro-life Americans rallied and marched to the U.S. Capitol to advance the cause of life for every preborn baby.
One day later, tens of thousands more pro-life supporters gathered in San Francisco at the 20th annual Walk for Life West Coast.
The day began with a Walk for Life Mass celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco.
The 67-year-old archbishop has served as the leader of the Archdiocese of San Francisco since 2012 and has been an articulate and stalwart supporter of pro-family causes.
At the opening mass, Archbishop Cordileone gave an inspirational homily, positing marriage as the solution to many of our societal ills – including abortion.
“We cannot say we are pro-life unless we embrace the entire plan of God, which means embracing His plan for marriage,” the archbishop said in his homily, adding,
If common sense were not enough, we have more than fifty years of consistent social science research that shows us that so many of the social ills we are experiencing – rampant poverty, homelessness, gun violence, incarceration, you name it – is because of family fragmentation, and, in particular, fatherlessness. That is the root of the problem. Which means that marriage, as God designed it, is the root of the solution.
The archbishop exhorted the young people in attendance to live according to a biblical sexual ethic and follow God’s design for marriage.
“I address myself particularly to you young people, you who are the pro-life generation: be truly pro-life by being a part of the solution, not the problem,” Archbishop Cordileone urged, adding,
Be the solution: get married, stay married, and don’t have children until you get married; which means, don’t do that which brings children into the world until you get married.
Those old-fashioned manners are not simple outdated prudishness; they are actually the recipe, designed by God, for a healthy, flourishing society, and for the flourishing of each individual in that society.
Just think about all of the depression, anxiety and loneliness we hear about these days, especially among younger people. Living isolated from others is directly contrary to how God created us to be. God created us for communion, and living His plan for marriage throughout our life is what trains us to be capable of that communion, capable of lifelong intimacy, of mutual giving and receiving and fidelity.
The archbishop’s advice is as potent as it is true – as our society has experienced a great decline in marriage over the last 50 years, we’ve also seen the proliferation of fatherlessness, abortion, out-of-wedlock births, contraception and crime.
In recent years, the marriage rate in the United States has fallen to an all-time low since data first became available in 1867.
Photo Credit: The WSJ.
According to the Guttmacher Institute (founded as the research arm of Planned Parenthood), far and away the greatest subgroup of women that obtain abortions are single women.
The organization reports that 46% of women who have abortions are single and never married, while an additional 9% are single and previously married. An additional 31% of women who obtain abortions are women who are cohabiting, while just 14% are married.
Photo Credit: The NYT.
If we are to become a society that protects the preborn, we must also be a society that promotes and fosters healthy marriages and present, involved fathers.
Archbishop Cordileone has been a passionate champion for the preborn for years.
In 2021, he authored a pastoral letter urging Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion to not come forward to receive communion.
The archbishop said that it is a “scandal” for high-profile Catholic politicians to promote abortion.
“In the case of someone so prominent as the president of the United States, again this is a scandal, and it’s causing confusion in the minds of our Catholics,” the archbishop said. “That’s alarming to me, that anyone would doubt that a Catholic could favor something so evil as abortion.”
As a family ministry, Focus on the Family exists to promote healthy marriages. In part, we do that through Hope Restored Marriage Intensives and upcoming Resist the Drift marriage conferences. To learn more about the various marriage initiatives of Focus on the Family, click here.
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Photo from YouTube.