Catherine Hadro saying goodbye to ‘Pro-Life Weekly,’ but hello to new role

Catherine Hadro   By Catherine Hadro for CNA

 

Catherine Hadro / EWTN

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Dec 16, 2021 / 15:20 pm (CNA).

After five years, tonight’s edition of EWTN Pro-Life Weekly will be my last in the anchor seat. It has been a sincere honor to be at the helm of this show – and an excruciatingly difficult decision to leave it — but I ultimately feel great clarity from God that it’s time for me to step aside and pass on the baton to the next host, as I step into a new role myself.

When I first entered into conversations with the network about EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, it was the fall of 2016 and I was only 25 years old. It is not lost on me the extraordinary opportunity and the amount of trust that was given to me. In my role as host and managing editor, I have felt truly empowered in using my voice as a young Catholic woman — to share my opinions and to amplify the truth on the life issue.  While pro-life voices are being marginalized elsewhere, I was handed an international megaphone.

I am proud of what we built here and genuinely excited for the continuation of this program during what will be a consequential next chapter for our movement. EWTN Pro-Life Weekly is a one-of-a-kind show that serves as a meeting place for pro-lifers. It is where we can all gather together to debate strategy, discuss opportunities and challenges, and —  most importantly —  encourage one another along the way in what can be a grueling battle in the fight for life. My prayer is that this program, similar to the March for Life, can serve as a battery-charger for the pro-life movement. Since its launch, EWTN Pro-Life Weekly has become a go-to source for top pro-life news featuring political and cultural newsmakers. Its reach is astonishing —  three out of the top five most-watched videos on EWTN’s YouTube page are EWTN Pro-Life Weekly interviews, revealing a great hunger for life-affirming content in the online space – an important frontier for our cause. Millions and millions of people have heard our message.

EWTN Pro-Life Weekly has documented the unfolding of pro-life history these past five years. Our first program aired one week after President Donald Trump’s inauguration — a U.S. president with no political record and no pro-life history who campaigned on multiple pro-life promises. We reported on the Trump administration’s life-affirming accomplishments – from expanding the Mexico City Policy to finalizing the Protect Life Rule, and in what’s seen as a major part of his legacy, his appointing of three Supreme Court Justices who today are overseeing major abortion cases. We also reported on controversial developments, such as the Trump administration’s decision to resume federal executions at a historic pace.

This past year, the fifth year for the show, we have been tracking President Joe Biden’s administration. While only the nation’s second Catholic president, Biden’s actions on abortion have publicly contradicted the Church’s teachings on life time and time again. He even admitted this year that he now disagrees that life begins at conception, a shift from his long-held position and a departure from natural law. At EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, we fortunately do not place our identity in a political party —  we find our identity in Christ and His Church, staying faithful to the magisterium and taking seriously our responsibility to ensure any viewer walks away with clarity on the Church’s teachings on life.

We have also covered the revolving door over at Planned Parenthood’s highest levels. Longtime president Cecile Richards stepped down in 2018 and was replaced by Dr. Leana Wen. Wen was fired within a year, reportedly for wanting to de-emphasize abortion and focus more on healthcare services. She has since been replaced by Alexis McGill Johnson. But this quick turnover seems to indicate a fundamental crumbling of the abortion industry’s leadership, happening at a time the pro-life movement’s momentum could not be more palpable.

The timing of my transition at EWTN Pro-Life Weekly is happening when the pro-life movement is poised to have great success in what’s been a culmination of decades of hard work, strategy, and the grace of many prayers. It is likely that by late summer of 2022, the Supreme Court will issue its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — a case that has the potential to overturn or chip away at the disastrous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which has legalized more than 60 million abortions in this nation. Successes at the state level are soaring as well, with more than 500 pro-life laws introduced across 47 states in 2021 alone and — lest we forget — Texas recently becoming the first state to successfully enact a heartbeat law.

Given the critical moment we’re in, I myself am perplexed as to why I’m stepping aside now. The timing feels very inconvenient. It has been — as you might imagine — an agonizing decision I only made after months of serious discernment and prayer. And more prayer. And ongoing conversations with my husband, spiritual director, and closest of friends. And then after novenas to both Saint Joseph and Saint Thérèse thrown in for good measure. I have poured so much of myself into EWTN Pro-Life Weekly in helping to craft its vision and get it off the ground. My decision now feels like a complete trust fall with Christ to step away from a role I am familiar with and love — but the Lord has taught me over the years that when He calls, it is in your best interest to obey. God has also taught me that His timing is certainly not our timing.

Since I first took on the anchor role, I have gained a new vocation, a new last name, and now I feel called to a new role. I am grateful to share that I will continue to serve the network as an EWTN Contributor. While I’m stepping away from my role at EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, you will still see me pop up on the EWTN television screen and will see my byline here at The National Catholic Register from time to time. I plan to continue to use my voice for life and on issues related to women in the Church. This new role will offer me great flexibility and creativity on how to continue to advance the truth and to amplify important voices.

As I now prepare for this transition and a new season of my professional life, I am filled with overwhelming gratitude. In my 200-plus shows, I’ve interviewed leading political voices, from senators to governors to cabinet secretaries. I will forever hold onto the moment I was able to sit across from former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the State Department for an interview one week after he announced strict enforcement of the expanded Mexico City Policy. But I will especially cherish the hidden heroes I’ve come across in this movement — those happy warriors volunteering their time, energy, and talents in pregnancy centers, the prayer leaders outside of abortion facilities, and everyday families who chose life in difficult circumstances. This movement is filled with a selfless love – an example set by Christ himself.

Working exclusively on the life issue has made me acutely aware of the very real spiritual battle at play when it comes to the pro-life issue. When I first made the transition from reporting on various issues at EWTN News Nightly to hosting EWTN Pro-Life Weekly and focusing solely on the life cause, I can recall the palpable heaviness and darkness I encountered when I dove into the history of abortion, abortion propaganda, and the birth control movement. I’ve encountered that darkness multiple times over the years, including when abortion advocates have targeted me online and hurled evil messages my way. A very wise pro-life leader, upon first hearing about me launching the show, quickly advised me to get a spiritual director. I’m grateful for that wisdom, as abortion is the complete mockery of the Incarnation and Mary’s fiat. When you navigate the work of the abortion industry today, it is critical to frequent the sacraments and to realize the pro-life battle is both a seen and unseen one.

When launching EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, I very informally decided to ask Our Lady of Guadalupe, Saint John Paul II, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, and Our Lady Undoer of Knots to be the patron saints of the program. Of course I had to have more than one Marian title involved —we are Catholic, after all. I believed then — and I believe now — this powerhouse team will intercede for the scales to fall off of our world’s eyes on the abortion issue.

I look forward to watching EWTN Pro-Life Weekly continue to cover how Our Lord and Lady are at work in the pro-life movement today — and I thank God He allowed me to use my voice for this most worthy cause.


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