U.S. bishops urge ‘radical solidarity’ with mothers for Respect Life Month

Tyler Arnold   By Tyler Arnold


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Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 19, 2023 / 13:30 pm (CNA).

The United States Catholic bishops are calling on the faithful to embrace “radical solidarity” with mothers who are facing difficult or challenging pregnancies this October, which the Church in the United States has observed as “Respect Life Month” since 1973.

Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge, the chairman of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, echoed St. John Paul II’s call for “radical solidarity,” which means, according to the bishop, “putting our love for them into action and putting their needs before our own.”

“This new mindset requires that we come alongside vulnerable mothers in profound friendship, compassion, and support for both them and their preborn children,” Burbidge wrote in a statement to Catholics for the 50th anniversary of Respect Life Month.

“It means addressing the fundamental challenges that lead an expectant mother to believe she is unable to welcome the child God has entrusted to her,” Burbidge continued. “This includes collective efforts within our dioceses, parishes, schools, and local communities; engagement in the public square; and pursuit of policies that help support both women and their preborn babies. It all the more so requires our individual, personal commitment to helping mothers in our own communities secure material, emotional, and spiritual support for embracing the gift of life.”

“Radical solidarity,” the bishop said, “means moving beyond the status quo and out of our comfort zones.”

The statement cites Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, which says solidarity “presumes the creation of a new mindset” and does not simply refer to “a few sporadic acts of generosity.”

Burbidge added that although “ending legalized abortion remains our preeminent priority,” it is not enough. Rather, he stressed that “the most immediate way to save babies and mothers from abortion is to thoroughly surround mothers in need with lifegiving support and personal accompaniment.”

The statement encourages Catholics to ask themselves whether they know of efforts in their area to help women who are pregnant or parenting in difficult circumstances, what their gifts and talents are, and how they can adjust their schedule or budget to help mothers in need and their children. It references the “Walking with Moms in Need” parish-based initiatives, which help parishes become welcoming places for mothers facing difficulties, as a possible option to get involved.

“Radical solidarity can be lived out in countless ways, including volunteering at your local pregnancy center; helping an expectant mother find stable housing; babysitting so a mom can work or take classes; providing encouragement and a listening ear to a mom without a support system; or speaking to your pastor about beginning Walking with Moms in Need at your parish,” Burbidge said.

The statement emphasizes that “the transformation of our culture also requires continual conversion of our own hearts, so that we can recognize in every person the face of Christ and place their needs before our own” and that this must be a focus, in addition to promoting pro-life laws and policies.

“This October, I invite all Catholics to think about building a culture of life in terms of radical solidarity,” Burbidge said. “We are the Church. Our prayers, witness, sacrifices, advocacy, and good works are needed now more than ever. We are the hands and feet of Christ in the world today and we each have a personal responsibility to care for one another.”

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  1. Um, bishops. Can I have your attention?

    Don’t look now, but the majority of support for crisis pregnancy centers comes from Catholic sources.

    Yet leftists have been sabotaging and burning these centers for years, with impunity.

    Many attacks aren’t even investigated.

    Why are our bishops always so meek, so docile, so defensive, when it comes to abortion?

    We are facing the most horrific death event in human history, and Catholic leaders just go through their days as if nothing is happening.

    There are homes for every child from every “unwanted” pregnancy out there.

    Of course we should support mothers in difficult circumstances.

    But, like, hey. We’re already doing that.

      • Okay, how about just in the past year?

        More than 100 crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), pro-life organizations and churches have been attacked, some more than once, since the May 2 leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade.


        The rash of vandalism started around the May 2022 leak of a Supreme Court draft of the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and continued throughout the year and into 2023. More than 50 clinics across the country reported graffiti and broken windows, with damage sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars. Six clinics were also set on fire.

        Also see the Department of Justice site.

      • Kay, you are obviously a troll on this site. You’re the one being dishonest here. If you cannot or will not participate in the discussions here in an informed and constructive manner, please go find something else to do.no one here is buying what you are selling.

  2. How about supporting mothers in stable marriages who take their vocation seriously and have many children, and bring ten up in the faith? So much of society marginalizes women like this, even among Catholics. Charity begins at home, and there’s no better way to show that than at your local parish. Thank a mom for her beautiful family!

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