Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the papal nuncio to the United States, will honor the ninth annual Walk for Life West Coast on January 26, organizers have announced. The appointment of Archbishop Viganò was announced on October 19, 2011, a date chosen by the archbishop, because it is the feast of the North American Martyrs.
“What an honor! We are so excited — this is the next best thing to having the Holy Father himself with us!” said Eva Muntean a co-founder of the walk.
The nuncio will join an expected 14 Catholic bishops at the Walk for Life West Coast, led by San Francisco’s new Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone — the largest number ever. Last year’s invocation was given by Father Aris Metrakos, the proto-presbyter of San Francisco’s Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. In 2010 the invocation was given by Frank Lee, coordinator of Asian Americans Pro Life.
The Walk for Life appears to have been a thorn in the side of San Francisco’s pro-abortion political establishment since its beginnings. As Cal Catholic reported on December 12: “On December 11, 2012 the San Francisco board of supervisors voted 10-0 (with 1 supervisor absent) to declare January 26 to be a celebration of the Roe v. Wade decision, and expressing support for a “Celebration of Women, Life and Liberty” rally to be held at Justin Herman Plaza.” Cal Catholic further noted “Since the anniversary of Roe v. Wade is actually on January 22, and January 26 happens to be the date of the city’s Ninth Annual Walk for Life West Coast, the resolution seems targeted more at the Walk for Life than a commemoration of Roe v. Wade.”
The December 21 issue of Catholic San Francisco supplied more details. The archdiocesan paper reported: “Two city government agencies and Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights are among the sponsors of the Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign event, which will include a walk down Market Street, a petting zoo, food, face painting and balloon art at Justin Herman Plaza, according to the website oursilverribbon.org. The San Francisco Department of Public Health and Department on the Status of Women are sponsors, according to oursilverribbon.org.”
“An abortion rights rally at the same location last year drew about 80 people, based on reporting and video of the event,” the archdiocesan newspaper noted.
In addition to the Nuncio, speakers at the 2013 Walk for Life rally include Lacey Buchanan whose YouTube video about her blind son went viral and has touched over 11 million viewers; Elaine Riddick, a woman who was forcibly sterilized at age 14 under orders from North Carolina’s Eugenics Board, whose goal was to purify the state’s population by weeding out the mentally ill, diseased, feebleminded and others deemed undesirable; the Rev. Clenard Childress, the founder and director of www.BlackGenocide.org, a website designed to reach the African-American Community with the truth about abortion; and Kelly and Matthew Clinger, a post-abortive couple who share their story about the heartache and pain caused by life in the music industry, divorce, addiction, and abortion.
Actress and model Jennifer O’Neill, national spokeswoman for the Silent No More Post-Abortion Awareness Campaign, will also attend, joining the Silent No More program prior to the rally.
Founded in 2005 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area residents, the Walk for Life West Coast’s mission is to change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is an answer. Walk participants are expected from throughout the Bay Area and across the United States and Canada.