Apostolic Nuncio, 50,000 pro-lifers at Walk For Life West Coast

“You can avoid the truth, but you can’t avoid the traffic!”

JONG.ARCEGA-387-MOn Saturday, January 26, an estimated 50,000+ pro-lifers overflowed San Francisco’s Civic Center and Market Street for the ninth annual Walk for Life West Coast.  Pope Benedict XVI’s representative to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, delivered a message from the Pope along with his papal blessing. Pope Benedict’s message, which was also sent out on a Vatican Twitter feed, said, His Holiness “is grateful to all those who take part in this outstanding public witness to the fundamental human right to life and the moral imperative of upholding the inviolable dignity of each member of our human family, especially the smallest and most defenseless of our brothers and sisters.”

“You are a powerful witness that God’s truth cannot be silenced,” said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who blessed participants to begin the event. “Yes, we are here to stay because life is good and life is holy.”

The speakers at the Walk included Lacey Buchanan, the mother of a disabled child; Elaine Riddick, who was forcibly sterilized by the state of North Carolina at age 14; Kelly and Matthew Clinger who regret their abortions; and the Rev. Clenard Childress, who has spoken at nearly every walk since its founding in 2005.

The rally closed with an impassioned speech by Reverend Childress, a crusader against (especially) abortions of African-American babies.  Rev. Childress shared the story of St. Telemachus, a fifth-century monk, who attempted to stop a gladiatorial combat in a Roman Colliseum. Telemachus was stoned to death by the crowd, but his example moved the Emperor Honorius to put an end such contests–permanently. Three times Childress quoted the Saint: “The killing must end!”

A 10:00 a.m. counter-rally held at Justin Herman Plaza, drew “more than 300” pro-abortion demonstrators, according to ABC.  The rally featured San Francisco supervisors Eric Mar, David Chiu, and David Campos, state senator Mark Leno, and free-contraception advocate Sandra Fluke. According to the Bay Guardian, Magalie Bonneau-Marcil, director of Oakland nonprofit Dancing without Borders, was to attend the opposition rally with a “flash mob” and expected “… between 400 and 500 dancers to descend upon the plaza.” That apparently did not happen.

By all accounts the rally and Walk were the largest in the event’s history. ABC TV gave a figure of more than 40,000; Walk organizers would only give an estimate of “more than 50,000.” An observer at the corner of Kearny and Market Street, about halfway down the Walk’s route, said that walkers took 50 minutes to pass. That squares with ABC accounts that it took “the better part of an hour” for pro-lifers to empty Civic Center Plaza and enter Market Street. Confirmation of the Walk’s magnitude came from unusual sources.

Commenting on the media’s downplaying of the Walk, co-founder Eva  Muntean said:  “We got some decent coverage from our local ABC affiliate. The San Francisco Chronicle’s and KTVU television coverage attempted to ‘balance’ the two events. While that appears to show objectivity, it doesn’t really, because it ignores the difference in magnitude…. We saw a post yesterday on an online message board from a man who was complaining about being stuck in traffic because of the Walk. He said he had not known about the Walk, and that he was ‘shocked’ at the number of people in attendance, and that he was stuck in traffic for two hours. Well, why didn’t he know? Why was he ‘shocked’?”

Co-founder Dolores Meehan added “You can avoid the truth, but you can’t avoid the traffic!”




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  1. Not only the Nuncio but also the new Archbishop of SF and several other bishops from the Western Province were present at the Mass that morning as well as at the Walk.

    THIS reveals the blatant lie from some of the loud commenters here that the “bishops don’t do anything about abortion.” Your anti-clergy rants are exposed for what they are: lies.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      that is a lie jon….we have applauded the good faithful leadership in our faith….Archbishop Corde….we are pleased with his goodness and are grateful to him. You are just a bitter person finding every opportunity to discredit many and you are not speaking with truth and honor.

      God forgive you for your constant misrepresentation and for bearing false witness against your fellow men, may you repent!

      • Abeca, when you castigate bishops for false claims, it is YOU who are not speaking with truth and honor. And to do so repeatedly and publicly as many of you do brings real SCANDAL to the Church. It is you who needs to repent.

      • Sorry Abeca, but you should get to know the AB before you leap praise after praise upon him – We got to know him very well in Oakland & would like to hear your comments in a few months -

        • Move to San Jose and you will miss Bishop Cordilone really bad!

          He is working on the spiriual problems, not on the materials – that’s why you do not see anything. He knows that the devil does not sleep and works on little things.

          Viva o Bispo!

          • Fernanda, I say the same to you as I said to Abeca, wait a few months and get to know the AB and his work – I would also like to hear your comments at a later date as they will be very different than they are at this time -

    • They don’t, jon. Bishops have been showing up for these events every year, yet the abortion president is in office because of the complicity of bishops and abortion continues to destroy countless lives.

      • Yeah right. The bishops of the Catholic Church helped to re-elect Obama, regardless of the condemnation they had heaped on the Administration on the HHS issue.

        • Laurette Elsberry says:

          Jon, you are right. The bishops of the US did help to elect Obama. By their bondage to the flawed USCCB document, Faithful Citizenship, which equated abortion with racism; and by refusing to properly inform the consciences of Catholics, the bishops collectively allowed the re-election of the most evil president we have had to date.

          • Laurette, you obviously didn’t catch the irony I was trying to convey.

          • Anonymous says:

            racism is a grave evil. Abortion is a graver issue because it is the termination of a defenseless human life. Faithful Citizenship points that out. Life issues come first.

        • Anton L. Seidl says:

          Dear Jon: Why don’t you pause for a moment and try to understand what these people are trying to tell you? We ALL support our faithful bishops who are in communion with the Holy Father. Our criticism is directed at those who are not. And we all know who they are!

    • You must not live in Los Angeles, jon.

    • Jon, what else do the bishops do for pro-life? Come on, think hard. Unfortunately, too many of the bishops just view the Walk for Life as a giant-photo op that will result in people like you being fooled into thinking they are doing something for the cause.

      • Now you are ascribing an inner intention to the bishops’ participation at the Walk For Life. Lin, only God can judge the human heart, not you.

        Listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life!

      • Anonymous says:

        Lin, Jesus said to keep your deeds of mercy secret.

        • Anonymous, wouldn’t you say that St. Telemachus, who Rev. Childress mentioned in his speech, made his work of mercy very public? Wasn’t St. Telemachus practicing two of the Spiritual Works of Mercy “Admonish the Sinner” and “Instruct the Ignorant”. I don’t think that St. Telemachus violated Jesus’ teaching.

          • Anonymous says:

            “Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your alms may be in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Tracy, the point was you can’t judge someone on what you don’t see, because they may be obeying Christ’s command. See in a post above how when the bishops do something public, they are accused of doing it for the photo op. Then the same person criticizes them and says they do nothing because he has not seen it.

    • Can we stop with the ”lies” already! That presumes that we can read each orthers’ souls about the intention to deceive. Let’s just leave it at Factual Inaccuracy or something else that takes us down off God’s judgment seat.

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      If the Bishops were doing their jobs of preaching the gospel of our Lord, effectively, there would be no need for this life walk.

      • The problem goes back to what Mother Theresa of Calcutta described as follows: “Abortion is punishment for sin.”

        Which sin is the most likely, ”usual suspect”? Contraception, which is practiced by Catholics at about the same rate as disbelief in The Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

        Some time between the Church’s response to the 1930 “vote” of the Anglican Lambeth Conference “authorizing” contraceptive within marriage — the Church’s authentic, authoritative response was the encyclical Casti Conubii: and the stealthily organized dissent against the Church’s restatement of its ancient, ordinary magisterial teaching since fhe beginning about the inviolability of the transmission of human life in each marital embrace — dissent on the part of 600 “theologians”, most of whom weren’t Theologians, led by Fr. Charles Curran & published in the Washington Post — by the time of Humanae Vitae in 1968, most Bishops in effect threw the Truth under the bus by refusing to teach it. (No wonder, then, that Malachi 3 most accurately describes the fallout of the Clerical Erebophilia Scandal as “smearing the dung of your sacrifices in your faces … for your refusal to instruct the people”.)

        The current generations of Bishops aren’t the ones to blame for this. They are finally, quietly beginning to teach Humanae Vitae, the first, necessary step towards ending abortion.

        But today’s Bishops, so maligned by California Catholic Daily commentors, are the ones left with the task of cleaning out the filth of the Augean Stables left by the Bishops of the 60s thru 90s.

    • jon, the new Abp and the US Papal Nuncio are very good. They are a blessing. And with men like these, God will be pleased. May God bless and protect them.

      However, each US Diocese Bishop must move forward to repair and prevent the SCANDAL of ‘Catholic’ politicians and other ‘Catholics’ who obsitnately and publically support or approve abortion in any way.

      Public excommunication (ab homine) is necessary by each Diocese Bishop – for Federal, State, and Local politicians within his Diocese.
      I think that this is what most posters see a need for. According to the CCC, SCANDAL causes the loss of Souls. It breads relativism and confusion among those who are poorly catechised and non-Catholics.

      CCC: ” 2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.
      Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice,
      or to social conditions that, intentionally or not
      make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible.
      This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,
      or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values. ”

      ” Can. 1399 In addition to the cases established here or in other laws,
      the external violation of a divine or canonical law can be punished by a just penalty only when the special gravity of the violation demands punishment and there is an urgent need to prevent or repair scandals.”

      jon, please also read the words of St. Paul: 1 Cor 5:11-13 which includes:
      “Drive out the wicked person from among you.”

      Hope this helps you to understand that more needs to be done within our own Church.
      Actions speak louder than words.

      • jon, no one can publically excommunicate (ab homine) other than the Diocese Bishop (or the Pope, or Papal Nuncio). We can not do the Diocese Bishop’s job for him.

        We must encourage our Bishops, pray for our Bishops,
        and when they do what is right — PUBLICALLY support our Bishops.

        We must pray that God gives our Bishops the grace and courage to be like St. Paul.

  2. R.B. Rodda says:

    This year’s WFLWC was great. Well over 50K marchers! Great weather and great speakers too!

    The post-walk EF Mass at the Shrine of St. Francis was also nice. The celebrant (who is being taught how to celebrate the EF Mass by members of the FSSP) said “You cannot imagine how happy I am to see this church filled with Christian fascists!” Everyone had a good laugh. A very reverent Mass.

  3. A great showing for LIFE! Shouted to DEAF EARS in front of the City’s “DUMB”. But did my heart good to see so many of my brothers and sisters supporting the sacred innocent. The Pope’s blessing given to us from our U.S. Papal Nuncio was very special. AB Cordilone’s speech was excellent too. Mass at St. Mary’s was standing room only.

  4. @jon: I agree that this web service gets a lot of anti-Bishop remarks, some of them downright shameful. It seems as if many of the articles are written or sub-titled in a way to draw out this criticism. Sometimes it seems unfair. Let he who is guiltless cast the first stone.

  5. It was my first time at the walk and it was great to be there. At one point the emcee asked those to raise their hands if they were there for the first time. A sea of arms went up. I think it was because of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I pray that they all return next year and bring others. I heard from our bus driver there were 400 buses at the bus lot. In effect there was another huge walk from Herman Plaza to the bus lot by the ball park. Change hearts to end abortion.

  6. God Bless Eva Muntean, Dolores Meehan, Ignatius Press and EWTN
    for their participation in the West Coast Walk for Life. The day started with a reverent celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco gave a warm welcome to all present and reassurance that life is a gift from God. The Cathedral was filled to overflowing. There was standing room only. What a joy to see all the young people in attendance. They have gotten the message that abortion kills a beating heart. We Pro Lifers cannot be silenced and we are not going away – no matter how hard our local, state and federal government tries to silence us.

  7. The true message of the resilience and courage of the Pro Life Movement is found in the audience, not on the stage. And it is found in the day to day confrontation of each individual with the evil of abortion whether it is seen in the pro abort behavior of some of the clergy and legislators or in the loving and compassionate response to life in the parents, children, teens, seniors or clergy.
    I pray that the 50,000 who attended the Walk would turn their attention to overturning legislation protecting the pro aborts. They, the pro aborts, don’t need to show their force to the community. They have shown their force to the legislators who have let them into the schools, hospitals, churches and the lives and morals of our children.

  8. It is my understanding from some individuals who were in the Walk, that there was a tremendous effort by courageous pro-life people to do what Fr. Pavone urges: show what abortion is. They had a bill-board size TV screen which showed in color what abortion means. Gory, bloody pictures. Real Life that became Real Death. I applaud those individuals who want to do more than walk around town patting themselves on the back.

    Was Fr. Pavone not invited? Possibly he was not since he means what he says about the importance of seeing abortion as it really is – not just an excuse for a parade.

    • Isn’t Fr. Pavone back in his “old’ ministry – executive director of the pro-life movement ?? If yes then why we don’t see him on EWTN or hear him on Catholic radios any more ? We really need somebody like him who is truly passionate about the issue.

      • Monsignor Ronald Knox had a mathematical as well as literary mind which enabled him to see historical parallels in seemingly unrelated tendencies. ”Enthusiasm” (1950) is his life’s work. It is subtitled A Chapter in the History of Religion with Special Reference to the XVII and XVIII Centuries. Msgr. Knox tracesa tendency to enthusiasm from the first days of the Church into the XX Century. It contains not only a characteristically charitable analysis of this tendency but valuable lessons for those of us who remain confused by the strange enthusiasms of so many of our neighbors in the XXI Century. – The Ronald Knox Society of North America

      • JohnXes4eyes says:

        John Smith (at)JohnXes4eyes (at)JillStanek Scandal at a pro-life leader’s reaction to Tiller killing. No regret at the possible loss of his soul. ”After Tiller” is hardly the last we’ll hear about this matter. It will likely become our Reichstag fire. (google Catholic Reichstag Fire) Google Books ” The Catholic Church Through The Ages: A History” By John Vidmar. Page 326. The Reichstag Fire was used as the pretext to shut down the Catholic Press in Third Reich Germany.

    • Laurette Elsberry says:

      I have seen one of the pamphlets provided by a group at the Walk for Life. It is outstanding in its depiction of abortion. It says’ “Stop living for yourself! You live in a culture that practices child sacrifice. And you can do something about it”. I looked up their website – AbolishHumanAbortion(dot)com, which has some incredible information and resources on it.

    • ” A Jumbotron displaying a graphic video of aborted children was set up by an anti-abortion group midway along the walk route, despite efforts by Walk for Life organizers to dissuade the group from playing the video.” Catholic News Service, 1-28-2013

    • Anonymous says:

      Father Pavone was at the National Walk for Life in Washington D.C.

  9. Walk as much as we can, but we will never make progress as long as Church “leaders” such as Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Soto continue to embrace pro-abortion politicians such as Assembly Speaker John Perez.

  10. The Solemn High Mass in the Shrine after the Walk was much more than “nice” as reported above in one response. It was sublime. May there be many more and in many places.

    I didn’t hear a comment about “Christian fascists.” Seems to me an unfortunate thing to have been said and perhaps worse, to have been reported to have been said.

  11. OneoftheSheep says:

    “And when He comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.” John 16:8

    Thank you, faithful pro-life men and women, pro-life families, pro-life priests, bishops, seminarians, brothers, and conscecrated sisters. Thank you all for your wonderful witness to the sanctity of Human Life.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I did see Father Pavone intereviewed at the March for Life in Washington D.C.

    Don’t know why he wasn’t in the City?

    • O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me. From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.

      From the desire of being loved… From the desire of being extolled … From the desire of being honored … From the desire of being praised … From the desire of being preferred to others… From the desire of being consulted … From the desire of being approved … From the fear of being humiliated … From the fear of being despised… From the fear of suffering rebukes … From the fear of being calumniated … From the fear of being forgotten … From the fear of being ridiculed … From the fear of being wronged … From the fear of being suspected …

      That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

      That others may be esteemed more than I … That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease … That others may be chosen and I set aside … That others may be praised and I unnoticed … That others may be preferred to me in everything… That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

      Cardinal Merry del Valle

  13. Thank you Holy Father for sending a man as brave as Abp. Carlo Maria Vignanò as your Ambassador to US. May he select good ternas of bishops candidates to the Pope.

    My pet idea is that only priests that have offered the OF and EF mass should be promoted to Bishop or Cardinal. That would end clerical opposition to Summorum Pontificum in no time. The Spanish site Accion Litúrgica keeps a record of all bishops and Cardinals that have been present at or offered an EF since Summorum Pontificum. It is only 313 out of about 5000 bishops worldwide. If a bishop is unble to offer one of the two rites of the Latin Church then he is not a priest in full.

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COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 250 words, and should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.