Bishop praises pro-life prayer warriors after abortion center shuts down
SACRAMENTO, California, May 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – After operating in Sacramento for 42 years, the Women’s Health Specialists abortion clinic closed for good.
Bishop Jaime Soto expressed his gratitude to all in the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento who played a role in the shuttering of the abortion facility.
In a letter to the faithful of the diocese, Bishop Soto said, "I want to offer my thanks to everyone who has ever stood, even once, in peaceful prayer in front of any abortion facility."
Bishop Soto continued, “Year after year, on the sidewalk in front of this facility, there has been a steadfast presence of faith-filled people peacefully praying and offering a testimony of hope."
“Whether or to what extent this witness led to the closing of this facility should not be part of our Christian calculation. What matters is that those involved through these many years were patient. They persevered and they trusted that God would bring about His saving work in His own time. Paraphrasing a well-known dictum of St. Teresa of Kolkata, God does not ask us to be successful, only faithful."
“It is clear, though, that whenever there is any prayerful sidewalk presence of even one person, the no-show rates at an abortion center will tend to increase. This presence, portrayed as a threat by pro-abortion proponents, is in fact a light of friendship and hope leading women away from the shadows of fear and desperation.”
Bishop Soto is widely recognized for his strong commitment to pro-life, pro-family causes. In the past, he has led prayerful processions to abortion facilities. In 2008, he essentially crashed a meeting of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries by boldly delivering a speech on the sinfulness of homosexuality — far from what event organizers who invited him expected. He even urged the attendees to support California’s Proposition 8, a measure which sought to protect marriage as a sacred covenant between a man and a woman.
In 2010, Bishop Soto was selected by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) to head the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).
Most recently, in December, he called for the clergy and laity of the Sacramento diocese to “join him in cooperating with God’s merciful grace” by fasting, praying, doing penance, and performing works of mercy on January 23, the official observance of the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
“May our prayers, acts of penance, public witness, and works of charity on these days help restore a culture of life and a civilization of love to our country, so marred by the Court decision of Roe v. Wade and other assaults on human dignity,” he said.
In his letter of gratitude, Bishop Soto noted that quite wonderfully, as the Women’s Health Specialists abortion facility shut down permanently, “the Sacramento Life Center expanded to a new facility, ‘offering a life-saving alternative for women, children, and men, many of whom were referred to the Center by the sidewalk witnesses.’”