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New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan preaches at the 2016 Opening Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life. Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews
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Cardinal launches national prayer campaign for Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade

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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan launched a nationwide effort Thursday to pray that the next U.S. Supreme Court appointment “will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life.”

President Donald Trump announced D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh July 9 as his nomination to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement in June.

Speculation about the implications of a Kavanaugh appointment immediately ensued, along with intense lobbying against it from liberals and other pro-abortion factions dead set on fierce protection of legal abortion on demand from any threat - regardless if it should generate from a Trump judicial nominee.  

Cardinal Dolan, as Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, acknowledged the pro-abortion pushback in his statement on the prayer campaign.

"As soon as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, pro-abortion groups began lobbying the U.S. Senate to reject any nominee who does not promise to endorse Roe v. Wade,” said Dolan. “While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not support or oppose the confirmation of any presidential nominee, we can and should raise grave concerns about a confirmation process which is being grossly distorted by efforts to subject judicial nominees to a litmus test of support for Roe v. Wade.”

“And we must pray,” Dolan added.

The USCCB’s Novena for the Legal Protection of Human Life information page also recognized the pro-abort radical defense of Roe v. Wade.

“Pro-abortion groups are pulling out all the stops to urge the U.S. Senate to reject any nominee who does not promise to publicly endorse Roe,” it states. “And they are misrepresenting the legal and social reality of Roe and what would happen if it is overturned.”

The Supreme Court vacancy created by Kennedy’s retirement provides another occasion “requiring focused prayer,” the USCCB states.

From Friday, August 3, to Friday, September 28, the Bishops’ already established weekly Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty will be adapted to the nine-week Novena for the Legal Protection of Human Life. Along with the current invitation to fast on those Fridays, those taking part are asked to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the novena’s intention.

The bishops are providing suggested bulletin announcements on the prayer campaign and resources with facts on the Roe v. Wade decision.

“I urge all people of good will to join me in prayer that this change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life,” Cardinal Dolan said. “May Our Lady of Guadalupe intercede for the healing of our nation and our people from decades of abortion on demand.”

In his remarks at the White House upon being nominated, Kavanaugh promised to "keep an open mind in every case" and “always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.”

“A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law,” Kavanaugh stated. “A judge must interpret statutes as written, and a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.”

Kavanaugh’s judicial record offers pro-lifers somewhat mixed signals on life.

As a federal appeals court judge in Washington, Kavanaugh sided with Priests for Life when the pro-life group fought the Obama administration over being compelled to fund its employees' contraception via the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, he suggested the government has a “compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception for the employees of...religious organizations” who do not want to be involved in assisting with contraception.  

While a number of pro-life advocates welcomed the Kavanaugh nomination, some conservatives and pro-life activists offered tepid reaction to the announcement, and many remain cautious in their anticipation of his possible appointment.

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