By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

OTTAWA, November 1, 2010 ( – The International Right to Life Federation (IRLF), meeting in Ottawa at their annual conference, has welcomed Pope Benedict’s exceptional call to every diocesan bishop in the world to join him in leading a Vigil for All Nascent Human Life on Saturday, 27th November, 2010.

Dr Jack Willke, IRLF president who has lectured in 75 countries over the last 30 years and whose books and recordings are published in over 30 languages, emphasized the importance and timeliness of the Pope's initiative.

“Strong support for Pope Benedict’s appeal to the world’s bishops could not be more important,” Dr Willke remarked.

“Given the scale of the worldwide crisis, no-one could possibly argue that the vigil cannot be supported because of other priorities or because of other events being held in support of life at other times of the year.”

On November 27th, the Holy Father will celebrate a prayer vigil in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican for the intention of all nascent human life, coinciding with first vespers of the First Sunday of Advent.

At the request of the Holy Father, a letter was sent to all the episcopal conferences of the Catholic Church this past June asking them to take part in this prayer and to organize prayer vigils at the beginning of Advent in all local churches.

Dr Willke compared the slaughter of the second world war to the killing of innocent human beings by abortion.

“According to one calculation, 55 million people were killed during the second world war,” Dr Willke pointed out. “Tragically, these killings in the most deadly war in human history were a mere prelude to the tragic drama played out for the rest of the 20th century and into the 21st.” Willke said that “hundreds of millions of innocent human beings have been killed,” not only through abortion, but also abortifacient birth control and in vitro fertilization.

“Let all who believe in prayer, pray for a great outpouring of grace on our bishops which impels them to respond generously to this call,” Dr Willke concluded.

A campaign to thank the Pope for the Vigil for All Nascent Human Life initiative is being promoted worldwide in eight languages.

A new website has been launched, called “YES! for Benedict,” where pro-life people can send a message to the Pope in their own language. The message states: “We express our sincere gratitude to you, Holy Father, for your leadership in this gravely needed initiative, and in the fight for life around the world. In prayer, we renew and redouble our efforts, trusting that the Author of Life will guide us toward victory in defending our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.”

The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) has developed Vigil prayer aids for dioceses and parishes, which are available here.

To sign on to the message of thanks to the Pope for instituting the vigil for life, please click here.

See previous LSN coverage:

Pro-Lifers Worldwide Thank Pope for November 27 Vigil for Life