St. Louis Archbishop Burke Calls Abortion Fight “a battle against Satan”

Mon Jan 17, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST

ST. LOUIS, January 17, 2005 ( - Archbishop Raymond Burke, after spending a busy 2004 setting the pace for episcopal pro-life leadership, appears set to continue his strong efforts on behalf of the sacredness of life in this new year. This past Saturday, Burke personally led a congregation of 400 Catholics to the sidewalks in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion mill in downtown St. Louis.

In his homily at the cathedral Mass, Archbishop Burke described the pro-life fight as “a battle against Satan and his cohorts.” He said, “We pray for the parents who are contemplating the betrayal of their parenthood through abortion.” 

The group left the St. Louis cathedral and walked the five blocks to the Planned Parenthood facility while being led in the Rosary by the Archbishop whose voice could be heard over the walkie-talkies carried by organizers. The group stayed for about 10-15 minutes and prayed without incident.

According to the local president of Planned Parenthood, Paula Gianino, the St. Louis facility committed about 6,000 abortions last year. Gianino said that next week a group of clergy (of unspecified denominations) will be present to escort women into the facility. “It will show our patients that many churches and many clergy are supportive of a woman’s reproductive rights and privacy,” Gianino said. 

In the United States, much public pro-life activity occurs around the January 22 anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. In dioceses around the country, many US bishops ask parish priests to preach homilies on the sanctity of life. For most of the last year, Burke however, has set a high standard for bishops’ pro-life commitment. During a regular ‘ad limina’ visit to Rome, the St. Louis archbishop said that the fight against pro-abortion politicians receiving communion must not end with the end of the election campaign. He said, “These are questions that are at the very foundation of the life of our country. We just simply have to continue to address them.” 

With files from St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 

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