WASHINGTON, Jan 24, 2001 ( – On Jan 21, 3 US Cardinals, 1 Cardinal-designate, the Apostolic Nuncio, over 30 bishops, hundreds of priests and over 6,000 faithful gathered at the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. At the event, held annually on the eve of the March for Life, Cardinal William Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore and Chair of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee, delivered a homily decrying the current “abortion license” as an “evil” noted its “poisoning effect” nationwide.

Also taking part in the Vigil were Bernard Cardinal Law, Archbishop of Boston; James Cardinal Hickey, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington; Most Reverend Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States; Cardinal- Designate Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington. In recent years there has been a consistently strong presence of Catholic bishops and clergy at this annual event in conjunction with the March for Life. The American bishops have made it a priority to participate in the annual event and give much needed encouragement to all those involved in the struggle to defend the unborn.

For a complete text of William Cardinal Keeler’s homily, go to:


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