Catholic Bishops Vote for New Pro-Life Blessings for Unborn Children
by Steven Ertelt
November 11, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s Catholic bishops, conducting their annual meeting this week in Maryland, have approved a new document that provides blessings for unborn children. Although the document doesn’t take on abortion directly, it provides a means for Catholics to advance respect for children before birth.
During the discussion of the document, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville called the blessing "a very tangible way to witness pastorally and sacramentally to the life of the unborn child.
He presented the blessing as a way for churches to bless the unborn children of expecting couples or mothers and to provide spiritual support for the baby.
The new Order for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb" will be available to Catholic leaders in English and Spanish and will appear in future editions of the churchs Book of Blessings.
May almighty God, who has created new life now bless the child in your womb," the blessing reads.
"The Lord has brought you the joy of motherhood: may He now bless you with a safe and healthy pregnancy. You thank the Lord today for the gift of your child: may He bring you and your child one day to share in the unending joys of heaven," it continues.
The document provides an optional blessing for churches.
It says: "May God bless this parish community as it welcomes the gift of new life and joyfully accepts the responsibility of sharing in the spiritual formation of this child (or children).
The text of the document will ultimately require approval from the Vatican, but it appears the nation’s bishops were unanimously supportive of it.
The document was well-received during the discussion of it and Cardinal Francis George of Chicago called it a very moving blessing" while Bishop Michael Pfeifer suggested having a national day of prayer for unborn babies.
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