Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City encouraged Catholics to join him in “urgent prayers” this fall for an end to abortion and a renewed respect for every human life.
In a message on the archdiocese website, Coakley reminded people that every human life is valuable from conception to natural death, the Catholic News Agency reports.
“We must pray for a renewed focus on the precious gift of life – all life from conception until natural death,” the archbishop said. “We need urgent prayers for our leaders that they have wisdom and courage to create laws and policies that respect the dignity of human life.”
Coakley asked people to join him in prayer for an end to abortion and the death penalty.
“I ask that we offer special prayers now through the beginning of Advent for greater respect for life, and to pray on the day of the execution for victims of these horrendous crimes and their families, and for the souls of the condemned,” Coakley continued.
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“As Saint John Paul II said in his encyclical, ‘The Gospel of Life,’ may God grant that all who believe in Jesus proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time,” he said.
October is Respect Life Month, and churches all across the country are issuing special calls for prayer, holding services and pray vigils outside abortion facilities, setting up displays in remembrance of aborted babies and more.
In the United States, Roe v. Wade forces states to legalize abortion for any reason up to viability, about 22 weeks. Since the infamous 1973 ruling, about 63 million unborn babies and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of mothers have been killed in supposedly safe, legal abortions.