Top 10 Quotes from Cardinal O’Malley’s Whole Life Homily

Pope Francis has made a conscious shift in the Church’s language on abortion, one that places the issue within the context of human rights and social justice, while recognizing the difficult situations that lead many women to procure abortions. When it comes to addressing the issue in this way, Cardinal Sean O’Malley is definitely on #TeamFrancis and embracing this “whole life” approach rather than one centered around combative language and an excessively narrow agenda. This is a big boost for pro-life feminists, pro-life Democrats, and all other pro-lifers who recognize that a singular focus on overturning Roe is woefully inadequate compared to a comprehensive approach to abortion that secures legal rights for unborn children, addresses the economic injustices that lead to higher abortion rates, and guarantees sufficient support for pregnant women and families after the birth of the child.

Anusia Dickow has already done a great job addressing Cardinal O’Malley’s homily at the Vigil for Life. But here are ten top quotes from his recent whole life homily:

  1. “The culture of death flows out of the extreme individualism of our age.  The Church’s antidote is community and solidarity.”
  2. “The Pro-Life Movement needs to be the merciful face of God to women facing a difficult pregnancy.  Being judgmental or condemnatory is not part of the Gospel of Life.”
  3. “The feelings of the woman in the Gospel must be like the young woman caught in a crisis situation of an unwanted pregnancy.  She feels overwhelmed, alone, afraid, confused. We must never allow that woman to perceive the Pro-Life movement as a bunch of angry self righteous Pharisees with stones in their hands, looking down on her and judging her.  We want the woman to experience the merciful love of Christ.”
  4. “The Pro Life Movement has to be about saving mothers.  We need to focus on the women to try to understand what they are suffering.”
  5. “At Lampedusa Pope Francis cast a wreath into the sea where thousands of poor immigrants lost their lives at sea.  He warned about the globalization of indifference. We face this in the Pro Life Movement.”
  6. “Just as with slavery in the past, today many Americans are repulsed by abortion but believe that it is a necessary evil.  Our task is to show them that it is not necessary.  It is an evil but it is not necessary.”
  7. “We need people to hear the good stories of adoptions of courageous birth mothers and generous adoptive families that have truly provided a loving family for an adopted child.”
  8. “The majority of women who succumb to abortion are poor.  Poverty is a dehumanizing force that leads people to feel trapped and to make this horrible choice.  The Gospel of Life demands that we work for economic justice in our country and in our world.  In a society where the rich are getting ever richer and the poor poorer, abortion looms ever larger.”
  9. “We can rescue unborn babies from abortion by rescuing their mothers from a life of poverty and hopelessness.  Pope Francis challenges our complacency and indifference to the oppressive poverty that spawns so many abortions.”
  10. “Yes, the Catholic Church’s consistent life ethic is a great service to society.  It is our task to witness to the truth that love, compassion and solidarity can build a just society that will be safer for the poor, the unborn and those on the periphery.”