Cardinal O’Malley calls for new emphasis on holding up adoption as a better alternative to abortion

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley called upon Catholics to take steps to change society’s negative perception of adoption so that it is seen as a better option than abortion for women facing a crisis pregnancy.

Delivering the homily during the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception tonight, Cardinal O’Malley called for a widespread effort to change women’s perception of adoption as a “bad choice.”

Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley delivers the homily during the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life last night. (CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley delivers the homily during the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life last night. (CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

He also urged the thousands in attendance to find ways to educate Americans that abortion is not a necessary evil, especially when a woman faces the prospect of raising a child as a single parent with little financial or social support.

Citing the important work done by staff and volunteers at pregnancy centers and programs that support single mothers, Cardinal O’Malley called for a broadening of such efforts so that women turn away from abortion.

Work also must continue on the legislative and judicial fronts so that legalized abortion comes to an end, he said.

At the same time, he added, Catholics must work more than ever “to change people’s hearts, to help Americans understand that abortion is evil and it is unnecessary.”

“It’s not just the lucidity of our arguments, but about the effect our words have on others,” the cardinal said. “Our task is to present the truth with civility, empathy and clarity. Being compassionate about the Gospel of life is about building a new civilization with love.”

CNS will have a full report on the vigil and those in attendance tomorrow.

UPDATE: Here’s the story.

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