Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
March 23, 2009
Catholics urged to make prayer against abortion part of Lenten ritual
MARY ANN WYAND
INDIANAPOLIS — Shawn Carney is urging Catholics to pray in front of abortion centres as part of their Lenten commitment of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Carney, a 26-year-old Catholic from the Diocese of Austin, Texas, is the U.S. national coordinator of the 40 Days for Life spring campaign of prayer, vigil and fasting.
More than 130 communities in Canada, the United States, Australia and Northern Ireland are hosting 40 Days for Life events through April 5.
He was in Indianapolis recently to speak to pro-lifers who gathered before going to pray the rosary at the city’s Planned Parenthood centre, Indiana’s largest abortion facility.
Carney said abortion providers want to convince each woman who is experiencing a crisis pregnancy that she does not have the capacity to love her baby because of her difficult life circumstances.
“This is the lie that is sold to 4,000 women every single day in our nation,” said Carney.
Women who have experienced abortion cry because they believed the lie about abortion, he said, then realized the truth after it was too late.
“No matter how many abortions are done,” he said, “the most basic, fundamental bond — the most beautiful bond in our humanity — between a mother and a child can never be ripped apart, and called ‘freedom’ and called ‘liberty’ and called ‘rights,’ no matter what laws we have, no matter who is in the White House.”
People who support abortion can only do that by dehumanizing the life of the unborn baby, he said, and becoming numb about the killing of a human life.
“Prayer and fasting is the hope of our world,” Carney said, “and that is what inspired 40 Days for Life.”
In 2004, when he and his colleagues were gathered around a table talking about “40 days of prayer and fasting, 40 days of community outreach, 40 days of going door to door, 40 days of a nonstop peaceful vigil,” he said, “we had no idea that we were doing something effective.”
That fall Carney helped lead the first 40 Days for Life prayer campaign in his hometown. About 1,000 people mobilized to help reduce abortion in their area through prayer and fasting, vigils and community outreach.
According to the organization, the effort resulted in a 28 per cent decline in abortions in that community.Now, the campaign is active in more than 200 cities in 47 states in the U.S. as well as in cities in Canada, England, Ireland, Brazil and Peru.
“There is only one reason why it is successful,” Carney said. “It’s because you cannot justify an abortion in the face of Jesus Christ. You cannot do it. . . . “When we take Christ to the sidewalks, get out of the way. He will work miracles.”
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