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Francis pioneers a merciful way to oppose abortion, gay marriage


Soon after Pope Francis was elected, there was speculation that he might lead a retreat by the Catholic Church in the wars of culture. This was a pope, after all, who said he didn’t need to talk much about abortion, gay marriage, and so on, because people already “know perfectly well what the Church’s position is.”

Two events this month, however, suggest that rumors of the death of the Church’s aggressiveness may have been exaggerated.

On Friday, a diminished but enthusiastic crowd stared down a gathering blizzard to take part in the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, held each year on the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. As always, Catholics were on the front lines.

Next week, a vast number of Italians is expected to turn out in Rome for a Jan. 30 rally known as “Family Day,” called to protest a draft law in the Italian parliament recognizing civil unions for same-sex couples and granting them adoption rights.

Neither event is a Pope Francis initiative, but both feel supported by him. More to the point, there’s little evidence that the advent of the Pope Francis era has dimmed the fires of Catholics motivated to defend traditional values on matters such as unborn life and the family.

As to the March for Life, Francis didn’t offer any direct endorsement, but US leaders in the anti-abortion movement say they’re convinced he’s got their backs.

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