Love Will End Abortion: Interview with Archbishop Joseph Naumann

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January 30, 2019
Edward Peters: On Excommunicating Andrew Cuomo for Heresy
January 30, 2019

By Jim Havens, Love Will End Abortion, Jan 29, 2019 

On January 17, 2019, I was able to sit down for an interview with Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America in Washington, D.C., on the eve of the March for Life.

Here is the interview in its entirety:  Love Will End Abortion – Episode #84

Jim Havens: Your Excellency, Archbishop Naumann, welcome back to Love Will End Abortion. How are you today?

Archbp. Naumann: Very good. Thanks for the invitation, Jim. Good to be with you and your listeners.

Jim Havens: Absolutely. A great blessing to be with you. First, I want to thank you for our two previous interviews, and for your willingness to do this third interview for the benefit of our audience. I personally have reflected a lot on your words from the previous interviews and have taken great consolation and encouragement from them, and that’s where I’d like to begin today with a bit of a follow-up, to go perhaps a layer deeper based on our previous conversations. So please, bear with a bit of an introduction here to the first question, but I think it is important.

In each of the past interviews we’ve talked about how the massive ongoing human rights atrocity of abortion that we’re living through is the most important social justice issue of our time, based on the truth that the fundamental human right to life is the preeminent human right, the foundational right, upon which all other human rights are based. As you stated so eloquently last July when we spoke: “What issue can compare to the death of a million innocent children every year and of 60 plus million over the past 45 years? What other issue has that proportion of innocent human life being destroyed? And, of course, it’s not just the children who lose their life, but what abortion does to the mothers and the fathers as well and how part of the great evil is, as John Paul II said of abortion and euthanasia, is that they happen within the family, the very place that should be this protective place for life. And so it has a destructive poisoning effect within the whole culture.”

So you’ve already talked about the preeminent magnitude and priority of abortion and then you’ve also applied that truth to what it means for us as voters in our past interviews, where with refreshing clarity you stated, “if we look at the issues as they are today, as they line up today, to me again this issue (abortion) because of its effect in the destruction of innocent human life and the scarring of all those that participate in it, I can’t see anything that outweighs it that’s on our horizon right now.”

All that being said, what about living this truth out, not just in how we vote, which is essential, but also in how we invest our resources of time and money individually and as a Church? Specifically, as one U.S. Cardinal stated at the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in 2017, and I do agree with him on this basic point, he said “a budget, after all, is a theological statement.” Meaning it ought to be consistent with what we profess to believe.

Your Excellency, you certainly have a knowledge of the overall budget of time and money of the U.S. bishops as a body that is far beyond what I know, as well as an understanding of what would be a general standard investment of resources when it comes to individual dioceses throughout our country that is also far beyond my understanding, so I seek to come to this very humbly as a student looking to truly learn from you here, especially if I’m way off-base, feel free to correct me, but here’s my question:

Based on your expertise and experience, would you say that the USCCB, the bishops as a body, and the general standard of individual dioceses in the U.S., is and are living out the truth that abortion is the most important social justice issue of our time in the way resources of time and money are being budgeting and invested? Because from my on-the-ground vantage point, while I affirm every good action taken, the amount of time and money being spent on addressing abortion seems to be woefully inadequate when we think in terms of proportion of investment. How do you see it?

Archbp. Naumann: Well, Jim, thanks. First of all, the church’s mission is broader than, as important as it is, the justice issues. Our primary mission is to facilitate for people to encounter Jesus Christ and to come to know him and be transformed by His love and mercy. And if we do that well, then this gospel of life, this respect life ethic should flow from it. So you have to look at that in terms of that’s the overriding priority in terms of our resources which go to the Sacramental life, making sure that the Sacraments are available to people, making sure that the faith is taught, and that there are conversion opportunities.

So we have to put it in those parameters. But when you look at it in terms of, I would say, at the USCCB level, we can never be adequate in what we’re doing, but I think if you look at the percentage of the budget and the fact that we have a Secretariat solely devoted that’s staffed very well on the life issue, of all the other justice issues we have great staff that do them, but they work multiple issues. So I think we really do show this priority. We have historically shown this as a great priority within the Conference.

You know, in terms of diocese, I think there’s obviously there’s a lot of variation, and at least I feel in the Archdiocese of Kansas City and I think in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where I’m originally from, these were priority issues for us and we had distinct pro-life offices in both of those Diocese that work these issues. And some diocese, they will combine the justice and the life work, and part of the reason to do that is to show that there’s no division. We’re all working for the dignity of the human person.

So I think each bishop, each diocese does what they can based on the unique circumstances. But is it ever enough? Is ever sufficient? No. We’d always like to be able to do more in all of the aspects of the Church’s ministry.

Jim Havens: But you would say then that it is the highest priority among the social justice issues in terms of investment?

Archbp. Naumann: I would. You know, I think in the Bishops’ Conference that would be true, because we have this Secretariat that’s exclusively devoted to it. And I think it’s very well staffed. So, yes, I think that at the Conference level, and I think, again in the diocese that I’m most familiar with, this has been a priority issue.

In St. Louis, Cardinal Carberry responded immediately after the 1973, and put together a great network, and I was privileged to serve in it. For instance, they have 45 buses here from St. Louis alone at the March for Life, and from the Kansas City area, I’d say we’re about 250 miles further west, but we have over 20 buses probably from our metropolitan area. But those are small indications, but again, there’s always more that we could be doing. But I think the bishops historically have understood this as a priority issue and have addressed it in that way.

Jim Havens: All right. Very good to hear. A quick follow-up on that first point that you make. You make a very good important distinction that there is a right order where evangelization is the very mission of the church. I immediately think to what Pope St. Paul IV stated in Evangelii Nuntiandi, “evangelization is the deepest identity of the church. She exists in order to evangelize.”

And then I very quickly think of another of Pope St. Paul VI’s statements in Evangelii Nuntiandi that goes hand-in-hand with the first. He says, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers. And if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” He continues, “It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world.”

I’d like to get into the importance of our witness a little bit later in the interview, but for now, can we be clear that while evangelization is the deepest identity and mission of the church, concretely living out our Lord’s command to love our neighbor is so intertwined that at the same time while we uphold the primacy of evangelization, we must be careful of separating the two, evangelization and defending the most vulnerable human beings when really they go hand-in-hand, is that fair?

Archbp. Naumann: Yeah, I think that’s true, that the way we evangelize best is by living the Gospel. I think St. Teresa of Calcutta, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, is the perfect example. You know what, she’s probably, in my lifetime, the most powerful witness of the truth of the Gospel and really opened the hearts of many people in the world to Jesus Christ because of her work with the poorest of the poor, but also because of her bold stand for the sanctity of the life of the unborn as well. So yeah, I think when you have witnesses like that, the world takes notice.

Jim Havens: Amen. St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us. Your Excellency, you also stated in our last interview that praying more effectively for the end of abortion, to make it illegal in law and unthinkable in culture as soon as possible, “needs to be part of our daily prayer for all of us.” It seems to me that like many important things, this is an easy thing to say, or even perhaps to think we’re somehow already doing, even when we’re not, because we firmly believe in the importance of it, but it actually takes more intentionality, planning, and effort than we might initially think to truly make that prayer a daily habit. At least this is what I’ve learned in my own effort to make praying for the end of abortion a daily habit, it’s easier said than done. But in terms of communal prayer, would you say that within the Mass, during the Prayer of Faithful, that this would be a most appropriate place to be intentional as a Church, especially in our local parishes, in praying for the end of abortion every day?

Archbp. Naumann: Yeah, I do. And you know, the Bishops’ Conference does provide intentions that it encourages parishes to use. I think it is. And of course, there’s many dimensions to this transforming the culture with the Gospel of Life. And if you just repeat the very same words over and over again, sometimes that can be effective because they penetrate our hearts, but also sometimes it can become so rote. So I think praying, yes, for the unborn, praying for the Court to overturn Roe versus Wade, but also praying for our post-abortion ministry, praying for our crisis pregnancy centers. So I think there’s a lot of ways to entwine that message within the intercessions and bring out the multi-dimensional work of the pro-life apostolate.

Jim Havens: Do you see our response to the ongoing human rights atrocity of abortion as having been vastly limited because of our level of desensitization toward the reality of what we’re even talking about. For instance, do you think it’s a fair analogy to ask ourselves and to ask others: “Would I, or would we, be doing anything different if it were any other segment of the population that were being killed by the thousands every day in our nation under the cover of an unjust law?” Let’s be honest: if the victims being killed were born human beings, isn’t it very likely that we would all be doing far more to identify and then to take the most effective non-violent actions available to us to end abortion as soon as possible?

Archbp. Naumann: Yeah. No, I think that’s an excellent point, and you’re right. We see wherever lives are endangered or threatened or lives are lost, there’s a great attention and care to it. In some ways, I think you’re absolutely right. Our culture’s become immune to this silent atrocities that happen, and the victims are faceless to us, so we don’t understand the victims. So I think that’s really part of the challenge of the pro-life work is to help people see the true humanity of the unborn.

One of the ways that I think we’re blessed currently is the technology, the technology that allows us to have the window into the womb. I get cards from people where they’ll send me the ultrasound photograph of their new child. So I think that the science and technology, and that’s a good part, I think, of the March for Life this year, is based on unique from the very first moment and pro-life being pro-life is being pro-science as well, that science and technology really are on our side in helping to put a face on to the victims of abortion.

Jim Havens: Some make the claim that pro-lifers don’t care about born human beings, which in my experience is a total lie and an absolute slander of pro-life people, but isn’t the truth exactly the opposite, that the real problem is that we have a massive amount of people who do not seem to care about pre-born or unborn human beings, in that the same right to life they are willing to respect and protect for born humans they are not willing to respect and protect for pre-born humans?

Archbp. Naumann: Yeah. No, I think that’s true. In my experience again of the pro-life community, you’re right, it’s a community of great love and compassion that not only care about the unborn and life in the womb, but our crisis pregnancy centers and pregnancy resource centers do so much to accompany those in a difficult pregnancy, but not just to bring the child to birth, their goal is to help mother and child to really thrive. And so they care about both. And the culture has tried to pit women against their children to say that their welfare can only be accomplished if they destroy the life of the child.

I think pro-life people are involved in all sorts of other humanitarian and charitable efforts. So I agree with you. I mean, there’s, in any movement the size of the pro-life movement, there’s exceptions to this, but on the whole, I think pro-life people, they’re in it because they have this super-compassion even for those that will never know what they do for them. So I think, and you’re right, those oftentimes that claim compassion for others in other areas are blind to this great horror of the tragic killing of the unborn.

Jim Havens: There are many prominent voices within the Church who have called for downplaying the unpopular teachings of the Church in order to better evangelize, especially as one professor at a major Catholic school in the U.S. has called for, a downplaying of what he calls “traditional sexual morals” and an end to any “wholesale critique of the modern sexual revolution in the name of natural law principles.”

It seems to me that rather than downplaying the teachings of the Catholic Church that are currently unpopular in order to attract people to the faith, for example to be largely quiet about abortion or anything related to sexual morality, we actually have a responsibility all the more to speak about these specific areas that people are most ignorant of or confused about in our present day.

How do you see it? What is best for evangelization: downplaying the unpopular teachings or being even more intentional about proclaiming them and explaining them well, in order to better share the truth, goodness, and beauty inherent in those essential teachings for those who have not yet come to see and embrace them?

Archbp. Naumann: Well, I think we have to proclaim the truth. And we do no one any favor when we fail to proclaim the truth. So, yes, I mean I think we can see a lot of illustration in mainline Protestantism where these churches have downplayed the sexual moral teaching, and in some cases, totally denied it. It hasn’t helped in their evangelization efforts. That said, I think that we have to be prudent in terms of how we go about evangelizing people.

Bishop Robert Barron, he gives a great analogy. He shares with me, we’re both great fans of baseball and he said, “You know, the way you introduce somebody to baseball is not having them sit down and read the rule book and try and figure out what the infield fly rule is, but to let them see the beauty and the goodness of the game.” And I think the same is true with the Gospel. You know, I think we have to introduce people to Jesus Christ, why this is really Good News. But that said, we have to introduce them to the entire Gospel. And the truth is that our moral teachings really are protective of us. They protect us from harm. So not to proclaim those are really leaving people at risk.

Jim Havens: Let’s shift now to the USCCB Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities. First, help us to understand the intended nature and impact of the plan. Why was it created in the first place and what is the expectation in term of implementation?

Archbp. Naumann: It was created, I think, to share and adopt, as the body of bishops did, this comprehensive approach to building this culture of life, so that it emphasizes prayer, which has to be the foundation of everything we do in the Church, education, changing minds to save lives, and to renew the culture. The pastoral dimension, which is so important as we’re talking about before what our crisis pregnancy centers do, our Birthrights, and our Project Rachel Ministry to the post-abortive, and then advocacy, and to the laws, doesn’t only permit abortion but it teaches abortion. We don’t allow the killing of lives, innocent lives in any other instance in our culture and society.

So all four of those are important. And I think it helps us as a church realize that we have to pay attention to all those dimensions if we’re going to be effective.

Jim Havens: And what would be the expectation in terms of implementation?

Archbp. Naumann: Well, I mean that each diocese would try to do its best again to work that plan in the unique circumstances of their diocese. So I think the way that diocese go about it may be different, but I think generally they all try to work each of those different areas of the Pastoral Plan and cultivate this culture of life. You know, they all complement each other. For instance, we all pray that maybe the court would reverse Roe vs. Wade. But if we have educated people, if we have informed people, that’s not going to make any difference because the states will just put into law what the court mandated and imposed on the country 46 years ago.

So we have to do the education. If we don’t have the pastoral component, it robs us of our credibility when we advocate for the unborn. And if we’re not praying, we’re not going to be successful in anything. So we need to do all four of those elements.

Jim Havens: The original 1975 version of the Plan called for the creation of “Congressional District Pro-Life Groups” which the Plan described as a public interest group or a citizens’ lobby with the essentially political task of organizing people to help persuade elected representatives and it was to be focused on passing a constitutional amendment “providing protection for the unborn child to the maximum degree possible.” The 1975 Plan offers a robust vision and plan for implementing these Congressional District Pro-Life Groups, but to my knowledge they never were created and then, while they were still part of the 1985 version of the Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, the details were abbreviated.

Now, in the current 2001 Pastoral Plan, Congressional District Pro-Life Groups are still very briefly mentioned, but again that aspect of the Plan has been cut back substantially. What can you tell us about the history of the U.S. Bishops’ call for Congressional District Pro-Life Groups and the current importance of that call in the most recent Plan?

Archbp. Naumann: Yeah. I think there was a lot of hope initially that we could pass a constitutional amendment, and there was a lot of enthusiasm and work that went into that. And actually, we came fairly close to getting a bill voted out of the Senate that would’ve called for a constitutional amendment, but there was a lot of, unfortunately I think, a lot of debate within the pro-life community about what amendment. It’s a vital movement, so there were a lot of differences of opinion. But as we found, and I think our founders were wise, it’s not easy to pass a constitutional amendment. You have to get both chambers of the Congress to, I think it’s a two-thirds majority, and then three-fourths of the states to pass it. And we still keep that as an aim that we could enshrine this right in our Constitution.

At the same time, it was the court that really created the problem. The court overruled really, Justice Scalia said it’s absurd to say the Constitution has a right to an abortion. One, because it doesn’t say anything about abortion, and two, in American, in our own experience in America, it was banned, so how could the Constitution have really given this right? I think it’s an absurd interpretation. So I think more focus has been is can we get the Court to change that and then to work on the states actually putting in protective measures?

The congressional district, I think that was organized thinking well, this is a natural way to do it in terms of politics, but it really wasn’t a natural way for the church to do it. We’re not organized according to congressional districts. We’re organized according to parishes. So I think what’s happened much more is that parishes have had pro-life committees. They work with the state Catholic conference. They’re aware of who their congressional U.S. senators are and their U.S. representatives are. They’re aware of who represents them in the legislature, and the Conference tries to mobilize them. So I think we haven’t worked the congressional district just because that really isn’t a part of our church organization. It wasn’t very easy to do.

Jim Havens: The need for effective pro-life political action is very freshly evident in the state of New York where I reside, as we have a Governor who has made it his legislative priority to pass an absolutely horrific abortion expansion bill into law. I’ve noticed many alerts going out through the structures of the Church and elsewhere encouraging people to contact their legislators, which is good; however, prior to the election this past November, even though the pro-abortion Governor had already made plain his intent of passing this horrific abortion expansion into law, there were very few such alerts encouraging people to refrain from voting for pro-abortion candidates. And then it was in that election where this Governor was re-elected and in which he won a pro-abortion Democrat majority in both chambers of the New York State legislature, giving him the ability to pass this abortion expansion under the guise of what they call the “Reproductive Health Act.”

Do you believe we need to do more before elections, specifically more to educate Catholic voters that they cannot in good conscience, unless he or she has a very poorly formed conscience, vote for pro-abortion candidates?

Archbp. Naumann: Yeah, I mean, we always need to do more, and you should move out of the state of New York and come to Kansas, but it’s tragic that New York is in this position and that this is about to happen. But I think the church has been wise. I mean, it goes all the way back to Archbishop Carroll, the first Archbishop of the United States, who kind of set the direction that the Church is not going to endorse political parties or political candidates. Why? Because we don’t want to tie the reputation of the church to any political party or candidate, because candidates can change positions, frankly. So I think we’ve been very cautious about that.

But what the Church’s job is is to form the consciences of its people. So we need to talk about the issues. We need to talk about the priorities of issues that people are looking at. I think it’s if we do that job well, the formation of consciences, which obviously we need to do a better job at, and unfortunately we’re not the only voice that’s forming consciences of people. There’s a very powerful media and entertainment, unfortunately, that has a bigger microphone than we do right now. When you look at the statistics of people go to Mass every week, then their chance of voting I think in line with the Church’s social teaching is very strong. But when you have people that are only marginally Catholic, then we have much less impact.

And that’s why we’ve worked in Missouri and Kansas and across the country with groups like the Vitae Foundation, which tries to do public messaging that reaches people through television, through radio, and through social media. I think we have to really invest and use the tools that our opponents are using so effectively to reach hearts, to change minds, to build this culture of life. So I think it’s, I don’t think the church should be directive in telling people, “Vote for this person or don’t vote for that person.” But I think we ought to tell them what issues should disqualify a candidate from their consideration, and what issues should have priority as they go into the voting booth.

Again, here I think if we’re effective in our evangelization efforts, if we can get people to be regular in their attendance at the Eucharist and Mass, I think over time, that they do get that formation.

Jim Havens: Without mentioning political parties at all, can we at least just say clearly to the folks in the pews that you cannot in good conscience vote for pro-abortion candidates?

Archbp. Naumann: Again, I think the way I would phrase that is that abortion should be a disqualifying issue. If a person is supporting the killing of innocent children, that this candidate, we have to look now, if you have two candidates that both support that, then have to make a prudential judgment of which one is going to be the least harmful, you know, which one isn’t as extreme in those issues. So I think I mean people have to deal with the reality of the choices that are presented to them.

Jim Havens: The situation in New York State that I mention is even more tragic when you consider that the Governor pushing the abortion expansion is a baptized Catholic. Can you share with us any wisdom that you gained from your experience dealing with Kathleen Sebelius, and where you currently stand on applying Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law which states that those obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion?

Archbp. Naumann: Well, I think it’s part of the Bishops’ responsibility to have conversations with those in public life about the issues that are not just Catholic issues, but they’re human rights issues. And particularly for Catholics serving in public life, I think we have a responsibility to engage in conversations with them. And if we have a Catholic in public office who’s going against, acting against these core moral teachings, then I think we have to have a very serious dialogue with them.

That’s what we did with former Governor Sebelius. I met with her over many months. I told her at one point, you know, that someday she was going to be before the Lord, and that I hope that she was going to be able to present something better than her record in terms of how she had supported abortion. And I said, “But some day I’m going to have to go before the Lord, and if you appear there first and say, ‘Well, he never told me about this,’ then I’m in trouble. So I’m not comfortable with that.” So I wanted to make sure that she knew. At some point where it seemed like the conversation, we both knew each other’s position, there wasn’t any movement, my approach was to tell her, “Governor, don’t present yourself for the Eucharist, because it’s a scandal.” And when she didn’t honor that in one particular instance, then I made it public that I have requested that she not do this.

To me, I think that’s more effective. I don’t want to put our priests and our communion ministers in this position where they’re having to evaluate, should I give this person Communion or not? I think we need to put the burden on them, but I think we have to be clear about that.

Jim Havens: Finally, I’d like to turn toward the end of our time together today by bringing up a great old classic film On the Waterfront. Have you seen it?

Archbp. Naumann: I’ve never watched the whole movie. I’ve seen parts of it, yes.

Jim Havens: Okay. My favorite part is the actor Karl Malden, he gives this terrific portrayal of a priest, Fr. Barry in the film. And there’s this great line in the very beginning of the film where Fr. Barry tells Edie, the sister of a character who was just killed by the local mob, that if she needs anything he’ll be in the church, and Edie passionately responds, “Did you ever hear of a saint hiding in a church?” And then you have this great character arc throughout the rest of the film where Fr. Barry extends himself more and more in courageous and sacrificial love, going out and “taking on the smell of the sheep,” if you will, even to point of public persecution and great cost to himself personally.

It’s a depiction of the priesthood that resonates very powerfully with the viewer whether he or she is Catholic or not. And I think it gets at a question, in this time where we’ve seen evidence of very public scandal by various clerics within the Church, even very high ranking clerics: isn’t there a great need, perhaps more than ever, for our bishops and our priests to boldly proclaim the truths of our faith, not only in word, but also in deed, by a living personal witness marked by sacrificial love? – Which along these lines, I think of those bishops and priests who personally go out and pray in front of their local abortion facilities and even lead Eucharistic processions out there. Do you see opportunities in pro-life activity for bishops and priests to “go out” and boldly offer a living witness that naturally shows forth both the real identity of the priesthood and ultimately the real identity of Jesus Christ, our great high priest who has offered Himself in sacrificial love for us and from whom the entire Catholic priesthood flows?

Archbp. Naumann: Well, the short answer is yes. You know, I think part of our vocation as priest is to try to imitate the Good Shepherd, which means that we have to be willing to lay down our life for our people, that we have to make that daily decision that we’ll do anything for their good and for their welfare. And frankly, I think there are many, many priests that are living this out on a daily basis. And we need to support and form them.

I think in terms of these social justice, public policy issues, the clergy’s responsibility is the formation of the laity in this. Of course, part of that formation is to lead by our own example. But it’s really, it’s our lay people that we’re to empower and to equip to transform the culture. So, yes, we need to be out there and we need to lead by example, and we need to be able to be bold witnesses in this. And I think many of our priests and my brother bishops do this in remarkable ways. But, do we need more of those witnesses? Do we need more of those examples of heroism? Absolutely. And we need to hold those up where we see them.

In our own Archdiocese in Kansas City, Kansas, I’m edified by the priests. And there are so many of the priests that’ll be here on the March for Life with their people. And yes, I think praying in front of abortion clinics is, leading our people in prayer there, is an important part of the responsibility of bishop and priest.

Jim Havens: You make a good point there. Quick follow-up, when the laity are answering that call to go out and sanctify the temporal order, is it good then in turn for priests and bishops, as they recognize that, to sort of, give a sort of public acknowledgment of that and maybe even an endorsement of that so that people can see that light shining and maybe join in and be a part of it?

Archbp. Naumann: Yeah. No, I think we need to encourage, support, hold up for our people good examples of their work on behalf of life. And we have a lot of examples of that in the Church as well. So, yeah, I think we need to encourage and support each other. Priest and people together, we can form a powerful force to help change the culture.

Jim Havens: Amen. It’s been a great blessing to have this time with you today, your Excellency. Do you have any final comments that you’d like to leave us with?

Archbp. Naumann: My episcopal model is: Life Will Be Victorious. It’s a phrase that Pope John Paul II used in writing the Gospel of Life. I chose it because I think it communicates a great hope that we know that the victory will be won. We know that life in the end, that Christ conquered death, and conquered sin, and that He will be victorious. And we’re all privileged to be part of the unfolding of this victory of life. So I just encourage all your listeners to be involved and to do your part, whatever that may be, in trying to live out this Gospel of Life and witness this Gospel of Life to our culture and society.

Jim Havens: Outstanding. Would you mind closing us with a blessing?

Archbp. Naumann: Sure. Lord, we ask Your blessing on all our listeners. May they know Your presence this day in their lives. May they know Your love. And may You lead them and send Your Holy Spirit to empower them to be witnesses for life in our culture. And I ask You to bless them. Father, son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.