On Saturday, tens of thousands turned out for the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, a public demonstration organized around the anniversary of the fateful 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, and a West Coast complement to the annual March for Life in Washington, DC.
Two Catholic leaders in California took the occasion to underscore the connections between the pro-life movement and the pro-marriage movement. The National Catholic Register reports:
[San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone] credited an older generation of pro-life activists with helping to change the nation’s view of abortion and demonstrating "heroic virtue" during past decades when those who challenged the legalization of abortion were stigmatized. Now, he warned the students at the cathedral, they must help enlighten their own peers about the central role of marriage as the sanctuary of life.
"The pro-life movement is about more than saving the life of the baby," said Archbishop Cordileone.
"It’s especially about connecting that baby to where he or she came from: the mother and the father. …There is no other institution that does that."
Archbishop Cordileone is the U.S. bishops’ point man on the defense and promotion of marriage, and he emerged as a national leader on the issue after spearheading the successful campaign to place Proposition 8 on the 2008 ballot for California voters.
The Catholic Bishop of Oakland, CA reiterated the same points:
Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, Calif., ... acknowledged the importance of offering an integrated vision of human life that "made a clear connection between life, children, parenting and marriage. That connection is not immediately apparent to young people today."
"It was good that Archbishop Cordileone praised young people for their pro-life stance and also asked them to consider the larger message of marriage as the place where children are conceived and raised," said Bishop Barber.