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Papal nuncio to bring message from Pope Francis to Walk for Life Jan. 24

January 16, 2015
Valerie Schmalz

The pope’s diplomatic representative to the U.S. will read a message of support from Pope Francis at the Walk for Life West Coast Jan. 24.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States, will attend the Walk for Life this year, according to the office of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.

“What an honor! We are so excited—this is the next best thing to having the Holy Father himself with us!” said Eva Muntean, a co-founder of the walk. Archbishop Viganò, appointed on Oct. 19, 2011, the feast of the North American Martyrs, is the 14th papal representative to the United States. The diplomatic post was established in 1893.

Archbishop Viganò will read Pope Francis’ greeting, said Karen McLaughlin, executive assistant to Archbishop Cordileone.

Pope Francis also sent greetings to the Walk for Life in 2014.

Archbishop Viganò first attended the walk in 2013 where he told participants: “You can’t imagine how happy I am to be here with you today. To see so many people love life … You are the best of the United States of America!”

Archbishop Cordileone and concelebrating bishops will celebrate the Walk for Life Mass at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral before participating in the walk.

The Walk for Life West Coast begins at 12:30 p.m. at San Francisco’s Civic Center with the walk along Market Street scheduled for 1:30 p.m. More than 50,000 people are expected for the annual event. This year a young woman Rebekah Buell who saved her baby by using a technique to reverse RU486 will be a featured speaker. Buell now has a healthy baby boy, Zechariah, as well as an older son and is a junior in college pursuing a degree in English. Other speakers will include Julia Holcomb, who at 16 years old became the legal ward of Steven Tyler, lead singer of the rock band Aerosmith and American Idol judge and at age 17 was coerced into an abortion; Jim and Joy Pinto, who co-host EWTN radio and TV programs; and Rev. Clenard Childress, founder and director of blackgenocide.org, who spoke at the first Walk for Life and has spoken at almost every walk since.

Founded in 2005 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area residents, the Walk for Life West Coast’s mission is to change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is an answer. Walk participants are expected from throughout the Bay Area and across the United States and Canada.

Visit www.walkforlifewc.com

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