Pro-life prayer vigil part of plan to 'win hearts and minds'
THE pro-life prayer vigil in Knock is part of a wider Catholic Church strategy aimed at "winning the hearts and minds of the people of Ireland", according to Cardinal Sean Brady.
Flanked by three of the 10 bishops who attended the Knock event over the weekend, the cardinal indicated that the Church intends to organise a number of other vigils at regional and local level aimed at mobilising the faithful to lobby legislators over the proposed legislation.
In his homily at the Mass, Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick appealed to women who are contemplating abortion to wait and ask God for direction and ask others such as CURA, the Church's crisis pregnancy agency, for help.
He was given a standing ovation by the congregation of over 5,000.
Expectant mum Maria Horace from Trim, Co Meath, whose twins are due in six weeks' time, was there with her fiance and daughter.
She told the Irish Independent that she had had her daughter while she was still in college.
"There were a lot of people around me who felt abortion was the way to go," she said. "But when it came down to it – I just couldn't."
Former Taoiseach John Bruton was there with his wife Finola, who did the first reading at the Mass. She said that she was there because she had worked as "a crisis pregnancy counsellor for many years." Mr Bruton said he was there to support the view that every life is precious.