Bishop Ricken

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The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.

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A prayer to the Holy Innocents

By Bishop David Ricken | August 26, 2015

Last Saturday, we celebrated a daily Mass at St. Pius X Church in Appleton and then proceeded to pray in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Grand Chute, where abortions are performed on a regular basis. There was a very large turnout, more than 200 people. I asked everyone to bring love into the situation. Our mantra was and is “Jesus loves you. We love you. This place is not the answer.” We are not going to condemn those who have gotten involved with this in any way, but we are here to point out the mercy and love of God available to all of us. Divine Mercy consoles and purifies our hearts.

I asked the people to pray to the Holy Innocents to intercede from heaven to close down that place. We pray to the Holy Innocents of Jesus’ day, who were slain because King Herod ordered the slaughter in order to kill Jesus. Did you realize that there have been 57 million abortions in this country since 1973? All of those innocent children are in the heavenly court. Can you imagine if even a fraction of those children intervene with God to change people’s hearts? We asked the Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven, to send those holy innocents to intervene to close that “business” down.

The social justice issues of our day have several common presuppositions. In living out the Gospel, we strive to speak out for the voiceless, to defend those without a defense, to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves, and to assist those who need a hand to alleviate their burdens.

There is no one more in need of help and justice than the preborn child in the womb. There is no more voiceless a victim than the preborn child. There is no one who needs an advocate more than a preborn child. We must be their advocates of justice, for the most fundamental of human rights, the right to live.

This is the “living justice” to which all of us are called. We now have a Living Justice Department in the diocese through which we try to model the integrity of all of our justice efforts to work hand-in-hand for the sake of those who need our assistance.

A child in the womb has human rights and civil rights, too. Their rights must be defended.

Defense of the rights of children is the social justice issue of our day. Let’s strive to prevent the slaughter of any more holy, innocent children who have not even had a chance to take their first breath of life in the world.

Holy Innocents, pray for us.

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