The 2020 Respect Life Conference, which was put together by the Diocese of Steubenville, featured a keynote address by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, a panel discussion including Bishop Jeffery M. Montforton of Steubenville and a Mass at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Naumann, who is also the chair of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops’ Council of Pro-life Activities, discussed his connection with the pro-life movement and reasons to be pro-life. He shared that his father was murdered before he was born, which pushed him to recognize the value of every life.
Naumann said that being pro-life is not “waging a war on women. … The real war on women is pitting mother against child, the child in her womb.”
Naumann quoted St. John Paul II’s “Gospel of Life” on why people should be pro-life.
Naumann also talked about his visit with Pope Francis last year. He said that the pope told him, “Without the right to life, no other rights matter.”
Naumann said that Francis also asked, “Is it right to kill a child to solve a problem? Is it right to hire someone to kill a child to solve a problem?”
Naumann then exhorted the audience to become informed voters.
A question and answer panel followed. Nauman, Montforton, Patrick Lee, who holds a doctorate in philosophy, Paul Macdonald, who holds a doctorate in medicine and Laura Doroski, respect life coordinator at Holy Family Parish, sat on the panel.
One question asked to the panel was: What are three ways to build the culture of life?
Montforton said, “Walk with Jesus daily.”
Doroski said to start with the “low-hanging fruit” of the easy tasks.
Naumann said that intercessory prayer is powerful and to use it.
After the keynote and the panel, the two bishops celebrated Franciscan’s daily Mass.
This event was sponsored by the Diocese of Steubenville and Students for Life.