Vice President Mike Pence, who refers to himself as a “born-again Evangelical-Catholic” gave an inspiring and upbeat address at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast yesterday saying that “life is winning” in the U.S. and that the new administration is committed to protecting religious freedom.
CNA/EWTN News is reporting on the address which took place yesterday morning in Washington, D.C. before an estimated crowd of 1,300 people. In attendance were Catholic leaders such as Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services and Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxillary bishop of Washington.
One of the many highlights of his address was the announcement that the pro-life cause is winning in America.
“Life is winning through the steady advance of science that continues to illuminate more and more when life begins,” he said, adding that the pro-life cause is advancing thanks to the “generosity of millions of adoptive families” and “through the compassion of caregivers and volunteers at crisis pregnancy centers and faith-based organizations.”
He also spoke about the plight of persecuted Christians worldwide and reiterated the President’s commitment to promoting and protecting freedom of religion.
The administration “stands with those who are persecuted for their faith around the world” and “stands with the most vulnerable, the aged, the infirm, and the unborn,” he said.
Citing the president’s executive order on religious freedom, issued last month, he called it an “action to protect men and women of faith in the public square.”
Although the order did grant regulatory relief to religious organizations who are fighting the Obama Administration’s onerous contraception mandate, the order has been criticized for not going far enough to protect persons and institutions sued for failing to support same-sex marriage.
In reference to the president’s meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, the vice president said the two leaders spoke about ways that the U.S. and the Church can work together, such as to counter the persecution of people of faith around the world.
“Protecting and promoting religious freedom is a foreign policy priority of this admin,” Pence said, even though the administration has yet to appoint an international religious freedom ambassador which is a key position in the State Department for advancing this cause.
“I believe we’ve come to a pivotal moment in the life of our nation, and indeed, the life of the world. The Catholic community in America has made an enormous difference in the life of this nation,” Pence said.
“And at this moment, I urge you to continue to stand up, to speak out, to continue to be that voice for the voiceless that the Church has been throughout its history, continue to be the hands and feet of our Savior, reaching in with love and compassion, embracing the dignity of all people of every background and every experience.”
He stressed the importance of daily prayer, saying that “in these challenging times I encourage you to take time every day to pray” with confidence because there is “so much need for healing” today.
As CNA/EWTN reports, Pence is one of six children who was baptized and raised Catholic. However, as he mentioned in October’s vice presidential debate, his Christian faith became real for him when he made a personal decision for Christ while a freshman in college.
In a 1994 interview, he referred to himself as a “born-again Evangelical-Catholic” and began attending an Evangelical megachurch with his family in the 1990’s.
However, he noted that his Catholic faith “poured an eternal foundation in my life” during his childhood in Indiana, and joked that he spent “eight years of hard time in a Catholic school,” the “beneficiary of an extraordinary Catholic education.”
“My own faith journey has taken me and my family in a different direction,” he said during the address, but chose not to reveal what church he is regularly attending.
He did say that speaking at the Catholic prayer breakfast, “honestly feels like coming home to me.”
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