St. John the Baptist Church in Kenmore was filled to capacity on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, as Bishop Richard J. Malone celebrated the annual diocesan Mass in observance of the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
"We pray for forgiveness and repentance as we continue in our journey to defend life," Bishop Malone said during his homily. "We continue to try to move the hearts of others to decide in favor of light over darkness, truth over lies, life over death."
The bishop noted that in the 40 years since Roe v. Wade, a staggering 55 million abortions have been performed in the U.S., "A constant reminder for all Americans, sadly, including many Catholics and Catholics in public office, that abortion has become the default position."
Bishop Malone also criticized Governor Andrew Cuomo's support of the Reproductive Health Care Act, calling it an abortion on demand bill. He urged Catholics to contact their state legislators, urging them to oppose to act in its current form. In New York state, one third of all pregnancies currently end in abortion.
At the end of the Mass, the 18th Annual Pro-Vita Awards were presented to people who have labored tirelessly for the pro-life cause, to give them strength, encouragement and support. This year's recipients are Rachel Ziarnowski, Christian Andzel, Gene and Arlene Mendrysa, Father Leon Biernat and Miriam Barth (posthumously).