Four days before he was elected to the papacy, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio said that the next pope must be one who will bring the Church out of itself and set the laity on the path of evangelization. According to a report by the National Catholic Register, the future pope pointed to what he called “ecclesiastical narcissism” as the Church’s fundamental illness, saying that when the Church looks inward on itself it becomes ill. “The next pope,” he stated, should be a man who, “from the contemplation of Jesus Christ and from worshipping Jesus Christ, will help the Church get out of herself and go to those on the outskirts of existence.” Indeed, this seems to have been Pope Francis’ mission since the moment he stepped onto the balcony and gave his first papal blessing.
In an April 15 homily, the Holy Father, in imitation of Christ on the cross, gave us our leader and our shield in bringing Christ to those on the outskirts of existence when he spoke of Our Lady, saying, “She is the mother who takes care of the Church. And in this time of martyrs, she is the protagonist, the protagonist of protection: She is the Mother. . . . Let us state with faith: Mother, the Church is under your protection: Care for the Church.”
Let’s take time to reflect on these words of Pope Francis and take them to heart. Let’s resolve to go, as the Church—as the Body of Christ—to those on the farthest outskirts of existence: Mothers and babies being led to slaughter at Planned Parenthood facilities across the nation. The children and teens whose innocence is being sacrificed at the hands of Planned Parenthood and its cohorts through twisted, explicit, immoral sex indoctrination. Parents who are being denied the right to know what their children are doing because of Planned Parenthood’s preeminent place at the head of the nanny state. Teachers who are being corrupted by Planned Parenthood’s incessant propaganda that tells them Planned Parenthood is a safety net for our children, rather than the chute to hell that it really is. All those marginalized, targeted, and deceived by Planned Parenthood.
As we go out to Planned Parenthood facilities, to the community, to every place where Planned Parenthood has built a stronghold for the culture of death, we will go under the mantle of Our Lady. We will bring Jesus to Planned Parenthood to vanquish the culture of death. We will work and rest in the knowledge that going to the outskirts of existence with the very protagonist of the Church by our side, we cannot fail in the work that God has placed before us—the task of ending the evil one’s grip on our children through Planned Parenthood.
The pope’s reminder brings us all the assurance we need to step out into the battle and bring the Church to the very gates of hell at Planned Parenthood: “We pray to Our Lady to protect us, and in times of spiritual turbulence the safest place is under the mantle of Our Lady.”
Rita Diller is the national director of ALL’s Stop Planned Parenthood International project.