Early this morning, Vice President Mike Pence addressed an audience in Washington, D.C., at the 13th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.
Raised a Catholic himself, the Vice President began by telling the crowd how much he appreciates the Catholic Church.
To be with you today is deeply meaningful to me. I’m truly honored to join this year’s National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. My mom would be so proud…This honestly feels like coming home to me…The hymns and liturgies of the Catholic Church are the anthems of my youth.
The Bible says train up a child in the way he should go and when he’s old he’ll not depart from it. I wanna tell you as a young boy growing up in a small town in southern Indiana, my Catholic faith poured an eternal foundation in my life…While my own faith journey has taken me and my family in a different direction I want you all to know how much I cherish my Catholic upbringing and cherish the Church.
Pence’s entire speech was met with much applause from the audience which seemed as happy to have him back in their midst as he was to be back among them. Three times during his speech, the Vice President even got the crowd out of their seats applauding recent victories for religious freedom and the pro-life movement:
1.) “I can assure you this President believes that no American should have to violate their conscience to fully participate in American life. And he’s not just talked about it. He’s taken action to protect men and women of faith in the public square.
“Just last month, the Little Sisters of the Poor were at the White House and on that day I had the high honor to stand as President Trump signed an executive order to restore religious liberty in the public square. I couldn’t have been more proud. As inspired as I was by the President’s actions, I was even more inspired by the Little Sisters of the Poor. They took a big stand for faith and freedom and they prevailed.”
2.) “Since day one of this administration, President Donald Trump has been keeping his promise to stand for life. And life is winning in America again. In one of his very first acts in Congress, President Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy to prevent taxpayer funding from organizations that perform or promote abortion abroad.”
3.) “President Donald Trump stands with the men and women who stand for the sanctity of human life in America, and he always will. He’s actually taken even more action than I’ve mentioned thus far. The President actually has empowered states to withhold federal funding from abortion providers, and I’m humbled to say that at the President’s direction, I had the privilege of casting the tie breaking vote in the United States Senate that allows states to defund Planned Parenthood.”
Pence finished his speech with eloquent words encouraging Catholics to keep doing what he knows Catholics do “exceedingly well” — bending their knees and bowing their heads in prayer:
Pray for America. Pray for this country, because America matters.
And when you pray, pray with confidence because I truly do believe, in these divided times where there’s so much focus on what we disagree on it seems, so much need for healing, that those ancient words inscribed millennia ago that Catholic Americans, and all Christian Americans and all our Jewish friends, have clung to throughout the thousands of years,are still true today as the day they were expressed: That if His people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray, He’ll do as He’s always done throughout the long and storied history of this church and this nation. As the old Book says, He’ll hear from heaven and He’ll heal this land, this one Nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
You can watch Vice President Pence’s full speech to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast below:
Photo credit: Michael Vadon via Flickr, CC BY 2.0