700 Catholics march silently through Norwich to remember ‘tragedy’ of 1967 Abortion Act
- Credit: Archant
Around 700 Catholics from across the Diocese of East Anglia took part in a silent procession through Norwich city centre, followed by an all-night vigil at St John's Cathedral to pray for the dignity and sanctity of all human life.
The candle-lit procession began with a short liturgy at the Castle Mound and then wound through the city centre streets including Gentlemen's Walk and past the Forum.
The procession was led by the Blessed Sacrament, which for Catholics is the Real presence of Jesus Christ.
The event was held on Friday, the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act in Parliament in October 1967.
Addressing the congregation at the Castle Mound, Fr Henry Whisenant said: 'Our Bishops have asked us to consider this historical moment in our prayers today. For this Act has had tragic consequences for our nation in the last half century. More than eight million surgical abortions have been carried out – which now amounts to more than 500 every day.
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'And then there are the untold spiritual wounds that such legislation has caused to individuals, to couples and to families, indeed to the very fabric of our society. All of this continues and shows no signs of slowing down.'
He added: 'As we process with the Lord tonight we pray that He will heal the wounds of abortion in these last 50 years and by the outpourings of his mercy convert the hearts and minds of this country to acknowledge and cherish the life of every human being no matter how vulnerable.
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'May our procession with the Lord tonight make us more resolved to do what we can, to pray, to offer sacrifice, for the eventual establishment of a civilisation of love in this land.'
The procession was followed by a vigil of prayer throughout the night and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Cathedral. Young people of the Diocese led hourly prayers and took part in workshops in the Narthex. The whole event concluded with the celebration of Mass on Saturday morning.