Prelate Asks Americans to Give Thanks, Defend Life

Says There’s Reason for Gratitude, Despite Difficulties

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ROME, NOV. 27, 2008 ( Cardinal John Foley says there is plenty to be thankful for, even if America is facing some difficult times.

The Pennsylvania-born cardinal, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, affirmed this in a homily today at the Santa Susanna Church in Rome.

«We may be at war on two fronts: Iraq and Afghanistan; we may be in the midst of the greatest world economic crisis in at least 30 and perhaps 70 years and we may — according to not always reliable polls — be disliked more than we have been at any time in our history, but we still have much for which to be grateful,» the cardinal said. «We have our lives, our families, our faith and many material and spiritual gifts — not one of which is more important than the Mass.»

Cardinal Foley expressed his prayer that Americans might «truly be united in giving thanks to God for our fabulous and fruitful land, a land to which — despite our alleged unpopularity — people still wish to come in great numbers.»

He also urged Americans to unite in thanking God for the nation’s democracy, though «some, myself included, might be deeply concerned about the morality of policies which may be implemented after our recent elections.»

Still, the prelate added, «no one can deny that probably in no other nation but the United States of America could a man of mixed race who had lived in so many different places have been elected to the highest office in the land. It is a great tribute to American democracy and it is truly a historic occurrence. We give thanks for American democracy, but at the same time we pray for future American policy.»

Cardinal Foley said the freedom of religion and speech are two other rights for which to be thankful: «We can advocate what we believe to be right, in keeping with our Founding Fathers, that all persons are endowed with the right to life, and we can pray that God may touch the hearts of our newly elected president, of the members of Congress and of our judges to give recognition in human law to what we believe is guaranteed in divine law, the right to life from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death.»

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