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Why So Very Catholic?

BY Tom Hoopes

| Posted 1/24/09 at 7:04 AM

 

As I said Thursday, the March for Life was dominated by Catholics. The question arises: Why? You can’t blame the organizers. They stocked the stage with non-Catholics. Here are some theories:

1. Maybe evangelical Protestants are spooked by the Catholic doings at the March. Everywhere you looked, you saw pictures of Our Lady in full European devotional regalia. Many marchers prayed the Rosary. Evangelicals don’t like that stuff.

2. One friend suggests: Maybe evangelical Protestants have noticed that getting active in the pro-life movement leads to becoming Catholic: After all, Sen. Sam Brownback kicked off the march and (newly Catholic) Randall Terry was there with his bullhorn at the march’s end.

3. Or maybe it starts at the leader level. You didn’t see Rick Warren at the March (or is he marching in California?) But bishops have grabbed hold of this event, leading mega-Masses in the basilica and Verizon Center and mini-Masses for regions like the one I went to at the Washington Plaza hotel.

4. Maybe it’s a geographical thing. The hotbeds of evangelical Protestant activism are out west: Texas, Colorado, California. The Boston-Washington corridor is the most heavily Catholic area of the country, and it’s hours instead of days away.

5. Maybe it’s a historical thing. Catholics invented the pro-life movement, and for many early pro-lifers it started as an extension of the protest-culture of the 1960s. They started the March, and handed down the tradition.

— Tom Hoopes