Thursday, November 13, 2008

Catholic bishops unveil new prayer for babies in the womb

From Religous Intellengence -

A new prayer of blessing has been approved by American Bishops for babies in the womb, commenting that the new prayer filled a gap in existing prayer books.

The new liturgical service, which is in both English and Spanish, was approved overwhelmingly yesterday.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., praised the new blessing as "a tangible way to witness pastorally and sacramentally to the life of the unborn child" and said it could also serve as an opportunity for parishes to bring together expectant couples for mutual support.

Bishop Michael D Pfeifer of San Angelo, Texas, said the document could present "a great catechetical moment for all of us." He said he hoped it might lead the bishops to declare an annual day of prayer for the unborn in the future. The document required the approval of two-thirds of the Latin-rite members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and must be sent to the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments for "recognitio," or confirmation. The English-language version was approved 223-1 and the Spanish-language version 224-0.

Bishop Arthur J Serratelli of Paterson, NJ, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Divine Worship, introduced the document Nov 10, the first day of the USCCB fall general assembly in Baltimore.

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