“Radical solidarity,” the bishop said, “means moving beyond the status quo and out of our comfort zones.”
The statement cites Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, which says solidarity “presumes the creation of a new mindset” and does not simply refer to “a few sporadic acts of generosity.”
Burbidge added that although “ending legalized abortion remains our preeminent priority,” it is not enough. Rather, he stressed that “the most immediate way to save babies and mothers from abortion is to thoroughly surround mothers in need with lifegiving support and personal accompaniment.”
The statement encourages Catholics to ask themselves whether they know of efforts in their area to help women who are pregnant or parenting in difficult circumstances, what their gifts and talents are, and how they can adjust their schedule or budget to help mothers in need and their children. It references the “Walking with Moms in Need” parish-based initiatives, which help parishes become welcoming places for mothers facing difficulties, as a possible option to get involved.
“Radical solidarity can be lived out in countless ways, including volunteering at your local pregnancy center; helping an expectant mother find stable housing; babysitting so a mom can work or take classes; providing encouragement and a listening ear to a mom without a support system; or speaking to your pastor about beginning Walking with Moms in Need at your parish,” Burbidge said.
The statement emphasizes that “the transformation of our culture also requires continual conversion of our own hearts, so that we can recognize in every person the face of Christ and place their needs before our own” and that this must be a focus, in addition to promoting pro-life laws and policies.