... are on the Catholic World Report blog, courtesy of CWR's Managing Editor, Catherine Harmon, who attended the event this past Saturday. Catherine writes:
Today I had the privilege of joining some 50,000 pro-lifers at the ninth annual Walk for Life West Coast. It was a gorgeous sunny day in San Francisco, and organizers said it was the best turn-out they've had yet for the event, which included a special greeting from Pope Benedict XVI.
I spent a good deal of the walk pushing a double-stroller, but I managed to get some shots of the crowd...
See them all here.
Meanwhile, Rose Trabbic, the publicist for the Walk in San Francisco, has sent the following report:
Pope Benedict XVI honors Walk for Life West Coast
Record crowd tops 50,000, fills main S.F. thoroughfare for more than 1 mile
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 26, 2013 – Pope Benedict XVI commended the “outstanding public witness to the fundamental right to life” of the Walk for Life West Coast, in a special message delivered by his delegate to tens of thousands gathered in front of San Francisco’s City Hall.
The Walk for Life West Coast rally at Civic Center Plaza filled the plaza, before participants walked the two miles from City Hall to the Ferry Building, traveling through the heart of the city’s shopping and financial districts. More than to 50,000 participated, organizers estimated.
“You are a powerful witness that God’s truth cannot be silenced,” said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, who blessed participants to begin the event. “Yes, we are here to stay because life is good and life is holy.”
The speakers at the Walk included Lacey Buchanan, the mother of a disabled child; Elaine Riddick, who was forcibly sterilized by the state of North Carolina at age 14; Kelly and Matthew Clinger who regret their abortions; and the Rev. Clenard Childress, Jr., who has spoken at nearly every walk since its founding in 2005.
“We are united together as one until the job is done,” said Rev. Childress, to loud cheers. “We are getting ready to take it up to another level, alleluia.”
“Truth is rising up and you are the picture of that truth,“ said Rev. Childress. “We will not draw back until every child is free.”
About 50 counter demonstrators waved signs and shouted as pro-life supporters walked the length of Market Street. A Jumbotron displaying a graphic video of aborted children was set up by an anti-abortion group midway along the Walk route, despite efforts by Walk organizers to dissuade the group from playing the video.
Walk co-chair Dolores Meehan warned parents of the video’s presence at the rally, noting the Walk’s longstanding policy against showing any graphic pictures at the event which attracts many families with young children as well as thousands of teen-agers.
A group of about 20 teens from Phoenix, Arizona, sported yellow t-shirts that said “yeah baby.” Attending from Antioch, California, with two friends, 15-year-old Brianna Osorio said, “We believe all life is precious, no matter how small.”
Founded in 2005 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area residents, the Walk for Life West Coast’s mission is to change the perception of a society that thinks abortion is the answer. For more information and photos, www.walkforlifewc.com.