Vice President Mike Pence spoke to more 1,200 attendees at the 13th National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Tuesday morning in Washington D.C., affirming President Donald Trump’s belief in religious liberty and the sanctity of life, and telling American Catholics that they have an ally in Donald Trump.
Pence’s speech defended Trump’s record regarding religious freedom and confirmed campaign promises of defending conservative values. Pence used the examples of Trump’s executive order restoring religious liberty and his appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to prove that Trump is a man of action, and promised that Trump will continue to fight to protect religious rights — at home and across the world.
The vice president mentioned Trump’s meeting with Pope Francis, where they discussed how the U.S and the church can come together to “address” issues facing the world, especially the persecution of those of faith across the world. Pence quoted part of Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia condemning “the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians across the wider Arab world.”
“This is a President who knows that terrorism is an existential threat to people of faith in countries around the globe. Terrorist groups seek to stamp out all religions that are not their own, or not their version of their own, and believers of many backgrounds have suffered grievously at their hands. And we acknowledge all of that loss and suffering,” Pence said.
Pence mourned the recent terrorist attacks in Australia, London, Kabul, Manchester and others, finishing with Trump’s response to the attacks: “this bloodshed must end and this bloodshed will end.”
“Protecting and promoting religious freedom is a foreign-policy priority of this administration,” Pence said. “And we will continue to work with this Congress to stand without apology for persecuted people of faith across the globe. We will continue to stand with our allies and take the fight to the terrorists on our terms, on their soil until we drive the cancer of terrorism from the face of the Earth.”
The vice president said that Trump has kept his promise to stand for life since day one, citing Trump’s actions allowing states to withhold funding from abortion providers. Pence said that “life is winning in America again” because of those who have stood up for the sanctity of human life.
“I couldn’t be more proud to serve as Vice President to a President who stands without apology for the sanctity of human life,” Pence said. He highlighted Trump’s Mexico City bill that denied federal funding from abortion-providers abroad, mentioning the policy was recently expanded to cover almost $9 billion in foreign aid.
Pence concluded his speech telling the crowd to pray for America, not for a certain agenda, but for America to be on God’s side.
“I urge you to continue to stand up, to speak out, to continue to be that voice for the voiceless that the church has been throughout its history, continue to be the hands and feet of our Savior, reaching in with love and compassion, embracing the dignity of all people of every background and every experience.”