The creators of the Catholic meditation and prayer app Hallow defended their partnership with pro-abortion actor Liam Neeson after backlash, arguing that getting the attention of people who have “fallen away” from their faith “often means partnering with nontraditional” individuals.
Hallow CEO Alex Jones told Catholic News Agency that the app’s goal is to reach out to “folks who have fallen away, in the same way that I once had, and to invite them into a relationship with Christ.”
“This often means partnering with nontraditional partners and people from different backgrounds,” he said.
Neeson, who has engaged in pro-abortion activism in his native country of Ireland, will be joining actor Jonathan Roumie and Sister Miriam James Heidland of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity church in leading prayer and reflections for the app’s “Advent Pray25” series.
Jones added that Hallow is “proudly” pro-life and that the decision to partner with Neeson — who will be doing voice-over of content from the works of writer C.S. Lewis for the app — was based on the actor’s ability to “bring to life” the writings of Lewis “in a new way.”
The Hallow CEO went on to say that “we prayed deeply through this decision and consulted heavily with our advisers,” adding that he “strongly” believes “this is what God is calling us to do.”
In 2018, Neeson was an outspoken advocate for overturning Ireland’s Eighth Amendment, which maintained the right to life of the unborn. The amendment was eventually overturned in May of that year, legalizing abortion in Ireland.
In a 2018 op-ed for the Irish Independent, the Schindler’s List star wrote that “men must stand with women,” adding that it was time to respect “women’s right” to kill her unborn children, proclaiming that voters in Ireland had “a once in a generation opportunity” to legalize abortion.
“In Ireland, men have complete control over their bodies. Women do not,” Neeson wrote. “Even if a woman has been raped, or her health could be damaged by a pregnancy, she has no control over what happens next.”
Additionally, the actor had lent his voice to a 2015 video advertisement calling for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, which critics slammed as “anti-Catholic.”
“We’ve received a lot of feedback over the last few days on the Advent challenge, with many folks really excited and many, understandably, upset, hurt, or confused,” Jones told Catholic News Agency.
The CEO added that Hallow does not “stand behind or claim to endorse any of the personal views, past actions, or political opinions of any of the narrators on the app,” adding that other actors on the app have “differing personal views on many topics, some who are practicing Catholics, but several of whom come from different faith backgrounds.”
Jones called abortion a “heartbreakingly important issue,” noting that the app has several pro-life prayers and meditations.
“We would never allow any content on the app that goes against the pro-life teaching of the Church,” Jones insisted. “We consistently send our team to the March for Life each year. We will do everything in our power as long as we are around to assist in the fight for life and to work to let God change hearts and minds.”