Sad, but not surprising: 

As the global coronavirus pandemic continues to lead to a cancellation of events, organizers of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast have cancelled this year’s scheduled gathering scheduled for March 30.

“Out of concern for our guests and speakers, the 16th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast has been cancelled,” said a statement posted to the website. “Within a few days, each registered guest will receive an email with additional information, including refund options. No additional information is available at this time. Please continue to pray for all affected by the Coronavirus.”

The National Catholic Prayer breakfast takes place each spring and brings together more than 1,000 Catholic leaders to the nation’s capital for a morning of prayer and speeches.

The event was founded in 2004 as a response to Saint Pope John Paul II’s call for “a new evangelization.”

While the event is billed a non-partisan gathering, over the years, speakers have been predominantly conservative Catholics – among them former Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Ambassador for Religious Liberty Sam Brownback, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, former Senator Rick Santorum, Vice President Mike Pence, and former President George W. Bush during four years of his presidency.

Attorney General William Barr and recently retired Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia were set to headline this year’s gathering.

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