Archive for October, 2012

Keeping the message of sanctity of life in the forefront

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

While abortion wasn’t mentioned in the presidential debate last week, a TV ad featuring abortion survivor Melissa Ohden ran on Denver’s NBC affiliate during the presidential debate. The ad, produced by the Susan B. Anthony List’s Women Speak Out political action committee, criticizes President Obama for opposing an Illinois bill that would have protected babies born alive after an abortion.

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Monday – Compelling “The Voice of John” Video coming soon

Monday, October 8th, 2012

THE VOICE OF JOHN will be released November 4. Please mark your calendar and plan to see the film and share it with many people! I was honored to meet the producers and be interviewed by Nurse Maryann Lawhorn. See trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dV9mwS5nCzk

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Another African American Pastor Speaks Up for Life!

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Pastor Walter S. Moss has published a booklet, “Why I Am a Black Pro-Life Pastor.” Recommended reading. For copies of this powerful message, contact Pastor Moss at Walt11111@aol.com.

Pastor Moss joins the growing ranks of African Americans who are speaking out and up for life and marriage and Bible values. African Americans are fighting for LIFE AT ALL COSTS. At http://stow.ohio.com/news/pastors-address-abortion-in-the-african-american-community-1.327845 Moss is cited as saying: “We need to know what’s going on with our people and we need to be able to help them with whatever they’re going through,” Moss said. “In dealing with the issue of abortion, we need to be ready with information to help women better understand all of their options, including adoption. We need to embrace those who have already had abortions and let them know that we love them and that God loves them. Abortion, like so many issues facing our community, has become political. It’s time we stood up, as pastors, with the support, resources and help that our people need to make a well-informed, moral decision.”

Sunday, October 7th is Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Many pastors accross america are going to speak up to protect and promote the rights of our churches. The future of religious freedom depends on a free pulpit to communicate fundamental, biblical principles to congregations across America. These bold pastors will preach biblical Truth about candidates and elections from their pulpits.

We need to implement a movement where pastors across America will preach moral values to their congregations, not in a condemning way but in a loving Christ-like way. Just as Pulpit Freedom Sunday seeks to protect our religious freedom, this movement would seek to protect our very souls. Many in today’s society are making uninformed moral decisions because those who have received a calling to minister and to inform God’s people are failing in their responsibilities.

We need to pray for our religious leaders that God will guide them and that they will choose to obey God and speak the truth.

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Catching Up with Fr. Frank Pavone On the Election and Voter Guides

Friday, October 5th, 2012

By Deacon Keith Fourmier

Catholic Online

When the history of the great human rights movement of our age is written there will be several women, men, associations, movements and organizations holding a deserved place of honor. Right at the top of that list will be Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests for Life.

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) – The great human rights movement of our age is the struggle to restore to the Civil and positive law of this Nation – and the rest of the nations – the legal recognition of the fundamental Human Right to Life.

Without recognizing this first Right, the Right to life, there can be no recognition of any other derivative rights. In fact, the entire infrastructure of human rights is placed at risk. All true Human Rights are goods of human persons. When there is no human person there can be no rights endowed upon them or exercised by them. All the “rights talk” in the world will not change that.

Every procured abortion is intrinsically immoral because it takes an innocent human life. It is always and everywhere wrong to take innocent human life. Medical science confirms what our conscience has always known; the child in the womb is one of us, our neighbor.

No positive law can change that fact. When they seek to do so they are unjust laws which are not law at all. The great civil rights movements of the past two centuries have depended upon the recognition of an objective truth; every human being, at at every age and stage, has human dignity and a right to life.

Civil Rights are those human rights which are first recognized – and then properly protected by – civil government. The American founders stood in the best trajectory of Western civilization in their insistence that human rights are not given or bestowed by government but by the God in whose Image we have all been created.

Truly just governments are instituted precisely to secure these human rights. The first among them is the Right to Life. The Right to Life is revealed by the Natural Law which can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason.

There is no more urgent work in the contemporary culture than the work of the movement called “Pro-Life”. That is precisely because the Right to Life movement is the foundational human and thus civil rights movement.

The egregious sin of the United States of America continues. We fail to hear the cry of our youngest neighbors in the first home of the whole human race, their mothers womb. When we allow their killing for any reason and by any means – and then actually call it a “right” – we profane the very word. We also place our future survival as a Nation at risk.

When we allow their innocent blood to be shed and then protect the evil act with the Police Power of the State we betray our claim to being a civilized people. When we deny them the Freedom to be born we undermine the very understanding of ordered liberty upon which our Nation was founded.

Those engaged in the Pro-Life movement assert with the American founders that there are truths that are self evident – such as our equality before God – and rights which are inalienable – such as the Right to Life.

When we are victorious in this monumental struggle – and we will be victorious – there will be many heroes whose sacrifice and courage will be recounted in our history books. They will be celebrated by our children and grandchildren as Champions of Life who overcame the current culture of death, replacing it with a new Culture of life.

When recognition of the fundamental Human Right to life is restored to the Civil and Positive law, these heroes will be remembered, honored and imitated. Right at the top of that list will be a Catholic Priest named Fr. Frank Pavone. He may be of small physical stature, like David of the Old Testament story, but he has a heart which is huge and the courage of a spiritual warrior.

Fr Frank Pavone has wielded his small smooth stones and sling mightily in the battle against the Goliath of the contemporary Culture of Death and that giant staggers as a result. He is one of my heroes and has been for decades. I also have the privilege of calling Fr Frank my friend. We have walked and worked together for several decades.

I recently spoke with Fr Frank about his efforts to ensure what I believe is the proper outcome of the upcoming elections in the United States. By proper outcome I mean electing men and women who recognize the fundamental human right to life and will do everything they can to restore that Right to our civil law.

I asked Fr Frank a few questions. His answers underscored why he is so effective in his work at the helm of the organization he founded, Priests for Life. The first question I asked was “Fr. Frank, can you please help our readers and viewers put in perspective the importance of the upcoming elections”.

His answer, “We need to elect public servants who can tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public. If a politician can’t respect the life of a little baby, how is he supposed to respect yours? Each of us has one vote, but we can each influence hundreds of other votes.”

Next, I asked him about the Catholics and other Christians who write to me claiming they were not pleased with either major Party Presidential candidate. Some tell me they are considering either not voting – or voting for an alternative candidate who is incapable of winning.

“Father”, I inquired, “what do you say to those who have decided that neither of the two major candidates are fully Pro-Life and so have decided to not vote or vote for a third party candidate who cannot win. They write to me and tell me in person that they do not want to vote for “the lesser of two evils””.

Fr Frank responded bluntly, “Choosing the better of two imperfect candidates is not choosing the lesser of two evils. We can never choose evil. But we can choose to limit evil, and that is a good.” To which I heartily responded, “Amen”. I hope all who have told me this – in writing or in person – not only read his astute and accurate response but act accordingly!

I next asked how he deals with the opponents of our Pro-Life work who accuse Catholics of trying to impose our beliefs on the American people. I knew how I would answer the question, I have written extensively about it.

“Fr Frank”, I asked, “how do you deal with those who accuse you as a Catholic Priest and human rights activist of trying to impose Catholic values on America?” His answer was again brief, and right to the point. “I am not calling for a Vatican takeover of America; I’m calling for an American takeover of America!”

I have worked with Fr Frank over the years in many Pro-Life efforts. One of the efforts is “Deacons in the Service of Life” an outreach of Priests for Life. I know that during every election cycle, as we draw close to the time to cast our ballots, Voter Guides begin to be circulated.

As a constitutional lawyer I know the requirements for such guides to be acceptable for Churches and other non-profit organizations under Section 501 c3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Yet, as a Deacon, I have also experienced the reticence on the part of many Catholic Clergy to allow such guides to be distributed, even when they are in compliance with the law.

Priests for Life just released a Non-Partisan Voter Guide for the 2012 US Presidential election which is completely compliant with the law. It is entitled “Where Do the Candidates Stand on key Issues?” So, I asked Fr Frank two final questions concerning Voter guides.

“Fr Frank, many Catholic clergy are concerned about offering Voter Guides. Can you help us to understand if there is a proper use for them? Are they an improper political activity for a parish?” His response was accurate and simple.

“For the Church to inform her people, in a non-partisan way, of the positions of the candidates is not a political activity – it is a pastoral activity. In fact, it is one of the spiritual works of mercy: instructing those who do not know. It is an equipping of the People of God to go into the world and make a change, consistent with the Great Commission and the New Evangelization.”

“We will hear in the coming weeks, as we do in every election cycle, of numerous refusals by Churches and dioceses to permit the distribution of voter guides. When someone tells me, ‘We can’t distribute yours,’ I challenge them, ‘Well then where is yours?’ But unfortunately, the alternative ends up being none at all.”

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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The People Have Spoken

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Thumbs up, hands down, Governor Mitt Romney won the first presidential debate. Remember to vote on November 6, 2012, not just in the national election but also in your state and local races. This is a critical year because life hangs in the balance.

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41-Month Sentence for Man Who Threatened Fr. Pavone and Other Pro-Life Leaders

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 4, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY –Theodore Shulman, a pro-choice activist who in 2010 threatened to kill several pro-life leaders, has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison.

Shulman, 51, pleaded guilty in May to one count of transmitting a threat to injure another person. The targeted victims named in the case are Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Princeton University’s Robert George.

In January 2010, as the trial of Scott Roeder, a man accused of killing abortionist George Tiller, was under way, Shulman posted a comment on the Catholic news site First Things, threatening that “if Roeder is acquitted, someone will respond by killing” Father Pavone and Mr. George.

Father Pavone stated, “I have already publicly forgiven Mr. Shulman and pray for him every day. I also renew, with my friend Bill Baird, known as the Father of the Pro-Choice movement, the joint statement we made years ago rejecting hatred and violence in word and deed between those on opposite sides of the abortion issue.”

For more information, go to www.priestsforlife.org/nonviolence.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Who are the “1 in 3?”

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

This comes to us from Simcha Fisher at the National Catholic Register. I would like to add that we need to bear in mind that the African American women are the most targeted by the abortion agenda. And as far as women’s testimonies go, you can also visit Silent No More Awareness to hear from other women who have had abortions and regret it.

“According to Planned Parenthood’s Guttmacher Institute, “One in three women will obtain an abortion before the age of 45.”

“This statistic is featured in a new pro-choice campaign, 1 in 3. The message is that abortion is so common, so widespread, that there should be no stigma attached to the procedure. We should, they say, be working hard to ensure that the one in three women who get an abortion can do it easily, without fuss , and that they can talk about it openly, without shame. The sheer numbers of women involved with abortion shows that abortion is here to stay — and that it’s no big deal.

“One in three women in America will obtain an abortion. And here are some other statistics about women in America:”

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Respect Life Month Brings Rich, Inter-related Themes This Year

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Happy October! And what a month it will be! There are various powerful observances and events this month whose themes reinforce one another and the overall mission of the Church on behalf of human life.

It is, first of all, Respect Life Month. It’s a time to let the pulpits roar with the Church’s Biblical witness to the sacredness of life.

And the appropriateness of that roaring is accented this month by the worldwide Synod of Bishops that begins on October 7, and the Church’s Year of Faith that begins on October 11th, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

The Synod of Bishops will discuss the “New Evangelization,” the proclamation of the faith with new vigor and new methods. It is for the purpose of embracing anew our faith in Christ that the Year of Faith is being observed. And all of this is, of course, why Churches exist, why religious freedom is important, and why preachers preach.

Moreover, the pro-life message is not something we “add on” to our faith as a hobby or extra-curricular activity. It is at the very heart and foundation of our faith. As I put it in the memo I submitted to the Vatican on behalf of Priests for Life in preparation for this year’s Synod of Bishops,

“The Gospel of Christ is the Gospel of Life. The good news of the redemption of the human person in Christ is news about how he unites our human nature with His Divine Nature. The Gospel is precisely about the exaltation of human dignity in Christ. In proclaiming the hope that Christ offers humanity, namely, that he will sit us with him on his throne (cf. Rev. 3:21), the Church cannot then ignore the phenomenon by which that same humanity is thrown in the garbage. Were she to do that, her very proclamation of the Gospel would be compromised and rendered unpersuasive.

“When a society forgets the Creator, the creature becomes unintelligible. The culture of death is precisely a sign that new evangelization is needed. New Evangelization includes, at its core, the proclamation of the sanctity of life.”

We proclaim that message, furthermore, in these weeks that lead up to the most important election of our lifetime, an election that will decide the fate of countless unborn children, and the status of religious liberty in America.

Because the stakes are so high, hundreds of pastors this year will take part in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” in which they will preach sermons that apply Biblical standards to political candidates, and will send those sermons to the IRS to challenge them to clarify the restrictions on Churches against political speech. This has occurred for several years now. In fact, we can do much more than we think we can, but it’s not a bad idea to challenge those restrictions in court.

So, welcome, October! As we enter Autumn, bring a Springtime to our Faith, to our pro-life zeal, and to our informed, responsible citizenship

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Police Stop Prayers Outside White House

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Dozens of people have already been arrested over the weekend for kneeling and praying in front of the White House.

ActsFive29, a group of like-minded, pro-life defenders launched the D.C. prayer rally knowing their members could indeed be arrested, but asserting it’s worth it, because, “The future of religious freedom in America is at risk.”

The group claims Acts 5:29 – “But Peter and the Apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men’” – as their basis for protesting the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services mandate requiring employer-provided health insurance cover birth control measures.

“Obamacare will force institutions, churches and individuals to purchase abortion-inducing drugs and pay for sterilization and abortion in direct opposition to their beliefs, conscience and historic teachings of the Church,” says the group. “With the recent Supreme Court ruling affirming Obamacare, the future of religious freedom in America is at risk and in grave danger of being entirely wiped out.”

On Saturday afternoon, 22 members of the group knelt on the sidewalk in prayer and were arrested by Capitol Police, with the prayer rally (and possible arrests) planned to continue through Oct. 2.

The group says that the only basis for their arrest is that the sidewalk in front of the White House is a “restricted zone” for free speech.

Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life told WND, “We have stood up for life and religious freedom in hundreds of cities. Today we do so at the president’s house. I am delighted to be here.”

The group says that the president is “dictating to Christians how they should live their faith” and that they are taking a stand, while risking arrest for doing so.

Bryan Kemper, director of youth outreach at Priests for Life, told WND that he was arrested on Saturday afternoon for kneeling on the sidewalk near the White House while holding a sign that said, “Stand Up for Religious Freedom.”

“I am here today as a father of seven children who is willing to lose my freedom to protect my children’s future freedom,” he told WND. “I was arrested yesterday when I knelt and prayed holding a sign for religious freedom, and I will kneel and pray again today, risking arrest again.”

He told WND that this issue is vital for all American’s to understand.

“We must take this stand now, or we will have no freedom to do so tomorrow,” he said. “I will obey God rather than man.”

He finished, “The HHS mandate violates God’s law and forces us to sin, and I will not comply.”

Brandi Swindell, National Director of Generation Life, a pro-life group dedicated to mobilizing activists, students, artists, musicians and young professionals to end abortion and spread the message of sexual integrity, told WND that she had a “divine appointment” in Washington today.

“Three of us chose to attend church at St. John’s this morning,” Swindell said, “and at the last minute found out that Kathleen Sebelius, the architect of the HHS Mandate was holding an adult forum between services.”

Swindell told WND that she got the secretary’s attention, and in front of a packed auditorium asked her, “Why are you forcing the American people to pay for abortion-inducing drugs that harm women? It’s a severe violation of religious freedom.”

The secretary ignored the question and left the stage.

Video of the exchange, and the critical reaction of other church attendees, can be seen [at http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/d-c-police-stop-prayers-outside-white-house/]

Swindell told WND that just four years ago she was arrested and deported from communist China for standing up for religious freedom there.

“I stood in Tiananmen Square holding a banner that said, ‘Jesus Christ is King’ and was arrested,” Swindell said. “I never imagined that just four years later I’d be standing in front of the White House risking the very same thing.”

She told WND that she intended to hold the same banner declaring “Jesus Christ is King” in front of the White House Sunday afternoon, and fully expected to be arrested for it.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, says of the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally, being held across the street from the White House, “For the faith community, we can never be silent or indifferent when it comes to matters of justice, human rights and religious freedom.”

He continued, “As people of principle and faith, we must purpose in our hearts that we will never comply with an unjust or immoral government mandate [that] would require us to violate our conscience, the teachings of the Scriptures and the historic teachings of the church.”

“We want to make it clear to President Obama and all public officials,” he concluded, “that we would rather spend time in jail than to be forced into complying with a mandate that crushes religious freedom.”

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Fr. Pavone Launches National Voter Guide Distribution Project

Monday, October 1st, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 1, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today the formal start of the national Voter Guide Distribution Project, with the release of a training video publicly available at www.PoliticalResponsibility.com.

“Hundreds of people around the country will take to the streets this month to distribute our voter guides on public property,” Fr. Pavone explained. “In this most important election of our lifetime, when the right to life and religious liberty are so much at stake, it is crucial that people not only know what the issues mean, but where the candidates stand on those issues.”

The project makes use of two voter guides that Priests for Life has prepared. One compares the positions of President Obama and Governor Romney on a wide range of issues of concern to the electorate.

The other compares the positions contained in the party platforms of the Republican and Democratic national parties.

Both of these guides are accompanied by letters issued by legal experts attesting that the guides are c-3 qualified, that is, that they may be distributed by Churches and other tax-exempt organizations because the guides are neutral rather than partisan.

The project involves having teams of people distribute the guides on the public sidewalks near churches, to the people coming out of the Masses and worship services.

“This year, more than ever, the faithful are ready to take up a task that, unfortunately, many of our institutions fail to do: to inform their fellow citizens about the positions of the candidates and the parties. We often wait in vain for Churches to distribute voter guides. Many are under the impression that they can never mention a candidate’s name, or that their tax exempt status is threatened by a c-3 qualified guide. From the vantage point of law, such a position is mistaken, and from the vantage point of morals, such a position is cowardly,” Fr. Pavone stated. “Then, we complain that the people we elect are threatening our religious freedom. Before we blame them, however, we should blame ourselves. As our United States Catholic Bishops have stated, ‘We get the public officials we deserve. Their virtue — or lack thereof — is a judgment not only on them, but on us’ (1998, Living the Gospel of Life, n.34).”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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