Archive for March, 2016

Mother Angelica, Dies at 92

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

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A bright light has left us by the passing of Mother Angelica on Easter Sunday. Mother Angelica founded the internationally-broadcast cable television network Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).

Mother Angelica, in her younger years, was a frequent visitor and guest on Jim and Tammy Bakker’s PTL show. As a charismatic Catholic, Mother Angelica, a woman of great faith, shared her faith with millions of people, both Catholics and non-Catholics.

My mother Mrs. Naomi King, widow of my Father Rev. AD King, and I were blessed to visit the EWTN studio in Hanceville, AL where we gave our pro-life testimony on Priests for Life’s show Defending Life with Fr. Frank Pavone and Janet Morana.

Mother Angelica was a great friend of Priests for Life and will be greatly missed.

May she eternally rest in peace.

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Fr. Pavone sees new SCOTUS order as a positive development

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 29, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — The Supreme Court today released an order requesting supplemental briefs from petitioners in Zubik vs. Burwell to address how contraceptive coverage may be obtained by employees through petitioners’ insurance companies, in a way that does not require any involvement of petitioners beyond their decision to provide health insurance without contraceptive coverage to their employees.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement regarding the new order.

“We are reviewing the Court’s order with our attorneys, and we will indeed be filing a supplemental brief. We see this as a positive development in that the Court appears to be looking for a least restrictive alternative that would not burden our religious beliefs, which will ultimately mean that the government did not satisfy its burden under Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

Priests for Life vs. HHS is one of the seven consolidated cases in Zubik vs. Burwell that had oral arguments before the Court last week. Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, represents Priests for Life.

For information about the case, go to www.IStandwithPFL.com

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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Fr. Pavone on passing of Mother Angelica: We have all lost a voice of conscience

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 27, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, made the following statement today upon hearing of the death of Mother Angelica:

“Our whole Priests for Life family and I are saddened to hear of the passing of Mother Angelica. We have all lost a friend, a mentor, a spiritual mother, a voice of conscience, and a source of laughter and encouragement. I was able to thank her again personally for all she has done when I said Mass in her room just two weeks ago on March 13th and blessed her with a first class relic of Pope Saint John Paul II.

“Yet as strong as the feeling of sadness is, even stronger is our gratitude to Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, for giving Mother Angelica the call to do what she did, and to remain faithful to that call even when many entrusted with responsibility in the Church failed to understand it.

“Her voice and her message will be with us for a long time. Thanks to the continued growth of the media apostolate she founded — an apostolate in which we eagerly participate — people will be able to learn and laugh with Mother Angelica for many years to come. We should all recommit ourselves today to echoing her messages.”

Click here to read a longer commentary by Fr. Pavone on how Mother Angelica impacted him and his ministry.

The public is invited to use the comments box at www.PriestsForLife.org/MotherAngelica to express how Mother Angelica impacted their lives and what kind of spiritual bouquet they will offer up for her.

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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It’s Friday… But Sunday’s a Coming

Friday, March 25th, 2016

Evangelist Alveda King was at a prayer breakfast in Cedar Rapids, IA and she wants to share a video that they played there.

Be Blessed!

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Has the World Gone Mad? Seek Jesus!

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

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This week in America Priests for Life joined thirty-six other plaintiffs in a fight for religious freedom before the United States Supreme Court. Our battle includes the struggle for the unborn. The wombs of women are under siege.

While we are battling for religious freedom here in America, around the world terrorist attacks continue to mount. Now we mourn a new terrorist bombing right now in Europe.

The world has indeed gone mad and the savior will not be a human being, a man or woman; whether it’s winning the office of President of the United States or any other rulers or governors around the world, humans will not deliver us from this present evil.

Terrorism in any form will only end when the hand of Almighty God touches the hearts of humanity.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16-17

Just as terrorists breach the sanctuaries of homes around the world, so too does U. S. government establishment seek to breach the sanctuary of the womb by forcing its HHS mandate on Americans despite objections from many of us with deeply held religious beliefs.

This is a very urgent appeal today as we pray for those who mourn the loss of their own family members and people that they loved in this most recent terrorist attack.

Pray for us as we stand before the United States Supreme Court. Priests for Life and other claimants. Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. Amen.

Dr. Alveda King
Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, Priests for Life

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Statement to the Press: Zubik vs. Burwell Supreme Court Case Challenging HHS Mandate

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 22, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Oral Arguments in Supreme Court, Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Seven consolidated cases, representing 37 distinct petitioners, will be heard this morning in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Zubik vs. Burwell, which challenges the same mandate that Hobby Lobby successfully challenged. The difference is that in this case, the petitioners are not businesses, but rather religious non-profits, and along with objecting to the mandate itself, these petitioners are objecting to the regulatory mechanism, or “accommodation,” which the government claims allows them to “opt-out” of the mandate. Petitioners claim the “accommodation” makes them complicit in the very coverage it claims to release them from, and substantially burdens their exercise of religion in a way that fails to meet the strict text imposed on the government by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The first of the 37 petitioners — and the fourth in the nation — to challenge the mandate in court was Priests for Life, the nation’s largest Catholic ministry focused on ending abortion. Priests for Life vs. HHS is particularly well-suited to challenge this mandate, because the requirement to provide abortion-inducing drugs contradicts not only the religious faith of the petitioners but is a direct, head-on collision with its mission and raison d’ê•tre, which is to end the practice of abortion. Along with the organization, petitioners in the Priests for Life case include Alveda King, niece of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She heads up the Black outreach ministry for Priests for Life. Likewise included is Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life, and Fr. Frank Pavone, its National Director.

Fr. Pavone stated today, “I am very grateful to all the petitioners, and all the friends of the court, in these landmark cases, for standing up for the basic question at the heart of this dispute: the government cannot force believers to choose between following their faith and following the law. This accommodation is not an “opt-out;” rather, it is a hijacking of the mechanism of our insurance plans to further the immoral goal of expanding access to abortion-inducing drugs and other objectionable services. To add insult to injury, the government exempts the Churches to which Priests for Life sends its priests to preach, but doesn’t exempt the group that trains and sends them. We share in the same faith as these churches; we share in the same objections to the mandate; we should likewise share in the same exemption.”

Fr. Pavone will speak at the press conference to be held at the steps of the Supreme Court immediately after the oral arguments and will also be available for comment afterwards, as will his legal counsel in this case, Robert Muise, co-founder of the American Freedom Law Center.

Priests for Life will hold a national webcast on Monday night, March 28 from 9 to 10 p.m. to discuss with several observers from within the courtroom how the oral arguments went. To sign up, visit www.PriestsForLife.org/webcast. Priests for Life is leading a prayer campaign against the mandate at www.SupremeCourtVictory.com. For info on the case, visit www.IStandWithPFL.com.

For interviews, contact Leslie Palma at media@priestsforlife.org, 347-286-7277.

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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Religious Liberty Matters

Friday, March 18th, 2016

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Priests for Life press conference on Zubik vs. Burwell March 22 at the National Press Club

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 17, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Priests for Life, a plaintiff in Zubik vs. Burwell, will hold a press conference at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 in the Bloomberg Room of the National Press Club.

At stake in Zubik is the religious liberty of dozens of plaintiffs, as well as plaintiffs in more than 50 other cases that did not make it to the Supreme Court but will be impacted by the ruling on whether the federal government can enforce its mandate on faith-based ministries.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Janet Morana, Executive Director, are both named plaintiffs in the case and will speak at the press conference. Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, which is representing Priests for Life, also will make remarks. Other plaintiffs have been invited to discuss their cases, and Priests for Life is awaiting confirmation that some high-profile friend-of-the-court filers will attend.

“What’s at stake in Zubik vs. Burwell is not access to contraception,” Father Pavone said. “What this case is about is the government attempting to dictate how people of faith may practice their religion, whatever that religion may be. Catholics and evangelical Christians are represented in Zubik, but friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed by a rich diversity of faith traditions, including Orthodox Jews, Muslims and followers of Krishna. This case is about more than priests and nuns.”

Mrs. Morana added: “Priests for Life objects to the contraceptive and abortion-causing drugs and devices covered by the HHS mandate because they are counter to Catholic teaching. But we also oppose being ordered to provide our employees with substances that are so clearly harmful to women.”

The National Press Club is at 529 14th St NW in Washington. The Bloomberg Room is on the 13th floor.

For more information on Zubik vs. Burwell, go to www.istandwithpfl.com To arrange an interview with Father Pavone, Mrs. Morana or Mr. Muise, please call Leslie Palma, Priests for Life director of communications, at 347-286-7277 or email media@priestsforlife.org

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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Fr. Frank Pavone Thanks Friends of the Court in Priests for Life Supreme Court Case

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 16, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today expressed thanks to the many groups and individuals who have filed amicus curiae (Friend of the Court) briefs in support of the Supreme Court case, Zubik vs. Burwell, among which Priests for Life vs. HHS is one of the seven consolidated cases challenging the Obamacare HHS mandate.

“It’s humbling and gratifying that more than 400 people and organizations have taken the time and effort to draft and file ‘friend of the court’ briefs in support of one of the most important cases on religious freedom to reach the Supreme Court,” said Fr. Pavone. “When our lawyers stand before the Court on March 23, they will have the intellectual, moral, and spiritual support of these legal, academic, and religious leaders who stand with us in this profound battle.”

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on Wednesday, March 23. At issue is the bureaucratic regulation requiring religious non-profit groups to make available to their employees abortifacients, contraceptives, and procedures for sterilization. Priests for Life was the first of the petitioners currently before the Court to file a lawsuit against the regulation.

“We thank all who are standing with us, including the 207 members of the United States House and Senate, former U.S. Attorneys General, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Eternal Word Television Network, law professors, the Knights of Columbus, Orthodox Jewish rabbis, and representatives of Islam and other religions, just to name a few.

“All of these friends of the court are declaring with us that government should never force believers to choose between following their faith and following the law. As our own brief to the court states, government might disagree with our beliefs, but cannot disregard them,” Fr. Pavone concluded.

All of the “amicus curiae” or friend of the court briefs that have been filed in support of Priests for Life and the other plaintiffs may be found here.

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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Fr. Frank Pavone: Let American Voters Decide the Next Direction of the Supreme Court

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 16, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone today issued the following statement on President Obama’s nomination of federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

“The Senate is both completely justified and correct in permitting the next President, whoever that may be, to nominate the next Supreme Court Justice, and the next Senate to vote on that nominee. This is no time for a lame duck President to push through a judge for a lifetime appointment. Let the American people speak, in the elections, about the direction they want the court and the nation to go.

“We at Priests for Life are more aware than usual of the impact of the Supreme Court, as our religious liberty case, Priests for Life vs. HHS, which challenges the HHS mandate, goes into oral argument at the Supreme Court this coming Wednesday.

“Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley have announced that the U.S. Senate will not take any action on any nominee President Obama puts forward for the high court. I am confident that they will remain firm in their commitment. I call on all Americans to urge their Senators to do the same.”

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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Priests for Life Attorneys Reply to Government Brief in U.S. Supreme Court

Monday, March 14th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 14, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Priests for Life vs. HHS challenges Obama Administration – Oral arguments next week

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that attorneys for his organization and for co-plaintiffs have filed their response to the government’s opposition brief in the Supreme Court case Zubik v. Burwell, of which Priests for Life vs. HHS is one of the seven consolidated cases. The Court will hear oral arguments in the dispute over the HHS mandate on March 23.

“Our brief argues conclusively that the Obama administration has not proven that it has any legal basis to force Priests for Life and the other religious non-profit groups to violate our religious beliefs,” said Fr. Pavone. “Federal law is clear that the government cannot force a believer to choose between following his faith and following the law. The government’s goal of increasing access to abortion-inducing drugs is not a ‘compelling interest,’ and, even if it were, there are alternate ways to achieve it than forcing priests to violate the faith they were ordained to proclaim.”

Priests for Life, the first of the dozens of petitioners now before the Supreme Court to challenge the legality of the Obamacare rule known as the HHS mandate, filed their response brief with the justices on Friday. The Court will now study the case documents in preparation for oral arguments next week.

“For a variety of reasons, the government has already exempted many employers from this mandate, including some who do not even object to it,” Fr. Pavone added. “How can it justify exempting from the mandate, for non-religious reasons, a person who doesn’t even object to it, and at the same time insisting on imposing it on us who do object to it for religious reasons?”

For information on the case, see www.IStandWithPFL.com; for a prayer campaign related to the case, see www.SupremeCourtVictory.com

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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