Archive for the ‘Abortion’ Category

Silent No More Files Friend-of-the-Court Brief in Texas Abortion Case

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

SNMAC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a joint project of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life, has filed an amicus brief in support of the state of Texas in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt.

The case concerns legislation enacted in Texas in 2013 that call for abortionists to have admitting rights in hospitals within 30 miles of their abortion clinics, and for those clinics to be regulated as ambulatory surgical centers.

Last month, female attorneys signed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, who seek to have the law overturned on the claim that it interferes with a woman’s right to have an abortion. The attorneys said they would not have been able to pursue their educations and careers if they had not aborted their children.

But the approach of using personal testimonies in the abortion battle has for a much longer time marked the efforts of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, the world’ largest mobilization of those who have had abortions and speak about it. The brief which the Campaign submitted includes samples of the thousands of testimonies that it has disseminated around the world from those who were harmed, physically and emotionally, by their abortions.

According to the brief: “It is imperative that this Court hear their voices because these testimonies demonstrate that what is needed is more regulations like those enacted by Texas, not less. Striking down Texas’s regulations will make it harder to protect women such as these. Make no mistake, abortion is not only fatal to the unborn; it is exceedingly harmful to women, as these testimonies vividly illustrate.”

One woman describes the clinic where her child was aborted: “The walls behind the privacy screen were splattered with blood. There were pools of blood on the floor.”

Another woman describes an abortion that left her hemorrhaging, with clinic personnel instructing her to go to the hospital. They wouldn’t even call an ambulance.

“These are the real-life experiences that women are having every day,” said Georgette Forney, co-founder of Silent No More and president of Anglicans for Life. “People need to know the truth about abortion and how it impacts us, the mothers, for the rest of our lives.”

Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life and co-founder of Silent No More, noted that the testimonies clearly show many abortion clinics are unregulated and sub-standard, and that places women’s lives in jeopardy.

“Kermit Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors’ in Philadelphia was far from the only example of the kind of shoddy care that women find at abortion clinics,” she said. “And by the time Jennifer Morbelli was rushed to the hospital after the third-trimester abortion that would kill her, her abortionist was on a plane and off to another state. A physician who can’t get hospital admitting privileges should not be performing an invasive procedure on any woman.”

“As I have been saying for decades, what happened when abortion was legalized was that back-alley abortionists took their name off the back door and put it on the front door,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “But they remained unscrupulous and dangerous people. States have both the right and the duty to protect women from substandard practices in any aspect of their health care. That’s what this case is about — meeting basic health and safety standards.”

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign began November 11, 2002. As of January 2016, the Campaign has held 1,582 gatherings in 17 countries and 48 states, with 5,978 women and men sharing their abortion testimonies. Testimonies have also been shared at 117 high schools and universities in the last five years. There are 2,411 testimonies posted on the Campaign website, with 395 that are shared via video, Currently there are 17,049 people registered with the Campaign representing 77 countries. People who are not ready to join the Campaign are invited to register their regret. So far, 5,123 women and 604 men have said they regret their abortion or lost fatherhood, and 597 women and men have posted memorials to their lost children.

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Kansas Court Decision and the March for Life – More Steps to Take Says Fr. Frank Pavone

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

priests_for_life_logo_transparent

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 22, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Washington, DC – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said today that the Kansas Court of Appeals’ seven-to-seven vote on the Kansas law protecting babies from dismemberment abortion will add an extra urgency to today’s March for Life.

“The Kansas court’s tie vote on a law that states unborn babies cannot be killed by having their arms, legs, and heads torn from their bodies means that a lower court judge’s radical ruling still stands,” said Fr. Pavone. “But the decision is also a reminder to the hundreds of thousands marching for life in Washington, D.C. today that while we have come a long way, we have many more steps to take and prayers to pray to protect our brothers and sisters in the womb.”

The Kansas Court of Appeals, in a rare tie decision issued by the full court this morning, let stand a judge’s decision that held that the Kansas Constitution contains a right to abortion that’s independent from any created by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. The case is almost certain to be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

“As the court was announcing its ruling this morning, I was honoring Kansas Governor Sam Brownback at an interdenominational Constitution Hall ceremony for signing the first-in-the-nation anti-dismemberment bill into law,” added Fr. Pavone. “These simultaneous events illustrate that the battle for the unborn child’s civil rights will go back and forth for now. We know, however, that the truth of that child’s humanity will ultimately triumph over the lies of the abortion industry

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 Leaders Praise Congressman for Statements on Abortion

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 13, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Dr. Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, issued the following statement today to support Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) after he was criticized by the Congressional Black Caucus for statements he made about abortion in the African-American community

“We commend Congressman Sean Duffy for pointing out the obvious, namely, that far too many African-American leaders are ignoring the devastating impact abortion is having on black lives. Death by forceps or bullets is death all the same.

Alveda’s uncle, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

Father Pavone and Dr. King commented: “The silence of the Congressional Black Caucus in defending unborn African-American lives truly is disturbing. How many deaths will it take for its members to defend our community – the human community, born and unborn?

“Congressman Duffy spoke the truth in love. If members of the Congressional Black Caucus or any other persons are offended by the truth, they need to examine themselves, not criticize the messenger.”

Dr. King has been addressing the issue of the silence of not just the Congressional Black Caucus but many prominent Black leaders over the disheartening and disproportionate rates of abortion among the Black community most notably in another open letter in July of 2015 amid the Planned Parenthood controversy over the selling of baby body parts.

In related matters, Dr. King addressed the issue of gun violence and abortion in an open letter to President Obama, and Father Pavone commended Iowa Rep. Steve King for his decision to leave his seat empty for the unborn during the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

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Inspirational Singer Tony Melendez to Perform at Jan. 22 National Memorial for the Pre-Born

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 12, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In 1962, those fighting for the legalization of abortion rallied around a children’s television host from Arizona who had taken pills her husband brought back from Europe. The pills were the now-infamous thalidomide, a drug that impacted the development of children in the womb, causing thousands to be born with missing or shortened limbs. The woman became a cause célèbre, and eventually flew to Sweden to end the life of her unborn child.

That same year, and with no fanfare, a young woman in Nicaragua who had been prescribed thalidomide for morning sickness gave birth to a son with no arms. Fitted with prosthetic limbs as a child, at 10 he would shake them off for good because he was more comfortable using his feet.

That child was Tony Melendez, a guitarist and songwriter who for more than 30 years has been inspiring audiences around the nation and world with his talent, his faith, and his witness.

Melendez will perform Jan. 22 during the 22nd annual National Memorial for the Pre-Born and Their Mothers and Fathers at Constitution Hall in D.C. The interdenominational prayer service takes place every year on the morning of the March for Life, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

“Tony played for Pope John Paul II and sang the National Anthem to open a World Series game,” noted Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and President of the National Pro-Life Religious Council, sponsors of the prayer service. “He is married and a father. Where other people might have seen limits, he saw only opportunity. He is the perfect person to remind our audience – and the world – that every human life has dignity and purpose.”

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will attend the National Memorial to accept the National Pro-Life Recognition Award on behalf of all the citizens of Kansas and their legislators. Kansas was the first state to pass a law to protect unborn children from dismemberment abortion.

The National Memorial is the premier prayer event marking the tragic commemoration of Roe vs. Wade. For those who wish, there will be a Catholic Mass at 7:30 a.m. Doors open at 7 a.m. Admission is free, no tickets are required, and large groups are welcome.

Organizations co-sponsoring the National Memorial with the National Pro-Life Religious Council and Priests for Life include: American Values, Jubilee Campaign Law of Life Project, Life Issues Institute, Americans United for Life, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), Alliance Defending Freedom and Catholics Called to Witness.

Serving on the Host Committee are: Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council; Gary Bauer, President, American Values; Archbishop Craig W. Bates, Patriarch of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church; Ernie Ohlhoff, National Right to Life Committee; Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, Priests for Life; Bradley Mattes, President and CEO, Life Issues Institute; Charmaine Yoest, Ph. D., President and CEO, Americans United for Life; Alan Sears, President, CEO, and General Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom; Dick and Sherley Bott, Bott Radio Network, and Rich Bott, President and CEO, Bott Radio Network.

Constitution Hall is at 1776 D Street NW, at 17th Street. For more information about the National Memorial, go to www.NationalPrayerService.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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Are the Babies in the Empty Chair? An Open Letter to President Obama

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

160112 blog imageDear President Obama, my prayers are with you as I write this letter today, anticipating your State of the Union address.

Sir, you recently tweeted: “If there’s even one thing we can do, if there’s just one life we can save—we’ve got an obligation to try.” Your appeal seemed to be directed at gun control. Yet, the one life chord is vibrating on a frequency that embraces not just victims of gun violence, but even reaching the innocent lives in the womb.

Many people often try to marginalize the sanctity of life voice. Yet, I would appeal to you to consider that death by forceps or bullets is death all the same:

““I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.”” – Matthew 27:4 ESV

Sir, we are trying to “see to it,” to see an end to senseless violence in every corridor.

Dear President Obama, in the Bible there have been great kings and rulers. Some served God, some did not. In many cases some of these rulers came to know and serve God because of prayerful people within their courts and cabinets. I’m sure you have such voices around you.

In your recent gun control speech you spoke of Zaevion, a high school student, and his heroism as he dove on top of three girls to shield them from the bullets. And he was shot in the head. And the girls were spared. He gave his life to save theirs. You also rightly quoted John 15:16, “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” To lay down one’s life for a friend takes an extremely selfless act, something we don’t hear about too often.

You said, “Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns — 30,000. Suicides. Domestic violence. Gang shootouts. Accidents. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters, or buried their own children. Many have had to learn to live with a disability, or learned to live without the love of their life.”

Violence is defined in Merriam-Webster as “the use of physical force so to harm someone, to damage property, etc.”

Violence can take many forms. Gun violence is one of those forms. Knife violence is another. Fist violence another; and word violence too. Bomb violence is another. And abortion violence is yet another.

As you spoke and began to tear up, I could see the compassion you have for those who are senselessly killed by guns. I believe that many Americans feel the same way you do, not only for gun violence but for any type of violence. Americans mourned the lives lost to the Boston bombers. We mourned those killed at the twin towers on 9/11.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2013 there were a total of 41,149 deaths by suicide of which 21,175 were by guns. That means that 19,974 suicides occurred by other means such as suffocation, poisoning, etc. Additionally, in 2011 there were 836,000 emergency department visits for self-inflicted injuries. Although not broken down by types of injuries, I would venture to say that many of them were not due to gun shots.

Although we do need certain legislation regarding gun sales and safety the focus needs to be more on violence control and not excessive gun control.

Violence is due to hatred, or malice people may have towards others for whatever reason. It could be due to skin color, or someone having something that someone else has, or someone not believing what we believe. Whatever the reason the solution is the same: LOVE.

We must change the dialogue from “we’re against something” to “we’re for something.” In this case we must be for love – love of our fellow human being, love of life, love of self!

The Bible advises and teaches us that we should never rail against rulers and leaders in authority; rather we are to pray for our leaders, which I do. There are many words you have spoken over the years of your presidency; some which ring with compassion.

As you may know, I am a pro-life activist. I am concerned about all human lives. I write to you today because, like you and so many other Americans, I am concerned over the growing violence in America. But I am also concerned over the millions of lives lost to the violence of abortion.

Mother Teresa once said, “I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.”

I’m writing today to appeal to your compassion for those lost to violent acts and I ask you to consider that what our world needs is not just gun control but violence control. We need to turn to LOVE for the answer.

I do not want to politicize the issue of guns or abortion and that’s why I’m inviting you to step out of the political arena and invite you to step into the arena of principles and moral values. The arena where we can change the world through LOVE and PEACE!

Voices

You gave life voice
To sing sweet psalms.

Life sings of degradation.

You gave life ears to hear
your music

Life listens to pagan drums.

Life has many voices Lord.
We need to only listen.

Of all the voices in my life
Yours is sweetest.

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Open letter to President Obama

Monday, January 11th, 2016

160111 blog image - washington-praying

Dear President Obama, my prayers are with you as I write this letter today. I’m praying that the heart of this message breaks through all political filters to that secret place that even Presidents go in times of need.

Sir, you recently tweeted: “If there’s even one thing we can do, if there’s just one life we can save—we’ve got an obligation to try.” Your appeal seemed to be directed at gun control. Yet, the one life chord is vibrating on a frequency that embraces not just victims of gun violence, but even reaching the innocent lives in the womb.

Many people often try to marginalize the sanctity of life voice. Yet, I would appeal to you to consider that death by forceps or bullets is death all the same:

““I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.”” – Matthew 27:4 ESV

Sir, we are trying to “see to it,” to see an end to senseless violence in every corridor.

Dear President Obama, in the Bible there have been great kings and rulers. Some served God, some did not. In many cases some of these rulers came to know and serve God because of prayerful people within their courts and cabinets. I’m sure you have such voices around you.

In your recent gun control speech you spoke of Zaevion, a high school student, and his heroism as he dove on top of three girls to shield them from the bullets. And he was shot in the head. And the girls were spared. He gave his life to save theirs. You also rightly quoted John 15:16, “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” To lay down one’s life for a friend takes an extremely selfless act, something we don’t hear about too often.

You said, “Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns — 30,000. Suicides. Domestic violence. Gang shootouts. Accidents. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters, or buried their own children. Many have had to learn to live with a disability, or learned to live without the love of their life.”

Violence is defined in Merriam-Webster as “the use of physical force so to harm someone, to damage property, etc.”

Violence can take many forms. Gun violence is one of those forms. Knife violence is another. Fist violence another; and word violence too. Bomb violence is another. And abortion violence is yet another.

As you spoke and began to tear up, I could see the compassion you have for those who are senselessly killed by guns. I believe that many Americans feel the same way you do, not only for gun violence but for any type of violence. Americans mourned the lives lost to the Boston bombers. We mourned those killed at the twin towers on 9/11.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2013 there were a total of 41,149 deaths by suicide of which 21,175 were by guns. That means that 19,974 suicides occurred by other means such as suffocation, poisoning, etc. Additionally, in 2011 there were 836,000 emergency department visits for self-inflicted injuries. Although not broken down by types of injuries, I would venture to say that many of them were not due to gun shots.

Although we do need certain legislation regarding gun sales and safety the focus needs to be more on violence control and not excessive gun control.

Violence is due to hatred, or malice people may have towards others for whatever reason. It could be due to skin color, or someone having something that someone else has, or someone not believing what we believe. Whatever the reason the solution is the same: LOVE.

We must change the dialogue from “we’re against something” to “we’re for something.” In this case we must be for love – love of our fellow human being, love of life, love of self!

The Bible advises and teaches us that we should never rail against rulers and leaders in authority; rather we are to pray for our leaders, which I do. There are many words you have spoken over the years of your presidency; some which ring with compassion.

As you may know, I am a pro-life activist. I am concerned about all human lives. I write to you today because, like you and so many other Americans, I am concerned over the growing violence in America. But I am also concerned over the millions of lives lost to the violence of abortion.

Mother Teresa once said, “I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.”

I’m writing today to appeal to your compassion for those lost to violent acts and I ask you to consider that what our world needs is not just gun control but violence control. We need to turn to LOVE for the answer.

I do not want to politicize the issue of guns or abortion and that’s why I’m inviting you to step out of the political arena and invite you to step into the arena of principles and moral values. The arena where we can change the world through LOVE and PEACE!

Voices

You gave life voice
To sing sweet psalms.

Life sings of degradation.

You gave life ears to hear
your music

Life listens to pagan drums.

Life has many voices Lord.
We need to only listen.

Of all the voices in my life
Yours is sweetest.

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the article above.

Gov. Brownback and All Kansans to be Honored with National Pro-Life Award at Jan. 22 Service

Monday, December 28th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: December 28, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
387-286-7277

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback — and the people of Kansas and their legislators — will be honored with the National Pro-Life Recognition Award at the 22nd annual National Memorial for the Pre-born and Their Brothers and Sisters, to take place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Jan. 22 at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and President of the National Pro-Life Religious Council, said: “Each year, this award is given to someone who has served the unborn in a profound and exemplary way. In 2015, Gov. Brownback signed a law, the first in the nation, to protect children from dismemberment abortion. We have supported and spoken about the need for this kind of measure for many years, and the governor’s commitment to protecting preborn children from the pain of dismemberment abortion led all of us in the pro-life movement to recommit ourselves to helping pass this law in many more states across the nation.”

Gov. Brownback, who will attend the National Memorial to accept the award, said he is honored by the recognition, and invites Kansans to join him at the prayer service:

“As Governor of Kansas I have signed 15 Right to Life bills reaffirming our commitment that life at all stages is sacred and valuable. I appreciate the efforts of the National Pro-life Religious Council, Priests for Life and their allied organizations in recognizing the people of Kansas and their elected officials at the National Prayer Service. Kansas has enacted legislation protecting unborn children from dismemberment abortions, and I encourage other states to do the same. I ask you, therefore, to join me at this prayer service, so that the action we have taken in Kansas can be an encouragement to similar efforts throughout this great land.”

Dismemberment abortion encompasses several common second-trimester procedures.

Soon after Gov. Brownback signed the bill, a county judge in Kansas blocked enforcement and father and daughter abortionists filed a lawsuit against it. Earlier this month, the 14-member Kansas Court of Appeals heard arguments from both sides and has promised a speedy decision.

“We pray this law will be enacted, and that the nation follows Kansas’s lead in protecting the unborn,” Father Pavone said.

Organizations that are co-sponsoring the National Memorial with the National Pro-Life Religious Council and Priests for Life include: American Values, Jubilee Campaign Law of Life Project, Life Issues Institute, Americans United for Life, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), Alliance Defending Freedom and Catholics Called to Witness.

Serving on the Host Committee are: Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council; Gary Bauer, President, American Values; Archbishop Craig W. Bates, Patriarch of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church; Ernie Ohlhoff, National Right to Life Committee; Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, Priests for Life; Brad Mattes, CEO, Life Issues Institute; Charmaine Yoest, Ph. D., President and CEO, Americans United for Life; Alan Sears, President, CEO, and General Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom; Dick and Sherley Bott, Bott Radio Network, and Rich Bott, President and CEO, Bott Radio Network.

The National Memorial for the Pre-born is an interdenominational prayer service. It will be preceded by a Catholic Mass at 7:30 a.m. in Constitution Hall. Large groups can be easily accommodated in the venue, and no tickets or reservations are required.

Constitution Hall is at 1776 D Street NW, at 17th Street. For more information about the National Memorial, go to www.NationalPrayerService.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 Hails Dismissal of “Completely Illogical” Suit on Race and Sex-selective Abortions

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 16, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today praised the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to uphold the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the NAACP and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum against Arizona’s law against race- and sex-selection abortion.

“So called minority rights groups were alleging that a law that protects children from being discriminated against because of their skin color or sex was itself discriminatory,” said Fr. Pavone. “The case was completely illogical from its inception.”

At issue is an Arizona law that bars the abortion of a baby solely because of his or her race or sex. The lawsuit brought by the two groups was dismissed by a federal judge and now that dismissal has been upheld by a federal appeals court.

“The abortion lobby has long maintained that the so-called right to abortion is more important than the rights to free speech or religious liberty,” added Fr. Pavone. “This time, groups that support abortion tried to claim that abortion on demand for any reason is more important than protections against race and sex discrimination. Basically, they tried to turn the law on its head. This time, thankfully, they failed.”

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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Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More Play Key Role in the Year of Mercy

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Phones started ringing at Rachel’s Vineyard headquarters in Pennsylvania as soon as Pope Francis announced that as part of the Year of Mercy, every priest throughout the world would have the faculties to reconcile to the Church those who have had an abortion. Some had buried their guilt for decades.

As the Year of Mercy begins Dec. 8, Rachel’s Vineyard will play an important role in helping women who committed abortions in the past to find forgiveness and healing. So will the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, co-founded by Janet Morana and Georgette Forney. This Campaign enables those who have found healing to give public witness to the mercy of God by sharing their stories.

Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More even have the pope’s seal of approval: In greeting Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard, in Rome, the Holy Father said: “Rachel’s Vineyard is very good. It is an excellent work! Go forward with that!”

And in meeting Janet Morana, the Pope similarly praised the work of Silent No More around the world.

Reporters, editors, talk show hosts and news producers looking for story angles for the Year of Mercy, and Pope Francis’s offer of forgiveness for those who have lost children to abortion, can localize their stories by interviewing a Rachel’s Vineyard or Silent No More team leader in their coverage areas.

To discuss interview possibilities, please contact Leslie Palma, director of communications for Priests for Life, at 347-286-7277 or email her at leslie@priestsforlife.org

As Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis first became acquainted with Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry active in 49 U.S. states and more than 70 countries, including Argentina. It has touched the lives of more than 250,000 people; even prisoners in a maximum-security prison in Florida are benefitting from Rachel’s Vineyard’s unique approach.

“Pope Francis stresses forgiveness and inclusion, and these are both hallmarks of Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard. “It is very encouraging to know how enthusiastic he is about our work.”

His representative in the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, also expressed strong support of our work when he joined the gathering of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in front of the Supreme Court in January 2015. The papal nuncio addressed the gathering of men, women, and families who had been healed through Rachel’s Vineyard and were now sharing their testimony publicly. He said,

“I am glad to be here in the name of Pope Francis, representing him and the mercy of God to each one of you who are taking part in this March for Life. I want to share with you the joy that God has put into our hearts, because we love Him and we want to share with you the mercy He’s given to each one of us, especially those who ask for mercy. Pope Francis said that we should ask for mercy.”

Rachel’s Vineyard founder Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph. D., discovered how deep the need for healing after abortion is while leading a support group for women with eating disorders as part of her training for degrees in psychology and counseling. An impromptu discussion of abortion led several women to display signs of emotional trauma, but when Dr. Burke brought this up to her professor, she was advised not to talk to women about abortion. So, in 1986, she founded the Center for Post Abortion Healing, one of the first therapeutic support groups for post-abortive women.

Six years later she published Rachel’s Vineyard: A Psychological and Spiritual Journey for Post Abortion Healing, a unique support group model for counselors. In 1995, Dr. Burke expanded the curriculum into a format for weekend retreats. Soon individuals seeking healing began to travel from other states to experience the healing process.

Without a budget, office or advertising, Rachel’s Vineyard became a grass-roots national outreach. By word of mouth only, the retreats began to spread across the country, from 18 retreats in 1999 to 35 a year later. In 2003, Rachel’s Vineyard became a ministry of Priests for Life. Since then, Rachel’s Vineyard has grown to more than 750 retreats annually, with many new sites in development. The retreat manual is available in 22 languages.

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Overcoming the Onslaught of Violence in America and the World

Friday, December 4th, 2015

151204 blog image

“Let not your heart faint, and be not fearful at the report heard in the land, when a report comes in one year and afterward a report in another year, and violence is in the land, and ruler is against ruler.” – Jeremiah 51:46 ESV

Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA has taken over the news cycle for the last two days and rightly so as it is a horrific tragedy. On the same day there was a lesser reported mass shooting in Savannah, GA. While perhaps there were not enough people killed to make Savannah a ‘big’ story, as the Washington Post noted, “The local news barely acknowledged the murder: One local television station covered it in three paragraphs.

The same article also points out that mass shootings have ‘become normal,’ 355 of them in 2015.

In a seemingly unrelated chain of events, last week’s shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs brought on a firestorm of blame at pro-lifers.

Rev. Frank Pavone writes: “Vicki Cowart, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, wrote, ‘We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country.’”

“Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), was more explicit in her statement to blame the pro-life movement for Friday’s incident, stating, ‘Although anti-abortion groups may condemn this type of violence when it happens, the way that they target and demonize providers contributes to a culture where some feel it is justifiable to murder doctors.’”

Let’s keep in mind that these women deliberately omit to admit that millions of babies have been legally violently dismembered or chemically killed in America by abortion. And many mothers have been maimed or killed in the process.

There’s more. Lest we forget, the “Black Lives Matter” cries remain as part of the bigger picture. Yes, Black lives matter, all black lives matter [including aborted babies, black on black crime victims, incarcerated youths, etc.]. Indeed all lives matter because John 3:16 says God loves the whole world and that means everybody. We, as one human race (Acts 17:26), are in this thing together whether we like it or not.

What we are missing here is the not so subtle connection to what on the surface seems to be random violent outbreaks in the atmosphere. Yet as Rev. Pavone points out, the problems with the Colorado Springs shooting is not the pro-lifers referring to abortion as murder but rather the abortion industry’s utter lack of respect for life and choosing its solution to solving someone’s problem by killing their child.

Although the Colorado Springs shooting was abortion related, we should consider that there is a common denominator; an utter lack of respect for life. Whether there are various underlying causes for the lack of disregard of the rights of others, consequent actions lead to outcomes such as these mass shootings, high abortion rates, high levels of incarceration, suicide and many other threats to the human family.

Terrorism, be it in the womb, from distant shores, behind the domestic walls of our homes, or wherever it occurs, terrorism by any other name is still the same.

Killing has been a part of humanity since Cain killed Abel. Throughout history humans have been killing for greed, convenience, emotional pain, and the like in order to acquire what others have; whether it be land, money, power, or [and we can fill in the blanks here].

Human life has long been devalued to the point that life has often become disposable as long as we can’t see the danger to our own. Herein lies the Catch 22: we disregard others to save ourselves – sadly not realizing that we are universally connected to our human family.

With the passage of time America has joined the rest of the world in rubber stamping the killing of our babies in the womb, as well as the sick, the elderly and in alarmingly increasing numbers, the poor.

With this acceptance of devaluation of humanity, the consciences of men, women and children have been numbed. The answer to one’s problem becomes the dehumanization and elimination of those who would interfere with what someone wants.

Is there any wonder that mass killings are occurring on a regular, almost daily, basis?

Let’s connect some dots.

Have an unplanned pregnancy? Illness? Getting too old? Other problems? Eliminate your problems with abortion or euthanasia.

Killing is fast becoming the choice many people are “choosing” in order to fix their problems. Killing of another or of self both devalue and destroy life.

We must wake up and recognize that the taking of any life, born, unborn, sick, handicapped, elderly, those of faith outside of ours — is wrong.

“The people who know their God shall [must] stand firm and take action.” Daniel 11:32 ESV

Contrary to what others are saying, that “God will not fix this,” it should be obvious that only God can change hearts and fix broken lives. Pray for America, and the world.

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