Archive for the ‘Conscience Rights’ Category

One Court Rules In Favor of Religious Freedom, Another Rules Against It.

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 20, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented today about divergent court rulings in suits challenging the HHS mandate.

On Friday, Nov. 16, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., granted a temporary injunction in a suit brought by Tyndale House Publishers. The judge ruled that the mandate “substantially burdens” the Bible publisher’s right to exercise its religious freedom by imposing financial penalties for failing to offer birth control and emergency contraception coverage to its employees.

“We are, of course, gratified by this injunction, and in our own lawsuit, maintain that we at Priests for Life are similarly burdened by the unjust HHS mandate,” Fr. Pavone noted.

In regard to yesterday’s ruling by a federal judge in Oklahoma City who said that Hobby Lobby Stores must provide insurance coverage for morning-after and week-after abortifacients, Fr. Pavone said.

“These Christian owners of the arts and crafts business have said they will not pay for abortifacient drugs. We stand with them in defiance of this violation of their rights.”

“Actually, with so many lawsuits filed against the HHS mandate, we expect divergent rulings in different courts. Ultimately, this will raise the likelihood that the Supreme Court will take up the issue, which it should,” Fr. Pavone explained.

Father Pavone said he remains confident that Priests for Life will prevail with its lawsuit, which was filed in February and was the fourth one to be launched.

“As I’ve said, this administration is on a collision course with those who treasure religious liberty. Now that the lawsuits can no longer be seen as campaign issues, they will be judged on their merit. And merit is on our side.”

Father Pavone issued an invitation for all American citizens to express their solidarity with Priests for Life by signing the “Citizens’ Amicus Brief” at www.priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate/amicus-brief.aspx.”

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.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Lawsuits Against HHS Mandate Continue With Obama Re-Election

Friday, November 9th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 9, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, welcomed news that the first lawsuit filed against the Obama administration’s HHS mandate will be heard by a federal appeals court.

The suit, brought by Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, will be heard Dec. 14 by the U.S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia.

Priests for Life’s lawsuit, filed in February, was the fourth of some 30 actions that challenge the constitutionality of the mandate.

“A different outcome on Election Day, followed by the elimination of this mandate, would have resolved the problems these lawsuits seek to correct. Now, however, they are more important than ever,” said Father Pavone. “This administration is on a collision course with the Catholic Church, and with anyone who treasures the religious liberty guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It’s encouraging that the Court of Appeals has decided to hear the Belmont Abbey suit, and I’m confident Priests for Life’s suit also will have its day in court and that we will prevail.

“Meanwhile, we invite all citizens to express their solidarity with us by signing the “Citizens’ Amicus Brief” at www.priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate/amicus-brief.aspx.”

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.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Fr. Pavone to speak at San Francisco Standup Rally Saturday

Friday, October 19th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 19, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will speak at a Standup for Religious Freedom Rally at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday, Oct. 20, outside the Federal Building in San Francisco.

The rally is one of hundreds that have taken place nationwide in an ongoing protest against the Obama administration mandate to make employers provide contraception, sterilization services and abortifacient drugs to their employees free of charge.

“Priests for Life will continue to defy this mandate,” Father Pavone said. “Our lawsuit, filed in February, is continuing to make its way through the legal system. The mandate attacks freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to life itself.”

Priests for Life organized Standup rallies in Manhattan in March and June that were attended by thousands of people. Saturday’s rally in San Francisco is sponsored by the California Civil Rights Foundation. Its founder, Walter B. Hoye II, has described the mandate as “a grave and mortal threat to our religious freedom.”

The federal building is at 90 Seventh St. in San Francisco.

For more information about this nationwide event, go to www.standupforreligiousfreedom.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.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Black leaders release new report, urging DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

The National Black Prolife Coalition, has released a new report on the harmful impact of abortion. Visit the website for the latest on the report which was released on Capitol Hill. Click here National Black Prolife Colation

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

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

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

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.”

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Last Ounce of Courage

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Alan E. Parker, President of the Justice Foundation writes:

An exciting, funny, powerful, important new movie about Religious Liberty and our American heritage is coming out September 14, 2012.

The “Last Ounce of Courage” is family friendly, with an inter-generational message that will appeal to everyone from youth to grandparents.

I have seen it twice and I urge you to invite everyone you know to attend. Take your un-churched friend and they will enjoy it, too!

Enjoy the trailer.

Additional trailers available HERE.

This is where you can make an impact for religious liberty, freedom and a just American future. Check your local listings to find a theatre near you. September 14 will be the first big critical opening weekend in over 1200 theatres.

Another great movie that I have previewed is “Unconditional.” It is produced by Lifeway Films. It is a deeply moving story about forgiveness and very worth supporting. Here is the link: www.unconditionalthemovie.com.

Advancing Life, Liberty, and Justice.

So friends, get out and support this film. The first weekend is always the most critical. Hollywood will make the movies we show them we want to see by our patronage. Let’s show Hollywood we want more family friendly films.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

The Mandate is In Effect: Stand With Us!

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 1, 2012

Contact: Andre Kim
347-286-7277

A Message from Fr. Frank Pavone

Dear Friends,

The unjust and unconstitutional HHS mandate, against which Priests for Life and 57 other plaintiffs have sued the federal government, takes effect today. We at Priests for Life do not qualify for the year that the government has offered certain groups to “adapt” to the mandate. And we are not “religious” enough for this Administration.

But regardless of all that, we do not adapt to injustice; we oppose it.

Therefore today, on behalf of our organization and on behalf of myself personally, I announce our conscientious objection to this mandate.

Priests for Life has the highest respect for civil government and advocates the observance of all just laws. But this policy is unjust, and today I reaffirm our intention to disobey it.

I issued the following memo this morning at 12:01am to all our employees, consultants and prospective employees:

August 1, 2012

Dear Priests for Life Staff and Consultants,

The HHS mandate, about which we have been educating people since January and against which we have launched a federal lawsuit, goes into effect for Priests for Life today.

Whether or not the government decides to eventually impose fines on us when our health insurance policy is renewed in a few months is not the issue. The issue is that as of today, as far as the government is concerned, we have to provide health insurance coverage for practices that are morally objectionable.

In order to avoid the slightest semblance of scandal, or compromise of our principles, and lest any employee should imagine that we would ever consent to provide coverage for actions that destroy human life, I want to make it clear to you today that we will disobey this mandate. Neither Priests for Life as an organization, nor any one of our administrative team or Board of Directors, nor I personally, consent to provide, pay for, advocate, counsel, refer, or in any way tolerate or cooperate with any process, plan, exchange of money or services, or any other activity that would enable a person to engage in the use of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, or sterilization.

We reaffirm that our mission is precisely to eliminate abortion in every form, and we reaffirm our trust in you that you share that mission and are likewise offended by this mandate. We will therefore stand together in resisting it, and in our confidence that we will prevail, by persevering in prayer and action, in our lawsuit.

Thank you,
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director

Having officially communicated this memo to our staff, I likewise invite all our supporters across the country and around the world to stand with us, and let their voices be heard by joining our Citizens’ Amicus Brief and by doubling their commitment to help our many initiatives succeed, especially those related to fostering the political responsibility of citizens.

Today is also the filing deadline for the Administration to introduce its motion to dismiss our case against the HHS, Priests for Life vs. Sebelius, as they have already indicated their intention to do. Our lead counsel in the case has advised us that he is confident our case has addressed the issues in such a way that we will prevail against this motion.

Sincerely,
Fr. Frank Pavone

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

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Priests for Life and Fr. Pavone declare “Beginning of the End” of the HHS Mandate

Monday, July 30th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 30, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, released the following statement today regarding the preliminary injunction issued in a lawsuit filed by a private company against the Health and Human Services contraception mandate. The ruling marks the first legal victory over the mandate.

“This decision marks the beginning of the end of the unjust and unconstitutional HHS mandate. Even though the Aug. 1 deadline for compliance is still in effect for organizations like Priests for Life, it’s good news that the suit filed by the owners of Hercules Industries has been successful in holding off, at least temporarily, this mandate that is so clearly a violation of the religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the laws of our country. This gives us reason to be optimistic as our own lawsuit progresses.

“But no matter what happens, there is no way we will comply with a law that calls for us to violate our consciences by paying for contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilization services.”

In Newland vs. Sebelius, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ruled on July 27 that the constitutional and statutory rights of the plaintiffs – siblings who own a heating and air conditioning company – would be harmed by enforcement of the HHS mandate. Judge John L. Kane also found that Hercules likely would prevail in its claim that the mandate is a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In his ruling, the judge noted that Hercules’ owners, William Newland, Paul Newland, James Newland, and Christine Ketterhagen, run their company according to Catholic principles and teachings, even when those religious, ethical and moral teachings impact their profits.

Fr. Pavone added, “Priests for Life is proud to be in the company of the Newlands and so many others who are not willing to set aside their deeply held beliefs, or their legal rights, even when threatened with economic catastrophe. We are confident that our lawsuit, filed Feb. 15, will protect us from the imposition of more than $1 million a year in fines.

“In addition to pressing on with our legal action, Priests for Life will also help once again to organize nationwide rallies for religious freedom, to take place on Saturday, October 20.”

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

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Father Pavone hails House vote to repeal Affordable Care Act

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 11, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today following the House vote to repeal the federal Affordable Care Act.

“The health care law that President Obama signed two years ago and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld last month presents grave threats to unborn babies and imposes intolerable burdens on every citizen who values human life. I commend the House of Representatives for voting for repeal.”

“As it stands now,” Father Pavone continued, “Americans in 34 states will have to pay an abortion premium if they are enrolled in insurance plans through their state exchange. Also, thanks to a secrecy clause in the law, insurance plans and state exchanges cannot disclose the monthly cost of the abortion premium. This is an injustice that every American should oppose, whether they are pro-life or not. This is not the American way.”

The Affordable Care Act also includes the Health and Human Services mandate that employers, including faith-based organizations like Priests for Life, provide contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilization services to their employees free of charge. Priests for Life in February filed one of the first lawsuits against this unjust mandate, and that suit is continuing.

“I am and always have been in favor of health care reform,” Father Pavone said. “But the concerns that Priests for Life has voiced from the beginning about the law in its current form, particularly regarding abortion and the HHS mandate, override everything. “

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

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.