Archive for the ‘Stand Up for Religious Freedom’ Category

After First Amendment Victory, Priests for Life Youth Leader to Return to Ohio College

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Bryan Kemper in Sidney

Priests for Life Youth Outreach Director Bryan Kemper, who was banned from holding a pro-life sign during a peaceful protest rally at Sinclair Community College last year, will return to the Dayton, Ohio school tomorrow, after the college agreed to uphold its students’ First Amendment rights.

In June 2012, during a Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally – one of more than 100 simultaneous rallies that Priests for Life helped organize across the country – Kemper was among those who were told by Dayton police that they could not hold up signs describing their opposition to government-mandated free contraception.

The Thomas More Society filed a federal lawsuit against the college on behalf of Kemper and two students. As a result of the suit, the college agreed in January to revise its campus access policy, which now stipulates that “any group may use, without prior notification, any publicly accessible outdoor area” (with some exceptions) for the purposes of speaking, non-verbal expressive conduct, the distribution of literature, displaying signage, and circulating petitions.”

Go to www.priestsforlife.org/deddens-v-warren.pdf to read the full settlement agreement.

Tomorrow, at the invitation of the school’s Traditional Values Club, Kemper will address students in the school library, from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

“This case has implications for the whole country, especially those of us who express opinions that aren’t politically correct in our current climate,” said Kemper, the founder of Stand True Prolife Outreach. “But it was also important to me, personally, because my son Jaemison, who was 7 at the time, was with me, and I wanted him to see that we can fight against injustice, and we can win.”

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented: “Free speech is protected precisely because it can make people so angry that they will try to shut up the speaker. This case shows that the protection still works, and we need to use it!”

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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.

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Father Pavone to Lead Rosary in Front of the White House

Friday, September 28th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 28, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will lead the praying of the Rosary at noon on Sunday, Sept. 30, at Lafayette Park in front of the White House.

The prayer event is part of ActsFive29, a 72-hour program of prayer and civil disobedience to kick off at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29.

“The Rosary is a devotion strongly embraced by the pro-life movement,” said Father Pavone. “This is so for good reasons, because in the Hail Mary we praise a mother, and we worship the fruit of her womb. Our salvation began because a mother said yes to the life within her!

“In the rosary we also say, ‘Pray for US sinners.’ We don’t point the finger at others, but rather at ourselves. We know that sin is in the world, but we start by repenting of the sin within us. The pro-life movement is in fact a movement of repentance, of admitting we haven’t done enough. That is the best way to rebuild the Culture of Life,” Fr. Pavone explained.

Immediately after the Rosary, Fr. Pavone will lead off the speeches in the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. to protest the unjust mandate requiring every employer, including faith-based ministries like Priests for Life, to provide free contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs to their employees.

Priests for Life was among the first to sue the Obama administration back in February. The mandate went into effect for Priests for Life on August 1, and on that morning Fr. Pavone announced the organization would disobey it.

Bryan Kemper, director of Youth Outreach for Priests for Life, will participate in the rally and wrote about his willingness to be arrested: http://bit.ly/Q0x2dR to read his testimony.

For more information, visit www.ActsFive29.com and www.priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate.

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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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.

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PFL Youth Outreach Director at center of First Amendment lawsuit

Friday, July 6th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 6, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Priests for Life Youth Outreach Director Bryan Kemper is a plaintiff in a new First Amendment lawsuit filed against Sinclair Community College in Ohio and its campus police.

On June 8, Kemper, the founder of Stand True Ministry, was a speaker at the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally at the college. The rally was one of 100 such rallies taking place across the country that day to protest the Obama administration’s mandate that all employers have to provide free contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilization services for their workers.

Campus police would not allow demonstrators to hold their signs at the rally, continuing a tradition of First Amendment violations that, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), has been going on at the school for 22 years.

“Schools are meant for the free expression of ideas, but Sinclair has taken the stance that its students must check their free speech rights at the door,” said Peter Breen executive director and legal counsel of the Thomas More Society, which filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on behalf of two Sinclair students and Kemper.

“It is imperative that we fight for our rights to not be taken away or it will be almost impossible to fight to get them back,” Kemper said. “I am fighting this injustice not just for me, but for my son Jaemison, who was there watching the rights of so many being trampled.

“Jaemison may only be 7 years old,” Kemper continued, “but he and his siblings will someday face a situation when their rights and liberties may be challenged. I want him to have the courage and the means to stand true when that day comes and to know that his father refused to cower in the face of adversity.”

Priests for Life organized the well-attended New York City Stand Up Rally, at which attendees, like those all over the country, were able to express themselves with signs and placards. Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said of the Ohio situation:

“Thank you, Sinclair Community College and police department. There are few better ways to motivate pro-life people than to tell them to shut up. I’m not sure if it’s our message or the First Amendment that you don’t fully understand, but we’re going to see to it that you learn more about both.”

To view the lawsuit, go to http://scr.bi/MaypVf

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.

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Novena for a Reversal of HHS Mandate

Monday, June 4th, 2012

As we prepare for the second round of Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies this Friday, I encourage you to join me this week in saying these prayers authored by Fr. Frank Pavone. They can also be found on the Priests for Life web site.

Novena to Reverse HHS Mandate — Day 1

Lord God,
You are the Author of Life and Freedom.
In your Spirit, we have the freedom of the children of God,
And in your Name, we promote the freedom of all
To seek, embrace, and live the truth of your Word.

In that freedom, Lord, we your people stand with Life
And reject whatever destroys life
Or distorts the meaning of human sexuality.

In that freedom, Lord, we your people live our lives
In a way that advances your Kingdom of Life,
And we refuse to cooperate in what is evil.

At this moment, therefore, when our government has decided
To force us to cooperate in evil,
We pray for the grace to be faithful to you
And to oppose the unjust laws and mandates
That have been imposed upon us and our institutions.

We pray for the conversion of those in civil authority
Who fail to appreciate the demands of conscience.
We pray for the complete reversal of all policies
That permit the destruction of life
Or coerce the cooperation of your people
In practices that are wrong.

Bring us to a Culture of Life.

We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Novena to Reverse HHS Mandate, Day 2

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
You are the ruler of every nation
And you call all nations to obey your law,
Which is higher than any human law.

Lord Jesus,
We lift up to you today
All who serve in public office.

We pray, Lord, for our President
And for the thousands of people who serve in his administration.
We pray that you enlighten and guide them,
And free them from the deception of evil.

Give them a new respect for human life, for freedom of conscience,
And for the rights of your people.
We pray that your people may be free from all unjust laws and mandates
And may always raise their voices
On behalf of human rights.

We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Novena to Reverse HHS Mandate — Day 3

God our Father,
You are the author of Liberty.
You created each human being
In your own image and likeness,
And bestowed upon each person
A dignity that nobody can take away.

You are the defender of our freedom,
A freedom by which we seek you,
And seek to be faithful to your law.

At this time of our history,
We ask you to protect the freedom you have given us
And to defend our dignity.

Give us the grace to speak up
On behalf of conscience,
And the freedom to live out our faith
No matter what the cost.

Give to each person, and to our public officials
the grace to respect
each person’s freedom of conscience and religion.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Novena to Reverse HHS Mandate — Day 4

Lord Jesus Christ,
Ruler of all nations,
You gave your apostles the command
To preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth,
And promised that you would be with them all days,
Even until the end of the world.

After your Ascension,
They went forth to preach your word
And you confirmed with signs and wonders
That you were working through them.

When they were told by the authorities of their day
Not to speak your name anymore,
And were even arrested and scourged,
They boldly declared,
“We must obey God rather than men!”

Lord Jesus,
You continue to proclaim your Word
in your Church today.
Give us the same clarity, courage, and determination
That your apostles had,
That we may not allow any obstacle or earthly power
To intimidate us into silence or compromise.

Grant that our highest loyalty may always and only be to you,
Who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Novena to Reverse HHS Mandate — Day 5

Lord God,
You are Light, and in you there is no darkness.
You sent your Son Jesus Christ
As the Light of the World,
And you sent your Holy Spirit
To enlighten the hearts and minds of all.

Lord, we pray today
That we may always experience
The light of your truth,
Informing our conscience
Of what is right and what is wrong.

We pray that this light
Will reach all of our fellow citizens
That they may recognize the dangers of evil
Which are often hidden along their path.

Open the eyes and minds of all
To the threats that currently exist
To our religious freedom,
To the health and well-being of women,
And to the good of our nation.

Give us the grace not only to recognize evil,
But also to reject it with the unwavering strength
That comes from you.

We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Novena to Reverse HHS Mandate — Day 6

Father,
You unite the human family
Through the blood of your Son Jesus Christ
And the gift of the Holy Spirit.

At this time of need,
When your Church and all your people
Are called to stand firm against injustices
Inflicted on us from our government,
We ask you to strengthen us in the bond of unity.

Strengthen the unity of your Church,
That none of your faithful may be on the sidelines,
But that everyone may be active in this battle.

Give Church leaders the grace to discern
The many varieties of the working of your Spirit
That they may fan into flame the gifts that the Spirit
Bestows freely on your people.

And give us the wisdom to know
That no group has a monopoly on the defense of life and freedom.
May we work in an ecumenical and inter-religious spirit
And welcome the efforts of all people of good will
Who believe in freedom of religion and conscience.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Novena to Reverse HHS Mandate — Day 7

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
We thank you, Father,
For the grace of repentance
And the power of conversion at work in your people.

We thank you for your Holy Spirit,
Who convicts us of sin and enlightens us
About how to please you.
Lord, enable your people,
In the midst of current persecution and danger,
To live the spirit of repentance
Ever more deeply and effectively.

For every moment we lacked courage in the past,
Give us the grace to repent.
For every time we were silent when we should have spoken,
Give us the grace to repent.
For every time we could have witnessed to life but did not,
Give us the grace to repent.

Made strong by the spirit of repentance,
May your people rise up
And reverse the tide of evil in our midst.

Enable us to defend our freedom
And to build a Culture of Life.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Novena to Reverse HHS Mandate — Day 8

Father,
Your Son Jesus Christ has taught us
That those who mourn over their sins
And over the evils in the world
Are blessed indeed, and will be comforted.

We come before you today
In that spirit of Christian mourning
Over how far our nation’s policies
Have strayed from your law
And from the respect for life and conscience
That every law should reflect.

In the power of your Spirit,
Our mourning does not make us weak,
But rather renews our strength
To work for change.

Enable us, then, to speak up
And educate our fellow citizens,
And to make our voices heard
To our elected officials.

Reverse the unjust policies
That have been forced upon us,
And restore our nation
To the principles of freedom and justice
Upon which it was founded.

We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Novena to Reverse HHS Mandate — Day 9

God of our Fathers,
We thank you for our nation,
Founded by those who believed in your Word
And came to this land as if out of the desert
To seek a place of freedom and rest.

We thank you for their conviction
That our rights come from You, our Creator,
And that government exists
To secure those rights,
And never to destroy or weaken them.

Now that we face unjust mandates
That call upon us to violate our conscience,
We pray for your protection.
Keep us faithful to you in our every deed.

Grant that we may work for change
By being citizens who are active in the process
By which we elect our leaders.

Grant that by our efforts to educate and mobilize voters,
We may replace public officials who ignore your law
With those who observe it faithfully.
Bless our nation’s upcoming elections.

As we rejoice that we are citizens of your Kingdom,
So make us always faithful citizens on earth.

We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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