Washington, DC: Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today and sent it to every parish in the nation:
“This weekend is the final push to turn out voters for Election Day. All of us at Priests for Life want to thank in advance the countless priests whom we know will let their pulpits thunder as they remind their people of what is at stake in this election and urge them to get to the polls. The best tool to use for preaching this weekend is the US Bishops’ document Living the Gospel of Life (1998). It makes very clear what so many people want to confuse or hide, namely, that the right to life is the foundational issue in any election.
“We urge every preacher this weekend to emphasize the following words that come from that document:
“Any politics of human life must work to resist the violence of war and the scandal of capital punishment. Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing, and health care. Therefore, Catholics should eagerly involve themselves as advocates for the weak and marginalized in all these areas. Catholic public officials are obliged to address each of these issues as they seek to build consistent policies which promote respect for the human person at all stages of life. But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as the “temple of the Holy Spirit” — the living house of God — then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation. These directly and immediately violate the human person’s most fundamental right the right to life. Neglect of these issues is the equivalent of building our house on sand” (LGL, n. 23).
“Moreover, Priests for Life urges Churches to remind their parishioners to get to the polls on Election Day, and to assist with transportation where necessary.
“Furthermore, it is important this weekend not to get bent out of shape if people show up in the parking lot to distribute voter education materials. First of all, Churches should be handing out non-partisan voter guides to their people inside the Church. Secondly, no Church is going to get into trouble with the IRS because an outside group organizes and pays for literature distribution on the cars in their parking lots, even if that literature is highly partisan. In fact, I will guarantee it. Pastors and Churches should be more concerned about the trouble they might get into for interfering with citizens’ rights to mobilize and educate voters than the trouble they may have been told they will get into for simply ignoring it.
“Again, we honor and thank the many priests who will step up to the plate this weekend and help citizens elect pro-life candidates.”
For more information, see www.PoliticalResponsibility.com.