Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
The need to end abortion is our world’s first obligation at the moment, because nothing takes more lives, and no right other than life itself is more necessary to secure if all our other rights are to be preserved.
The war against the unborn can only ultimately be stopped by and through the Church. When we mobilize the Church, when we fully activate and encourage the Body of Christ to use the natural and supernatural gifts given to us to overcome the Culture of Death, then victory will be achieved.
Imagine the vast structure of the Catholic Church. In the United States alone, we have nearly 19,000 parishes, 8,000 schools, and over 41,000 priests. Each diocese and parish has means of communication with the people they serve on a daily basis. Just from a natural, sociological point of view, this is a vast network of interaction and communication, geared precisely to helping people love God and neighbor. Imagine what can happen if our priests infuse that vast structure with clear, vigorous, and compassionate pro-life teaching and action.
The Church is the only institution that has a Divine guarantee that it will prevail over the culture of death. “The gates of hell will not prevail against it,” the Lord said (Mt.16:18). In a battle, a gate does not go into the battlefield to attack the enemy; rather, it stands still to defend the city against the attack of the enemy. It is the Church that is on the offensive against the gates of hell. Those gates cannot withstand the power of heaven. The gates of death fall in the presence of eternal life. Sin melts in the presence of saving grace. Falsehood collapses in the presence of living truth.
To fully exercise those gifts and apply those tools to the specific problem of abortion, therefore, does not so much require more structure as it does more spirit, more awareness, more courage, and more determination to use both the means and the opportunities we already have.
That is what Priests for Life is all about. From the heart of the Church, it is a movement of priests seeking to help the rest of the Church to use her full strength against the most devastating attacks on human life in our day. And now we find ourselves at the start of an entire year dedicated to energizing the priesthood. The Year of Priests can indeed be a turning point in the battle against abortion if we make a concerted and deliberate effort to help our priests in that specific aspect of their mission.
Among our many initiatives toward that end, we have launched two special causes on Facebook. One is the “Year of Priests” cause (see www.YearofPriests.org), by which you can be part of a nationwide spiritual bouquet for our priests. The other is the “Pray to End Abortion” cause (see www.PrayerCampaign.org), equipping every believer to pray daily for a Culture of Life. We will win; after all, it’s an unequal praying field.