Archive for April, 2010

Jesus Christ Broke The Power of Death

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

On Easter morning, the women who came to the tomb were asked, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here; he has been raised.”

Jesus Christ broke the power of death and overturned its kingdom, which is why we can confidently work against evils like abortion and euthanasia. How easy it is for people to seek the living one among the dead. Despair causes them to look to death as a solution. People are made to think that freedom consists in the ability to choose death, either for themselves or their children. But this freedom and these solutions are only in Jesus Christ. We are not to seek the living one among the dead. He is not there. He has been raised, he lives forevermore, and he gives us the power to choose life.

–Fr. Frank

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Civil Rights Leaders Re-board the Bus for Historic Freedom Rides

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The Freedom Riders of 1961 took their lives in their hands to protest the injustice of segregation. This summer, Priests for Life and its supporters will stage Pro-life Freedom Rides along those various routes. This time we will be speaking up for the lives of the unborn.

* The Freedom Riders took their action to test a Supreme Court ruling that struck down segregation laws. We will ride to protest a ruling by that same court that legalized the murder of a whole class of human beings.

* The Freedom Riders sought to change the culture of racism in the U.S. We seek to transform the culture of death into the culture of life.

Join us as we kick off this campaign with a press conference on April 27.

Who – Dr. Alveda King, Director of African American Outreach for Priests for
Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life
Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life
Dean Nelson, Executive Director of the Network of Politically
Active Christians
Rev. Clennard Childress, Director of the Life Education and
Resource Network
Rev. Sam Mosteller, Georgia State President, Southern Christian
Leadership Conference
Catherine Davis, Director of Minority Outreach, Georgia Right to Life
Rev. Stephen Broden, Senior Pastor, Fair Park Bible Fellowship,
Dallas, Texas
Day Gardner, Founder, National Black Prolife Union
Fr. Denis Wilde, Associate Director of Priests for Life
Fr. Peter West, Associate Director of Priests for Life
Fr. Scott William Daniels, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life
Jim Pinto, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life
Jerry Horn, Senior Advisor of Priests for Life
Darrian Summerville, Christian recording artist

Where – Kelly Ingram Park
5th Avenue N. at 16th Street
Birmingham, AL

When – April 27, 10:30 am

“My Uncle Martin had a dream that Protestants and Catholics and Gentiles and Jews would join together and sing the age old spiritual ‘Free at Last,’” stated Dr. Alveda King. “At Priests for Life, we will be singing and praying on the Pro-life Freedom Rides. We urge all people of good will to join us as we link the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th Century to the heart cry for life in the 21st Century.”

“This gathering of pro-life and civil rights leaders is a unique partnership,” said Father Frank Pavone. “By joining hearts and hands and voices in this way, we can help convince Americans once and for all that abortion is the ultimate violation of human rights.”

The rides have been endorsed by African-American and pro-life leaders across the country. Catherine Davis of Georgia Right to Life noted, “In 1857, the Supreme Court, in the Dred Scott case, labeled blacks as property, denying them citizenship. The United States said no to this notion and restored personhood to blacks with the 14th Amendment. In 1973 the Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade case again took personhood away from a class of people – the unborn. We are riding and calling on all Americans to again reject this notion by restoring the right to life to the unborn.”

The April 27 press conference will set the stage for the first Pro-life Freedom Ride, set for July 23-25. National and local pro-life leaders will gather in Birmingham for a major concert and rally – exact location and venue to be announced. A prayer vigil will take place outside an area abortion mill and then those traveling with the riders will get in the bus for the ride to Atlanta.

Join us as we begin this historic undertaking. Millions of babies are counting on us to ride for their lives.

For more information – www.prolifefreedomrides.com

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The Empty Tomb

Friday, April 16th, 2010

When Jesus rose from the dead, an angel descended from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it. This was not so that Jesus could get out, but so that his followers could see that the tomb was empty.

The angel’s actions also means that we will walk out of our graves. The stone sealed human beings in the grave. But after rolling it away, the angel sat on the stone, symbolizing that death is conquered and cannot any longer hold humanity captive to the grave. Our destiny is now the heights of heaven.

That’s what God thinks of human life, and that’s why we work to end abortion, euthanasia, and every other form of violence. Ultimately, abortion is a denial of Christ’s resurrection. But our Easter faith impels us to extend the victory of life.

–Fr. Frank

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The Great Earthquake

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Matthew’s gospel tells us that when Jesus rose from the dead, there was a great earthquake. In the Old Testament, earthquakes are a sign of the coming of God, the breaking in of the new age in which God’s kingdom will flourish.

That is what happens, of course, at the Resurrection. A new chapter of history now begins, in which the risen life of Christ is accepted by believers, who live this newness of life, reconciled and redeemed by the blood of the cross.
In this new chapter of history, humanity is reconciled with God, and human life is raised in Christ to the heights of glory. God’s victory over death continues to grow.

It is therefore an age in which we have more reason than ever to respect and protect human life.

–Fr. Frank

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Baptism: A Sacrament of Welcome

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

On Easter, many throughout the world are baptized into the Church, and those already baptized renew the vows of their baptism.

By baptism, we are immersed in the new life of Christ, and welcomed into the community of those who believe in the Catholic Faith. Thanks to baptism, God looks at us through the eyes of His Son, and says, ‘You are my child; you died on the cross, therefore you will rise from the dead.’

Baptism is a sacrament of welcome. God chooses us long before we choose, and all the chosen welcome each other. This is the exact opposite of the mindset of abortion, which ignores God’s choice, and says that we can choose not to welcome children into the community.
Let’s thank God for baptism, and for life!

–Fr. Frank

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Supreme Court Vacancy

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has announced his retirement. The opening of a Supreme Court seat will again open the ongoing debate in our nation over abortion. Like it or not, a nominee’s stand on this issue will take center stage in the confirmation process.

If you take a tour of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, you eventually reach a relatively small room in the basement. It is the old Supreme Court. Prior to getting its own building across the street, the Supreme Court used to be housed under the building in which our federal lawmakers represent us. They pass laws; judges don’t. Judges simply judge whether an existing law has been violated in a particular case, by particular parties.

Or at least that’s what they’re supposed to do. We live in an age of judicial activism, or as some have called it, judicial tyranny. Judges are striking down laws and writing new ones left and right, without precedent and without reason. The most damaging instance of this in our nation’s history was the Roe vs. Wade decision, unleashing the holocaust of abortion.

So, in short, the judge’s position on the issues shouldn’t matter. Judges aren’t politicians. There shouldn’t be a tug of war between factions trying to get people confirmed because they take “their position” on particular issues, or because they are “moderate” in their views. Commenting on the concept of “moderate judges,” Justice Antonin Scalia once said, “What in the world is a moderate interpretation of a constitutional text? Halfway between what it says and what we’d like it to say?”
All this is fair enough. People on both sides of major issues say they are not in favor of “litmus tests.”

But if a judge had written an opinion in a law review about why women should not have the right to vote, wouldn’t that single issue be enough to most people to disqualify him from being confirmed? Or what if a nominee were known to belong to the Ku Klux Klan? Wouldn’t that single fact be enough to disqualify him from consideration?

The fact is that we use litmus tests all the time. There are certain lines that most people agree should not be crossed.

Supreme Court Justices are not supposed to shape public policy, and their nomination and confirmation should be based on their qualifications, not their views on specific issues.

But there are certain issues so central to the very nature and purpose of government that one’s position on those issues is tantamount to a qualification for the job. The very purpose of government is the protection of human rights, starting with life. No court can legitimize an act of violence, or take away human rights. Anyone who fails to affirm that does not belong in any public office, much less the US Supreme Court.

The United States Senate will have the responsibility to vote for or against the President’s nominee. Let’s start now letting our Senators know where we stand. And please help us rally support on Facebook as well at this link: http://ow.ly/1xixP.

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Why Abortion Breaks All the Commandments: Part 2

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

James 2:10 states, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” In some way, then, abortion breaks all of the commandments. It violates love, which sums up the commandments. We continue in this and the following column to reflect on how each Commandment illumines and strengthens our pro-life commitment.

The Fourth Commandment is “Honor your father and mother.” The Lord worked through our parents to bring us into being; he asked for their collaboration, for their generosity, in bringing about a plan that he had decided on from all eternity – that we should exist to love and serve him. This commandment points to the dignity of human procreation. It also points to the profound privilege and responsibility that parents have in being open to life and in being ready to protect the lives that God entrusts to their care. Those who claim a right to abortion are violating the fourth commandment. No parent is the owner of his or her children. God alone owns and rules human life. And he entrusts to parents the awesome gift of welcoming that life with joy.

The Fifth Commandment states, “You shall not kill.” The literal translation of this commandment forbids murder. This is not about a prohibition on killing cattle for food or on killing bugs for our safety. Nor is it an absolute prohibition on repelling an aggressor. The commandment means that we do not have authority to murder the innocent. Babies are always in that category. The commandment against directly, deliberately killing a baby or any other innocent person is absolute.
From this commandment comes the prohibition on abortion, at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason whatsoever. The commandment is based on God’s absolute dominion over human life. He alone gives and takes the lives of human beings; he alone governs who comes into the world and who goes out, and when, and how.

The Sixth Commandment says, “You shall not commit adultery.” In keeping with the understanding that commandments are like chapter headings, and that there are many other actions included under each one of them, this commandment prohibits us from abusing the gift of human sexuality and marriage — and with good reason. These gifts are given to us for our good as a human family. When we use them as God intends, they serve life. But when we abuse them, they lead to death, not just spiritually, but physically. When we speak to our nation about the tens of millions of children ripped apart by abortion, let’s challenge them to realize that one of the ways we arrived at that holocaust is that we ripped apart the very meaning and purpose of human sexuality.

We will continue our reflections on the Commandments in the next column. Meanwhile, those who want to nourish their pro-life spirituality with reflections like this for every day of the year can obtain my book Pro-life Reflections for Every Day at priestsforlife.org/store.

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We, too, must run

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

On the morning of Jesus’ resurrection, there was a lot of running taking place. The women, having seen the empty tomb, ran back to the disciples. Peter and John, having heard the women’s story, ran toward the tomb. And in the end, of course, all the apostles ran into the world to announce this greatest news of history.

We, too, must run. The victory of life over death is definitive, and yet it is still unfolding. We fight the power of death as we defend human life, especially the unborn. It is time to run, to announce the Gospel of Life with vigor, and to intervene to save the unborn with urgency.

Fear paralyzes and slows people down, but confidence in the victory of the Risen Christ causes us to run and fulfill our mission.

–Fr. Frank

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Death Has Been Conquered!

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

When the women who had gone to anoint Jesus’ body on the first Easter morning returned to the apostles with the news that they had seen the risen Lord, the apostles refused to believe it. The story seemed like nonsense to them. That night, when Jesus appeared to them, he chided them for their stubborn refusal to believe.

The apostles clearly were not engaged in wishful thinking, or a desire to make up the resurrection story. If they were, then they would readily have used the women’s story as a starting point.
In reality, they came to believe because they saw and touched the risen Lord. This gives us confidence. Death has been conquered, and therefore we can fight the culture of death, knowing that the victory of life is more than wishful thinking.

–Fr. Frank

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Easter Season is a Celebration of Life

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

The Easter Season is a celebration of life, and a time to renew our confidence in the ultimate victory of the forces of life against the culture of death. Therefore, Priests for Life has composed a special Easter prayer for life that we invite you to say each day of this holy season. Just go to priestsforlife.org and download the Easter Prayer for Life. The prayer reminds us that the victory of Christ, the Author of Life, is the source from which we draw strength to fight evils like abortion.

So visit priestsforlife.org, print out the Easter prayer for life, and invite your family, pro-life group, school and parish to join us in praying it. Let us rejoice throughout this resurrection season that death can never have the last word in the human story.

–Fr. Frank

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