Memorial Day

Today we observe Memorial Day, a time to remember the U.S. men and women who lost their lives serving their country. “Greater love than this no one has,” the Lord Jesus said, “than to lay down his life for his friends.” Those we honor today laid down their lives for us, that we may enjoy the freedom we have in this country.

That freedom is based on the recognition of the dignity of life and the dominion of God. The practice of abortion denies both. Abortion, in fact, is contrary to everything for which America stands and upon which she was founded.

Let us honor those who died for our country, and let us build on what they left us as we strive for a Culture of Life.

Why Abortion Breaks All the Commandments: Part 3

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

God does not simply give us “rules and regulations.” He gives us himself. All his teachings and commandments reflect who he is, and for the same reason, they all hold together in an organic unity – like the body itself – and every commandment in some way includes every other commandment. In this column, we conclude our reflections on how abortion violates every commandment, and how the commandments strengthen us to be pro-life.

The Seventh Commandment declares, “You shall not steal.” Whenever we violate the right to life, we steal. We rob the person of what is his – the recognition of his rights, the protection of his life.
Actions like abortion also rob God himself of what is his. Once when I was praying at an abortion facility with a group of people, and one man had his toes over the property line, a clinic worker shouted, “Get your feet off our property.” I responded, “And when are you going to get your hands off God’s property?”
God alone has dominion over human life. When an abortionist reaches into the sacred space of the womb to rip the child apart, he is stealing from the Almighty, and is also robbing society of the respect it owes to life.

The Eighth Commandment declares, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Everyone has a right to his good name and reputation, and this commandment forbids us to lie about what someone has or hasn’t done, or about who someone is.
The culture of death violates this commandment in a profound way. By allowing court decisions like Roe vs. Wade that says, “the word person…does not include the unborn,” society bears false witness against the unborn. It is a lie.
Abortionists go even further and call our unborn brothers and sisters names like “parasites,” or “products of conception” or “medical waste.” They bear false witness.
And anyone who says an abortion is justified is bearing false witness by denying that the child has the right to be protected from the abortionists’ knife.

The Ninth and Tenth Commandments forbid us to covet what belongs to our neighbor, whether it be his spouse or his possessions. This commandment, in other words, requires us to limit our desires by respecting the boundaries between what is ours and what isn’t.
That is a sacred boundary that is completely shattered by abortion. The boundary between what is the mother’s and what is the child’s completely disappears. Some, for instance, will justify abortion because the mother has to get on with her life. But so does the child.
Some will justify it because the mother has freedom not to be burdened. But so does the child. And in denying that the child has the same freedom she claims to have, she destroys the meaning and foundation of her own.

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

A Church They Already Despise

The attacks against the Catholic Church and the Holy Father, against bishops and priests regarding the sexual abuse scandals hold an important lesson, beyond the obvious need to protect children, prevent abuse, and heal the wounded. It’s a lesson even beyond recognizing that some use these sad instances in a less than sincere way to attack a Church they already despise, no matter what it does.

The lesson of which I speak is that believers and unbelievers alike expect the Church to protect children and to respect human life, and that if representatives of the Church fail to do so, the state should step in.

That’s interesting, because when the same Church calls the same state to protect children who are in the womb, some of the same people complain that the Church is out of line.

–Fr. Frank

Working Through Life’s Unavoidable Problems

Recently, when I was working through one of life’s unavoidable problems, a friend offered me encouragement by saying, “I know this must be a difficult time for you.” Here was my response. “Thank you for your support and for being a friend. But let me share my perspective with you. No passing problem or sorrow can be as bad as the difficulty I live with every single day, namely, that thousands of my brothers and sisters are being slaughtered in their mothers’ womb by abortion. The world by and large is oblivious to it, the law protects the violence rather than the babies, and we’re afraid to do what it takes to stop it. That’s what makes for difficult times. There’s a strange but real consolation in looking evil in the face and fighting it.”

–Fr. Frank

In the Holy Spirit we have the power to love

The letter to the Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ made the sacrifice of Himself upon the cross “through the eternal spirit”. This makes sense, because the Holy Spirit is the bond of love between the Father and the Son, a love that is then poured out on us.

It is in the Holy Spirit that we too have the power to love, which consists in giving ourselves away for the good of the other. “There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”. Such is to be our response to the unborn. We sacrifice our time, efforts, possessions, positions, and reputations, in order to save their lives.

By filling us with this love, Holy Spirit unites the human family, whereas abortion divides it.

Come Spirit of Truth

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. His gifts enable us to understand created realities, their value, and their relationship to the Creator and to our happiness. We should ask the Holy Spirit to give us an understanding of the value of the human person. The Spirit enables us to cry out, “Abba! Father!” “The Spirit himself gives witness with our spirit that we are children of God”. Abortion, on the other hand, sees the human person as a disposable object.

The Spirit of Truth likewise shows us the truth about our sins. In Him we come to understand the difference between good and evil. This works directly against the dynamics of the abortion movement, which identifies a moral evil as a “right.” “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.”

–Fr. Frank

Pentecost Sunday

This Sunday the Church celebrates Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit filled the apostles and made them bold witnesses to the Risen Christ. That same Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, and the Advocate, fills each of us today. He makes us advocates for the very lives he has created, and gives us courage to fight the evil of abortion.

This Pentecost is also National Voter Registration Sunday, on which many Churches will give parishioners an opportunity to fill out a voter registration form so that, in response to the mission the Holy Spirit gives us to renew the face of the earth, we may exercise the right and duty to vote for pro-life candidates in this year’s elections.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful, and through us restore a Culture of Life.

–Fr. Frank

In the Beginning….

The creation account in Genesis 1 tells us that “a mighty wind,” the “breath” or “spirit” of God hovered over the waters and brought life and light out of chaos and darkness. The Holy Spirit is proclaimed in the Creed to be “the Lord and Giver of Life,” and this is true both on a natural and supernatural level. On the first Easter night, Jesus breathes His Spirit upon the apostles, that they too might bring new life out of the chaos and darkness of sin. A second Creation account is taking place here. God indeed “has sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins” To worship the Holy Spirit, then, demands that we stand against all that destroys life, and that we bring repentance to those who have done so.

–Fr. Frank