Archive for June, 2010

Hearts & Laws are Intertwined

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010





Some people say that the solution to the abortion problem is to change people’s hearts.

In fact, changing people’s hearts is the solution to every problem that the world faces.

But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have laws. The fact is that while there are people around whose hearts are not in the right place, there have to be laws to restrain their heartless activities. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, the law cannot get the white man to love me, but it can stop him from lynching me.

We also should not overlook the power that laws have to shape minds and hearts. When our children learn in school that something is legal, they are learning that such a thing is right.

Whether regarding abortion or anything else, both hearts and laws must be changed.

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Feast of Apostles Peter & Paul

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010





On June 29 the Church honors the apostles Peter and Paul. We pray that we will be faithful to the teaching and grace handed down from the apostles. At the heart of that faith “that comes to us from the apostles” is the teaching on the sanctity of life. The fact that God cares for human life is the basis of all He does for us; the fact that He has entrusted us to the care of each other is the basis for all we do for each other.

Peter and Paul had relied on the Lord to sustain them in many battles. That is true of the Church throughout the ages, yet “the gates of hell will not prevail.” These words apply well to the battles to defend a culture of life against a culture of death.

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Rachel’s Vineyard

Monday, June 28th, 2010





Rachel’s Vineyard is a retreat program for women and men who have lost a child by abortion. The retreat provides an opportunity to face the wounds of abortion in a safe, affirming environment of prayer and the support of others who have been through the same experience. Through the use of “Living Scriptures,” participants are invited to place themselves into the parables and other Scriptural events, and encounter Jesus who heals them.

These retreats, of course, are not meant to substitute for the individual, ongoing counseling that comprises the journey of post-abortion healing. But they are a stepping stone towards making those sessions even more fruitful.

Rachel’s Vineyard is the world’s largest ministry for healing after abortion, and is a ministry of Priests for Life. Find out more about it at priestsforlife.org.

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Pre-abortion Counseling Should Include Questions on Abuse and Coercion Say Post-Abortive Women

Friday, June 25th, 2010





Staten Island, NY – Leaders of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign (SNMAC), the world’s largest network of individuals harmed by abortion, said today that a new study on the link between women who suffer physical or sexual abuse and their later abortions does not go far enough in identifying how women seeking abortion should be counseled.

“A Planned Parenthood official who participated in this Iowa study admits that her organization has not been asking women about any abuse they’ve suffered,” said Janet Morana, co-founder of SNMAC. “That Planned Parenthood has been aborting women’s babies for four decades and is only now talking about maybe asking women if they’ve been abused shows that women’s lives are of no consequence to them.”

“Actually, asking women if they’ve suffered physical attacks by their babies’ fathers would be an innovation for Planned Parenthood,” added Georgette Forney, also a co-founder of SNMAC. “What the organization’s sales staff should really do, but which they will refuse to do, is ask women if they’ve been coerced by a boyfriend, husband, or parent to have the abortion. We know that feigning concern for women is one thing for Planned Parenthood, asking women questions that might cause them not to abort is quite another.”

Since the launching of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in 2003, 3,877 women and men have shared their testimonies publicly at over 572 gatherings in 48 states and ten countries where more than 110,830 attendees have heard the truth about abortion’s negative aftereffects. More than 9,027 people are registered to be Silent No More. Raising awareness about the hurtful aftermath of abortion and the help that is available to cope with the pain are two of the Campaign’s goals.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is a joint project of Anglicans for Life and Priests for Life. For more information, please visit our website:

www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org

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Independence Day Novena

Friday, June 25th, 2010





The celebration of our nation’s independence is an important moment to reflect on the blessings of God, the meaning of freedom, and the task to expand the blessings of freedom to our unborn brothers and sisters who are still enslaved by our nation’s abortion policies.

That’s why Priests for Life begins today a special novena of prayer for our nation, in preparation for Independence Day. You can download the prayer at priestsforlife.org.

The prayer reminds us that our Founding Fathers took inspiration from the Gospel in founding this nation, and that our task is to secure liberty and justice not just for some, but for all, including the unborn.

Please visit priestsforlife.org, download the Independence Day Novena, and invite your family, pro-life groups, schools and parishes to take part in it.

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Feast of St. John the Baptizer

Thursday, June 24th, 2010





Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptizer, who leaped for joy in the womb of Elizabeth because of the coming of Christ. John told the people to prepare for Jesus’ coming by repenting of their sins, and continued to preach that message of repentance to those in power, such as when he told King Herod that it was wrong for him to have his brother’s wife.

John is an example for us to speak the truth boldly. Being a prophet is not primarily about telling the future, but about telling the present – pointing out what God thinks of what is happening now and what He wants us to do about it.

As we honor John the Baptizer, then, let us resolve to boldly proclaim the right to life for all, including the unborn.

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NRLC Convention This Weekend!

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010





This week, the National Right to Life convention will be held in Pittsburgh. Hundreds of pro-life activists will gather from around the country to sharpen their skills in talking about abortion, lobbying for pro-life laws, electing pro-life candidates, and healing those wounded by abortion.

Just as important, these pro-life people will strengthen one another with their sharing of information, experience, and encouragement.

The National Right to Life Committee is one of the most respected and effective lobbying groups in the United States, as acknowledged by supporters of abortion as well as opponents. National Right to Life has also played an irreplaceable role in getting pro-life candidates elected to public office, and then keeping them pro-life once they get there.

For information on how to register for this conference, visit nrlc.org.

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Settled Law? Not so Fast…

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010





Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan reportedly “considers abortion rights to be settled law” (USA Today, May 21, p. 5A). And we can expect during her confirmation process to hear a number of Senators echo that assertion. Yet America’s courts and legislatures have a proud history of changing “settled law.”

America has, on various occasions, recovered the recognition of the equal dignity of those who were deprived of their rights and suffered violence which was given legal cover under a different name. This legal cover was often mistakenly recognized by the Supreme Court for a while, but then such decisions were overturned.

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1856) is the most commonly cited instance. The slaveholder’s right to property eclipsed and subsumed the slave’s right to freedom. But the Constitution was eventually amended to correct the error.

Decisions like Lochner v. New York (1905) show us another error: employers’ right to contract eclipsed and subsumed the workers’ rights to humane conditions and hours. These abuses were corrected by subsequent Supreme Court decisions like Muller v. Oregon and Bunting v. Oregon.

The “Separate but equal” doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) sanctioning segregation was overturned by Brown v. Board of Education some 58 years later.

Erroneous decisions like Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918) institutionalized child labor. But this was overturned 23 years later by United States v. Darby. A new development — a “pedagogical moment” — occurred here in Constitutional law. The question was whether constitutional rights applied to children too. The answer was yes.

Many reversals of Supreme Court cases came about when new evidence was brought forward that made it clear that someone’s rights, not previously recognized, were being violated. Thus, Louis Brandeis brought forward the facts about how workers were being harmed.

We are now witnessing the same trend regarding the children in the womb. Evidence that has been around for quite some time demonstrating their humanity is finding its way into legislatures and courts. One of the most striking instances comes out of South Dakota.

Federal courts have upheld South Dakota’s law requiring that abortion providers tell women that the procedure destroys a “whole, separate, unique, living human being.” This came about because of the evidence presented to the court regarding the humanity of the unborn child.

With hundreds of embryological sciences, and massive evidence of the harm abortion does to women, such evidence, combined with new legal concepts, can challenge Roe vs. Wade in the same way its erroneous ancestral decisions were challenged.

The day after Roe vs. Wade was decided, the New York Times headline read, “Supreme Court Settles Abortion.” Yet it has remained the most unsettled issue on our national landscape.

The facts above should shape the way that senators, Supreme Court nominees, and all the rest of us speak about Roe vs. Wade and the so-called “right” to choose an abortion. History should shape our language, and should strengthen our hope that abortion policy can change again just as radically as it did in 1973.

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A Cornerstone Concept

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010





In the Gospel of St. Matthew, we see how the life and teachings of Christ are the fulfillment of everything that the Old Testament taught. Indeed, it is not just the New Testament that is about Christ; all the Scriptures are about Him and His saving work.

This also means that all the Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, teach us about the sacredness of human life. We do not have to look only at the specific passages that speak about the unborn child. Rather, the great Biblical themes of the dominion of God over human life, the care God has for the needy, and the fact that we are our brother’s keeper, are present throughout the Bible. These are the themes that challenge us to be a culture of life.

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Redemption Comes with Responsibility

Monday, June 21st, 2010





“I have heard the cry of my people who are being oppressed…Therefore I have come down to rescue them.” So God speaks to Moses when he calls him to lead God’s people to freedom. The Exodus from Egypt, as well as the Paschal Mystery – that is, the central events of the Old and New Testaments — are both about God rescuing his people who are being oppressed. Our forefathers were oppressed as slaves in Egypt and rescued through the waters of the Red Sea. We are oppressed by sin and death, and are rescued through the waters of baptism. Yet the rescued must also rescue. The saved must also save. We cannot turn to God for mercy and be deaf to the cries of others for mercy. That’s why we save the unborn from abortion.

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