Let us Pray for All Fathers

This weekend we observe Fathers’ Day. We thank God for faithful fathers who, like God himself, give and protect life.
Let’s also pray for fathers who are afraid to be fathers.
Thousands of times a day, children are aborted, not because of a choice of the mother, but because of the choice of a father, who fails to show the faithfulness and willingness to protect the child he has helped conceive.
At other times, fathers tried to stop the abortion. But the law excludes them from the final decision about the abortion.
Men do suffer grief after the abortion of their child. Healing programs are available for these fathers.
Let us pray today for all fathers. When their child is unexpected, may they welcome that child and encourage the child’s mother to say yes to life.

Guided by Humility

If we read the letters of St. Paul in the order in which they were written, we see that Paul displays an increasing awareness of his sinfulness as life goes on. “Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus,” he begins. Later he says, “Apostle and servant.” Yet later he declares himself “not worthy to be called an apostle”, and finally, he calls himself “the chief of sinners.” Contrary to what some of our critics say, we in the Church and in the pro-life movement are not self-righteous people who think we are better than everyone else and want to tell others how to live. Rather, we begin with repentance, realizing that we recognize the sins in the world only after we’ve recognized our own. That is the spirit in which we build a culture of life.

Pro-Life Freedom Rides

Pro-life Freedom Ride Campaign to Start in Birmingham
July 23

What: Pro-life Freedom Rides Launch (events and caravan)

Where: Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia

When: Friday, July 23 – Saturday, July 24

Who: Dr. Alveda King, Fr. Frank Pavone, the Priests for Life Pastoral Team, and African-American Leaders from across the nation

Contact for further information: 718-980-4400 or toll free 1-888-735-3448 or email: mail@priestsforlife.org


Friday, July 23

7pm-9pm: Rally (Assembly/Concert) at Birmingham Jefferson County Convention Complex (BJCC) Theatre, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North, Birmingham, AL 35203, 205.458.8400 / www.bjcc.org – (detailed information for the BJCC and Greater Birmingham)

Saturday, July 24

9am-11am: Prayer Vigil at Killing Center. Planned Parenthood: 1211 27th Place South, Birmingham, AL 35205

11:30am: Pro-life Freedom Ride Caravan departs Birmingham for Atlanta (An invited group of pro-life leaders with ride in the Freedom Ride bus. Interested pro-life activists and families are welcome to drive in their own vehicles in this pro-life caravan. We will drive (without stopping) the 2 and ½ hour drive to Atlanta. Vehicles may join up with or leave the caravan at any time as they need to.

4:00pm (ET) – Pro-life Service at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the:

King Center in Atlanta
450 Auburn Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30312
404 893-9882

Refreshments to follow.

We are All Vulnerable

This year is an election year, and too many people still think that religion and politics don’t mix. But with so many public servants failing to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public, religion is more important than ever to clarify what does and does not belong to the common good.

If a politician cannot respect the life of a little baby in the womb, how can he or she respect your life or mine?

The message of the pro-life movement is not that abortion is the only issue. Rather, the message is that if we fail to protect any segment of the human family, as we now fail to protect the unborn, we have taken away the basis for protecting everyone else. It’s time to vote pro-life.

The Foundation of All Other Rights

Some pastors do not speak about abortion because they are afraid of being single-issue people. As clergy, we necessarily address a multitude of issues, and should embrace a consistent ethic of life. Numerically, abortion is one issue; but it is one issue like the foundation of a house is one part of the house. There is a hierarchy of moral values, and as many Church documents state, the dignity of life is the fundamental one. The reason every other issue is an issue to begin with is that human beings have a right to life. We do not, therefore, address abortion because we are unconcerned about other issues, but precisely because we are concerned about them, and realize that we cannot make progress on them unless the foundation itself is secure.

Friday was the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

This Heart is the core of the pro-life movement, which is a movement of self-sacrificing love. Jesus’ Heart has a love first for the smallest and most vulnerable. Nothing can stop the love of the Heart of Jesus, which is the meaning of the flame we see in depictions of the Sacred Heart. This love is met by rejection and hatred, symbolized by the wound in the heart.

Pro-life activists experience the same thing. Our love for the unborn is met with misunderstanding, ridicule, shunning, and persecution of all kinds. Yet nothing can extinguish the flame. We continue to love those who cannot love us back, and cannot even know we love them. And that is a gift of the Sacred Heart.

Regardless of Convenience

Some pastors hesitate to address the abortion issue because they are afraid of controversy and opposition from their congregations. Yet this is precisely where we need to strengthen their hearts, and remind them of the words and example of St. Paul, who declared that the word must be preached in season and out of season, whether convenient or inconvenient. A pastor is appointed by God to proclaim His word; he is not appointed by the people to tickle their ears.

Moreover, on the abortion issue, most of the public is with us. This is increasingly true, as statistics show more and more people identifying themselves as pro-life. If people object to the pro-life message, they are the ones in the minority, and they should be told as much. It’s time to stand boldly for life.

Attention Pastors: Please Speak Out!

Why don’t more pastors speak out against abortion? Some of them actually do not know how to connect the issue with the Scripture readings. They know that the readings are supposed to be the basis of their homilies, but they do not find many references to the unborn child or to the killing of such children.

But the themes of pro-life are on every page of Scripture. Homilies are not simply Scripture lessons. Rather they apply the great Biblical themes to the day to day challenges that believers face as they live their lives.

So, for instance, the Bible is clear that only God has dominion over human life – he made it, he cares for it, he owns it. That is why no human being can own or kill or devalue.

–Fr. Frank

Pretend Not to Know or Admit Not to Care

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director
Priests for Life

I forget what movie it was, but I remember the scene. Two friends were arguing with each other and one was saying, “But you don’t get it, you don’t get it, you killed someone!” And the friend responded, “No, you don’t get it – I don’t care.”

Abortion advocates either deny that the baby is a baby, or they say they just don’t care that abortion kills that baby. More and more over the past decade have been taking the latter approach.

And in some ways, they have less and less choice in the matter. Not only has science indisputably confirmed fertilization as the starting point of each unique human life, but the law is catching up with the science.

A law was passed in South Dakota’s in 2005, and subsequently upheld in federal court, that actually requires the abortionist to tell the woman who comes for an abortion that the procedure destroys a “whole, separate, unique, living human being”. North Dakota has passed the same law. A couple of other states have also introduced such legislation.

This is a tremendous victory for the pro-life movement, and a wonderful triumph of truth over an industry based on the denial of truth. The truth about who unborn children are, after all, has come to light more in the time since the law deprived those children of protection than it did from the beginning of human history. It is only in recent decades that we have developed ultrasound and other visualization techniques, as well as fetal therapy and surgery, not to mention amazing advances in genetics.

While considering this law, the court concluded that evidence like this, presented by the state, “suggests that the biological sense in which the embryo or fetus is whole, separate, unique and living should be clear in context to a physician, and Planned Parenthood submitted no evidence to oppose that conclusion.”

One of the things that abortion advocates complained about through this process was that the state should not be allowed to force a doctor to convey an ideological message (like pro-life). But the Eighth Circuit court pointed out that there’s a difference between that and requiring the doctor to provide truthful and accurate information about the abortion. The fact that such information may lead the person to choose life over abortion does not, the Court said, make it unconstitutional to require doctors to provide such information.

So there you have it: abortionists being required to admit that the abortion destroys a “whole, separate, unique, living human being”. The law and the courts are awakening from an almost forty-year slumber induced by the assertion in Roe vs. Wade that “we need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.” Laws and court decisions like the ones coming out of South Dakota are declaring, “Yes we do need to resolve that question, and yes we already have resolved it.”

So abortion advocates must decide: will they pretend not to know, or will they admit that they just don’t care?

Why Pastors Do Not Preach About Abortion

Many ask why pastors do not preach more about abortion. One reason that some give is that they do not want to hurt the people in the congregation who have had abortions.

Now it is certainly true that there are people in the congregation who have had abortions, and it is also true that they have pain.

But if they are in pain from their abortion, and the pastor is silent about the topic, what are they to think? They could conclude that the pastor doesn’t know about their pain, or doesn’t care about it, or that though he knows and cares, there is no hope.

But none of these is true. He does know, he does care, and there is hope – and that is precisely why he needs to speak up.

–Fr. Frank