Archive for March, 2011

Baby Joseph’s Condition

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today after Baby Joseph Maraachli’s successful surgery at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.

“Yesterday was a big day for Baby Joseph and his family, as the baby received a tracheotomy. Ordinary medical treatments are those which provide a reasonable hope of benefit without an excessive burden. Baby Joseph received yesterday a wonderful benefit, through the love of his parents and the professional care of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.

“We at Priests for Life continue to challenge those in our society – whether medical professionals, government officials, or anyone else – to stop putting a price tag on human life. The idea that some lives are not worth living belongs to a past age of worn-out philosophies leading to massive holocausts which deserve to be bad memories on the ash heap of history, not threatening clouds on its horizon,” Fr. Pavone concluded.

Click here for a statement from the Medical Center.

Click here for photos of Baby Joseph after surgery.

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Novena in Memory of Terri Schiavo

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Tomorrow, Priests for Life will launch a prayer novena in remembrance of Terri Schiavo, the brain-injured woman who was killed in Florida in 2005 by being deprived of all food and water. We invite you to join this novena by going to priestsforlife.org and downloading the special prayer we have prepared. The prayer reminds us that life is always a good, even when beset by disability, and that it is precisely in its vulnerability that life shows forth the glory of God. The novena concludes on March 31st, the date of Terri’s death, and a day that has been designated as the International Day of Remembrance of Terri Schiavo and all the Vulnerable. Please join our novena, at priestsforlife.org, and invite your parish, school, pro-life group and family to take part in it.

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Pro-life leader Blasts Continued Funding of Planned Parenthood

Friday, March 18th, 2011

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, responded to Sen. Harry Reid’s insistence that any agreement on funding the government will include funding of Planned Parenthood.

“If that’s the case,” Father Pavone said, “then shut it down. When a government funds massive child-killing, it has betrayed its very purpose anyway. Maybe a shutdown will give our government officials a chance to reflect on what government should be doing in the first place – serving life, not helping to destroy it.

“Priests for Life will make sure that churches across America receive the voting records of the members of Congress on any votes that affect the funding of Planned Parenthood, and inform their congregations in next year’s election cycle. We need public servants who can tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public,” Father Pavone concluded.

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Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Joseph

Friday, March 18th, 2011

On March 19th, the Church celebrates the Feast of Her patron, St. Joseph. Though not the biological father of Jesus, Who was born of a virgin, Joseph was His protector and the faithful husband of Mary. Joseph is a model for all fathers today. Essential to fatherhood is the protection of one’s children. One of the main reasons for abortion is that the mother does not experience the supportive, faithful encouragement of the baby’s father. Often, the only “choice” in the matter is the abortion that the father forces on the mother. 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. Contact priestsforlife.org for more information.

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Who is Baby Joseph and Why Should I Care?

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The world has taken notice of a 14-month old baby from Canada whose family has been fighting the medical establishment since October to help their child breathe. Moe and Sana Maraachli were refused a tracheotomy for their son because the apparently fatal neurological disease that the child has renders further intervention “futile.”

Working with many others, we at Priests for Life arranged to have the baby transferred to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St Louis, and I went on the medical jet to pick up the baby and his father on Sunday night March 13. Now, the child has another chance at getting better care, and the family another chance at maximizing the time they can spend with their child.

A lot of media has accompanied the event. One reporter who was not too interested in covering the story asked, “Who the hell is Baby Joseph and why should I care?”

The short answer is, Baby Joseph is all of us.

After all, the problem underlying this case is not simply one particular hospital or the Canadian medical system. The problem is a philosophy of life that says that how valuable you are depends on how well you function. The problem is a philosophy of medicine that says that if someone is going to die anyway, there’s no benefit in prolonging life. The problem is a philosophy of suffering that says we can actually determine what somebody else’s level of happiness is, and measure their misery, and that if they don’t have the good sense to eliminate it, we can step in and do so against their wishes.

If we don’t think that we and our loved ones will be affected by this philosophy when it comes to our own medical challenges and decisions, we should think again. It’s happening every day, often with subtle or not so subtle pressure from medical professionals, who, instead of rendering medical judgments, render value judgments. Doctors are not supposed to judge for us the “meaning” or “value” of extending the life of a loved one, or our own life. Rather, they are supposed to judge for us whether a particular treatment or intervention will have certain effects on a loved one or on us. They need to leave it to us, in consultation with our family and clergy, to determine what meaning or value we find in the situation.

This is what the parents of Baby Joseph, together with Priests for Life and many others, are trying to say. Baby Joseph’s parents, who want to care for him no matter how long or short his life may be, were told that this life wasn’t worth extending. It’s time to draw a line in the sand and tell the medical profession that this is not their role. “Life not worth living” belongs to a philosophy that led to one of the world’s greatest holocausts, which ended with the declaration “Never Again.”

Our efforts on behalf of Baby Joseph can actually be summarized by those two words.

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America Won’t Reject Abortion Until It Sees Abortion

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

As I always say, America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion. One of those leaders who also believed this was Dr. Bernard Nathanson. Among the things he will be remembered for are the stirring videos entitled “Silent Scream” and “Eclipse of Reason.” These videos show what an abortion is, how it is performed, and exactly what happens to the baby. They have awakened and converted many people. Dr. Nathanson was a person who followed the truth wherever it led: first to a pro-life position, then to belief in God, and finally to embracing the Catholic Faith. Let’s honor his life by utilizing the powerful tools he left us to show others what abortion is, and help them reject it. To find information on how to get these tools, go to priestsforlife.org.

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The Church Must Remain Vigilant

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

One of the many lessons from the life of former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who died in February, is the key role of the Church in ending abortion. He said that he and his colleagues who started the abortion rights movement would never have gotten away with what they did if the clergy had been united, purposeful, and strong. He said that he stole the abortion issue from the Church and caught the Church asleep. That’s why, once he became a pro-life advocate, he gave such great support to the ministry of Priests for Life, which he called the Paul Revere in the pro-life movement. He wanted to make sure that the Church was not asleep again about the bioethical challenges of our day. So let us be awake, informed, and vigilant.

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Fr. Pavone Salutes Kalitta MedFlight, “Heroes” in the Flight of Baby Joseph to St. Louis

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Staten Island, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today praised Kalitta MedFlight of Ypsilanti, Michigan, for its key role in flying Baby Joseph Maraachli from a Toronto hospital to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis.

“The flight of Baby Joseph to St. Louis for medical treatment was carried out by Kalitta MedFlight,” said Fr. Pavone. “Kalitta MedFlight came to us when they heard about Baby Joseph, and offered to help. We worked with them on the details, and were ready to pay for all the expenses. Then, on top of their courteous and professional service, they also told us that they would not charge for their services, which included not only a fully equipped Learjet, but also a Critical Care Pediatric Transport Team to ensure Baby Joseph’s safe transfer.”

Doug Kalitta, owner and operator of Kalitta MedFlight, generously donated a Learjet fully equipped with a Critical Care Pediatric Transport Team to help facilitate the safe transport of Baby Joseph to St. Louis, MO. Kalitta MedFlight is based at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, MI.

“There are many people to thank in this collaborative effort, but Kalitta MedFlight stepped up early on with its generous offer of highest quality transport care,” added Fr. Pavone. “The people at Kalitta MedFlight are heroes in this story.”

Baby Joseph Maraachli is the now-famous one-year-old who was refused a tracheotomy by a hospital near his Canadian home. He was flown in a specially equipped plane Sunday night to St. Louis where doctors will assess and treat him.

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Remembering Terri Schiavo

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

The Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network, in collaboration with Priests for Life, has established the “International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters,” which is observed each year on March 31, the anniversary of her death.

We invite individual believers to spend time on that day learning about Terri, and praying for all whose lives are threatened in the same way that hers was.

We invite Churches to hold memorial services and to educate their people on the dignity of every human life, despite any disability or disease with which that life may be afflicted. We invite all people to help us continue to draw good out of the sad and tragic way in which Terri was treated. For information and resources, visit www.priestsforlife.org

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Visit Baby Joseph Central at www.PriestsforLife.org

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Priests for Life home page has become Baby Joseph Central.

Those who are following the incredible journey of this little boy from Canada can find out all the latest information by visiting www.priestsforlife.org.

The plight of the child whose continued care was declared futile by his doctors in London, Ontario, has captured the hearts of Americans and attracted the attention of the media on both sides of the border. The Priests for Life home page has become an aggregator for news about Baby Joseph, who arrived at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, MO, late Sunday night.

The boy’s father, Moe Maraachli, has described his son’s journey as a miracle — but prayers are still needed.

Pray for Baby Joseph and his family.

Pray for the physicians at Cardinal Glennon.

Pray that Baby Joseph’s story will touch the hearts of millions so that the Culture of Life can prevail over those who argue that a person whose life is deemed inconvenient has no right to life.

Pray as if our lives depend on it: They do.

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