Archive for January, 2012

Reflecting on Catholic Schools Week

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Catholic schools, of every educational level, face many challenges to maintain their Catholic identity. Ironically, sometimes those challenges come from the members of their own faculty. Sometimes these individuals simply do not believe what the Church teaches or refuse to accept the demands of the moral law.

There’s an old saying, “Nobody can give what he does not have.” Catholic schools exist to impart the Catholic faith and to form strong disciples of Christ. If a faculty member objects to some particular demand of the faith, it makes no sense for them to be in a position in which they are expected to pass it on to our children. For the good of the Church and of the students, they should find another job. Let us pray for strong Catholic schools and faculties.

Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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The Purpose of Primaries

Monday, January 30th, 2012

One of the great things about our American system is that voters not only select which candidates get elected to public office, but also which of those who want to be candidates actually end up on the ballot. In other words, we get to create the choices we will have on Election Day.

That’s what primaries are all about. Primaries are elections which take place before the general Election Day. The dates of primaries differ in each state. When you vote in a primary, you have a wider range of choices, and are therefore more likely to find a candidate with whom you agree on more issues.

For those in Florida, be sure to vote in tomorrow’s primary if you are eligible. This is your chance to choose the person you want to be the Presidential candidate. And for those in Oregon’s 1st Congressional District, you also have an important runoff election tomorrow. Find more details about these and other election–related events at politicalresponsibility.com/presidential-election-process.htm.

Let’s not just settle for the choices we’re given on Election Day. Let’s help create those choices in the primaries! Find out more at politicalresponsibility.com.

Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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Leaders Here and Now

Friday, January 27th, 2012

I often point out that our youth are not simply the “future leaders” of the pro-life movement. They are leaders here and now, in more ways than one. Often I am asked to speak about the role of youth in the pro-life movement, and to encourage parishes and pro-life organizations to focus more on recruiting youth for this cause. In fact, this is not a difficult task. Youth understand the pro-life message better than many adults, and the most common response they give to the question, “Why are you involved in trying to stop abortion?” is “Because it could have been me.” They are aware that they were not protected in the womb, and could have been killed. They are survivors and they know it. May our young people be strong in protecting the youngest.

Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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The March

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Last weekend was extremely powerful. I am always more energized than exhausted after spending the day greeting the participants in the West Coast Walk for Life, which took place on Saturday, January 21, and then taking the redeye flight to Washington DC to spend all of Sunday and Monday greeting the people taking part in the national March for Life.

So many of you were there and were able to tell me of your daily prayers for me and of the concern you have for me. You were encouraged by seeing that I am in great health and great spirits.

But more important even than that is being in great focus. So many people over recent months, and in the March for Life days, have said things to me like, “I know this has been a painful and difficult time, for you to be asked to stay for a while in Amarillo. I know this is a burden for you and it must be frustrating, but we are with you and it will work out.”

This is always a consolation, knowing that whatever difficulties we have, we are not alone, and as I said to thousands of people, I really appreciate the support and prayers. Keep them coming!

But what I want my friends and foes alike to understand is that my greatest burden is not the events of the last few months, nor the limitations on my travel, nor the false things said about me in the media. There is one single thing that gives me more pain than anything, and that is the ongoing slaughter of my brothers and sisters by abortion.

So many of you share that pain, and carry that burden. Day by day in our country, thousands of children are ripped apart, dismembered, decapitated, killed, and thrown in the garbage. The law permits it, the courts justify it, and so many are silent about it.

That’s what’s painful. That’s what keeps me up at night. That’s what makes my heart break. It’s abortion, not a decision by Church authorities.

And isn’t that what I’ve been saying all along, from the first day when, at the 1976 March for Life, as a high school senior, I decided to get involved in the pro-life movement? Isn’t that the same thing I’ve been saying from the first day Cardinal O’Connor authorized me to lead Priests for Life and Bishop Yanta received my promises to spend the rest of my life defending the lives of the unborn? Isn’t this what the Church means by saying that no right is more fundamental than life, and that abortion deserves urgent attention and priority? Isn’t this what the depths of the human heart and conscience say when, faced with the gruesome reality of abortion, they cry out in pain and demand that the killing stop and that justice prevail?

My friends, the alarm of conscience is sounding. If something is going to bother us, let it be abortion, and let our every action be focused on stopping it.

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Obama Tampering with Conscience

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

In March of 2010, I had the opportunity to preach to members of Congress and their staff who were gathered at the worship service held inside the Capitol just prior to the vote on Obamacare. In that sermon, I told them that Christianity transforms politics and government, because every human being in Christ has access to God as His son or daughter. Therefore the voice of the people matters, representative government makes sense, and power becomes service, authority becomes a duty to protect human rights.

It’s a message President Obama and his Department of Health and Human Services still don’t get. As the National Catholic Reporter recently reported:

“The Obama administration has turned down repeated requests from Catholic bishops, hospitals, schools and charitable organizations to revise its religious exemption to the requirement that all health plans cover contraceptives and sterilization free of charge.

“…Under the plan, after Aug. 1 of this year, new or significantly altered health plans will be required to provide all FDA-approved contraceptives, including some that can cause abortions, without co-pays or deductibles as part of preventive health care for women.”

Some 200,000 comments were received from the general public regarding this. Rather than making any accommodation to those who object, the Administration arrogantly announced “that nonprofit groups that do not provide contraceptive coverage because of their religious beliefs will get an additional year ‘to adapt to this new rule.’”

An additional year to do what?

No, we don’t need an additional year nor an additional moment to adapt, study, consider, weigh, balance, or decide whether we are going to pay for the killing of human beings. The answer is no. Keep your year, and give us back our freedom of conscience!

The day before the Administration made this announcement, the Pope addressed a group of American bishops who were making their regular, obligatory visit to update the Pope. He mentioned the “worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.” That’s what the President and his team are doing. Go ahead, worship in whatever Church you want, he tells us, but if you run a hospital or other entity, you have to do it our way.

The US bishops have written in Living the Gospel of Life that Roe vs. Wade poisons our entire society. This latest inflexibility in the face of conscience is a good example of that. It is, after all, about abortion. Its fanatical advocates will stop at nothing to expand it, including throwing religious freedom and the Church itself out the window.

What this also tells us is that elections matter. It would be wise for the Church, in tackling this problem, to plan what we are going to do regarding the elections, rather than spending all our energy trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube after it’s been scattered all over the room. Let’s elect more public servants who know the difference between serving the public and killing the public.

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Join the Silent No More Awareness Campaign outside NARAL dinner

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – All pro-lifers are urged to join the Northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland chapters of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign this evening, Thursday, Jan. 26, outside the ballroom where NARAL will host its annual celebration of abortion.

Supporters of life will gather at 5:30 p.m. outside the Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW, according to Nancy Tanner, Northern Virginia regional coordinator for Silent No More. They will remain in place until 7 p.m. and then will leave to have dinner and fellowship at a nearby restaurant. The Silent No More women and men and their supporters will return to the Hilton by 8:30 p.m. and will remain there until the NARAL event has concluded.

“It’s been pretty effective every year that we do this,” said Ms. Tanner. This is the seventh consecutive year she has organized the peaceful presence.

“We feel it’s important to have a presence when they’re celebrating, to show that there’s another side to this,” she said. “Many of us are hurt by abortion and regret that decision.”

Ms. Tanner will have signs on hand that say “I Regret My Abortion” or “I Regret My Lost Fatherhood,” as well as some that say “Women Do Regret Abortion” and “Men Regret Lost Fatherhood.”

At Monday’s March for Life, more than 50 women and men from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign shared their abortion testimonies in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. As they lined the streets with their signs awaiting their turn to speak, many were approached by marchers who thanked them for their courage, or whispered to them of their own regret.

“The pro-aborts in this country, like NARAL, say abortion is a good choice for women, but the women who have actually made that choice know better,” said Father Pavone, Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.

“One woman from Mississippi who shared her testimony said she wished she wasn’t standing on a cold, rainy street in Washington holding her sign. She wished she was home, with the 13-year-old she aborted,” Father Pavone said. “All the men and women of Silent No More feel that way.”

To contact Ms. Tanner, send an email to northernvirginia@silentnomoreawareness.org

Since the launch of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in 2003, 4,845 women and men have shared their testimonies publicly at over 865 gatherings in 48 states and 10 countries where more than 110,830 attendees have heard the truth about abortion’s negative aftereffects. More than 10,100 people representing 57 countries 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 Campaign has over 1,300 testimonies posted here, with over 120 that are shared via video!

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: SilentNoMoreAwareness.org

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Every Person Has a Name

Friday, January 20th, 2012

A pregnant mother is often asked if she has “picked out a name yet.” In the Culture of Life, every person has a name. Delaying the practice of naming until birth only reinforces the idea that we don’t have a person there until birth. A name should be chosen and used as soon as one discovers she is pregnant. Until the child’s gender is known, two names can be chosen — one for a boy and one for a girl. The key is the timing of the decision. The names should be chosen as soon as the pregnancy is discovered, or even before that. As soon as the gender is known, one of the two becomes definitive. Every person has a name, and that includes the unborn.

Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Every year, from January 18th to the 25th, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is observed by many denominations.

All Christians, by definition, acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior of the world. That affirmation of Christ requires that we work to fight injustice. In his encyclical letter on Christian Unity, issued in 1995, Pope John Paul II wrote, “Many Christians from all communities, by reason of their faith, are jointly involved in bold projects aimed at changing the world by inculcating respect for the rights and needs of everyone, especially the poor, the lowly, and the defenseless…Christians who once acted independently are now engaged together in the service of this cause, so that God’s mercy may triumph”.

The pro-life movement continues to be the arena where these efforts are most visible and valuable.

Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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Steven Tyler’s ex-fiancé to talk about her abortion at March for Life

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Julia Holcomb was forced to reveal a secret she had been keeping for 35 years after her son came across one of the unflattering — and untrue – statements that Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler had written about her, their relationship, and their abortion.

“I had to become Silent No More right in my own home, I had no choice” said Ms. Holcomb, whose life hit a low point in 1975, when she nearly died in an apartment fire and was then convinced to abort her baby at five months.

Now Ms. Holcomb is a spokeswoman for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign by choice.

On Monday, Jan., 23, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, she will publicly share the story of her abortion and how it was the catalyst that prompted her to turn her life around. She is a married mother of six sons, a devout Roman Catholic and a pro-life activist.

Ms. Holcomb will join dozens of other women and men from the campaign who will tell their stories at the annual event that immediately follows the March for Life. She was convinced to go public with her story after reading a piece written by Kevin Burke, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, about the abortion regret that Tyler – who last night began his second season as an “American Idol” judge — has expressed in two books.

“In spite of everything, I do not hate Steven Tyler, nor am I personally bitter,” Ms. Holcomb said. “I pray for his sincere conversion of heart and hope he can find God’s grace, as I have.”

Ms. Holcomb also will speak at a March for Life Youth Rally, to take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, in the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave NW.

For a video interview with Ms. Holcomb, click here: silentnomoreawareness.org/video/index.aspx?cid=7,9267

To arrange an interview with her, call Leslie Palma at 347-286-7277 or send an email to: media@priestsforlife.org.

Since the launch of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in 2003, 4,845 women and men have shared their testimonies publicly at over 865 gatherings in 48 states and 10 countries where more than 110,830 attendees have heard the truth about abortion’s negative aftereffects. More than 10,100 people representing 57 countries 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 Campaign has over 1,300 testimonies posted here, with over 120 that are shared via video!

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: SilentNoMoreAwareness.org

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Let’s Encourage Societal Change Through Testimony

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

During these days many women who have had abortions are preparing to share their stories publicly at gatherings across America in observance of the anniversary of the legalization of abortion by Roe vs. Wade. They will share how their own despair deceived them into thinking abortion was the only option. They will speak about the pain and the fear, and the depths of darkness into which this so-called choice immersed them. They will speak of how abortion led to suicide attempts, drug abuse, divorce, and rebellious behavior. They will tell how it ripped families apart. Men will also share the suffering they experienced after abortion, and they will all share how Christ healed them. Let’s fight abortion by reading and spreading their testimonies to others. See priestsforlife.org.

Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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