Archive for February, 2012

Come to Me, All Who are Weary

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Jesus said, ‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-burdened, and I will give you rest.’ The burden Jesus is talking about is not just that you have bills to pay, tasks to accomplish, relationships to maintain, or a busy schedule to keep.

He is speaking about the burden we feel when we see injustice all around us; the burden we experience when the rights of our brothers and sisters are trampled down and innocent blood is shed. He is speaking of the labor we engage in to correct these injustices and build a Culture of Life.

Blessed are those who mourn — who mourn over evils like abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.

Indeed, we shall all be comforted, for the Lord will bring justice to the earth.

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Priests for Life Associate Director is Arrested Outside White House

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father Denis Wilde, OSA, associate director of Priests for Life, was among six people arrested today during a peaceful protest outside the White House.

Father Wilde was representing Priests for Life at an organized protest of the HHS contraception mandate that violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. Priests for Life yesterday filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration that seeks to permanently block the implementation of the mandate because it imposes clear violations of conscience upon any American citizens who morally object to abortion and contraception.

Father Wilde and the other protesters, including the Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, were cited for “Failure to obey a lawful order” as they knelt in prayer in front of the White House. They each paid a $100 fine and were released from custody.

“Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying federal property for months, but when we kneel in prayer, the police are called in and we are arrested,” Father Wilde said. “We knew that was the risk when we gathered today, and we will do it again regardless of the risk. What people of faith – of every faith – need to do now is stand with us.”

Father Frank said the New York-based organization remains committed to battling the HHS mandate because it forces Americans to become morally entangled in practices they find objectionable.

“As an organization of Catholic clergy, as a corporation that employs 60 people of various religious backgrounds, and as a ministry whose very purpose is to protect and promote the pro-life teaching about the specific practices at issue in the HHS mandate, we are particularly well-positioned to fight against this intrusion of conscience,” Father Pavone said.

To see the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, on Wednesday, click here: priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate/priests-for-life-v-sebelius.pdf

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Let Us Speak Without Fear

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

In America, we enjoy the freedoms of the First Amendment — very broad freedoms that, among other things, give us the right to proclaim whatever message we want on the public streets and sidewalks in any city, town, or countryside from coast to coast.

This freedom is designed to enable us to protest injustices that are allowed by the government, and to communicate our message to our fellow citizens even without controlling the media of mass communication. We can hand out literature, say prayers, hold signs, and even bring a podium onto the public sidewalk and preach from morning to night.

Moreover, this speech is protected no matter how offensive it is. The fact that others get upset or angry does not take away our freedom to speak. Let’s do so without fear!

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Lawsuit Against ObamaCare and HHS Mandate Filed in Federal Court Today on Behalf of All U.S. Employers

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Washington, D.C. — Priests for Life today announced the formal filing of a lawsuit against the Obama Administration, seeking to permanently block the implementation of the HHS mandate that imposes clear violations of conscience upon any and all citizens who morally object to abortion and contraception.

One part of the lawsuit seeks injunctive relief from the “forced speech” aspect of the controversial Health and Human Services ruling. According to the HHS regulations, virtually all U.S. employers will not only be forced to pay for 100% of an employee’s prescription for abortion-causing drugs, but also be forced to instruct the employee on how to obtain these morally-objectionable prescriptions and get them for free.

“This falls under the forbidden rubric of ‘forced speech’—a corollary violation of every citizen’s right to free speech under the Constitution,” says lead attorney Charles LiMandri.

The Obama Administration has received significant backlash against the HHS ruling because it requires employers to pay for abortion-related and other morally objectionable services.

“No matter what religion someone professes, requiring them to instruct their employees how to obtain abortion-inducing drugs — whether this instruction is given by them or someone they hire —- is an outrage, not to mention an egregious violation of civil rights and constitutional protections. We will not allow the Obama Administration to get away with this,” says Fr. Frank.

The so-called “accommodation” offered by the Administration does not solve the moral or legal problems employers face, and against which Priests for Life is objecting. Moreover, these “accommodations” have not been translated into policy. At this point, they are simply a Presidential speech.

The Priests for Life lawsuit, the first to be launched subsequent to the announcement of the “accommodations,” addresses policy as it currently stands.

This new lawsuit seeks injunctive relief from the HHS rules – first on behalf of Priests for Life, and then extending universally since all organizations and companies will be affected by the tyrannical HHS decree. Priests for Life is particularly well placed to pursue this litigation because its primary purposes are to promote and protect life whereas the primary purposes of the abortion/contraception/sterilization mandate are to prevent and destroy life.

According to Father Frank, “It has been suggested by the Administration that some groups have an extension of a year before the mandate goes into effect, so they can adapt to it. We don’t need a year, we don’t need a moment, because the mandate is unjust. You don’t adapt to injustice; you oppose it. Hence we’re launching this lawsuit.”

Priests for Life has retained noted civil rights attorney Charles LiMandri of San Diego to represent them in their lawsuit against Obama. LiMandri achieved national distinction by saving the famous “Mt. Soledad Cross” – a historic war memorial that had been erected on public property many decades ago, which local atheists sought to have torn down. He has also fought for the rights of San Diego firefighters who were forced to participate in a vulgar “gay pride” parade against their will or else face termination. He was also the General Counsel for the National Organization for Marriage-California during the Proposition 8 Campaign to save traditional marriage.

LiMandri remarks, “This is the first time in history any administration has used brute force to compel someone to violate his conscience or moral convictions. It’s unheard of. It’s also antithetical to the core American principles of religious liberty and freedom from invasions of privacy. We intend to fight the ill-conceived HHS edict and challenge it on constitutional grounds. This case could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and we’ll be happy to take it there if need be. We will stand our ground, and we won’t back down.”

Priests for Life is the largest Catholic pro-life organization in the United States. It is a private association of the faithful and an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit educational corporation. Under the Obama Administration’s new HHS rules, it is treated like any other corporation and therefore must comply with these new conscience-violating mandates, decrees, and punitive measures.

Priests for Life applauds the members of Congress who have introduced legislation to address the HHS policy, and will also support the efforts of the Church, and many other groups, to pass such legislation.

Further details of the lawsuit will be forthcoming.

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National Prayer Novena in response to HHS Mandate

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Washington, DC — A national webcast on Wednesday night, February 15, will launch a national prayer campaign in response to the unjust mandate of President Obama’s HHS mandate, which violates the conscience and religious freedom of countless Americans.

The webcast and prayer effort have been organized by Priests for Life, the world’s largest Catholic pro-life ministry.

From 9 to 10 ET on Wednesday evening, people can join by phone or online to listen to experts like Congressman Chris Smith and Douglas Johnson, Federal Legislative Director for the National Right to Life Committee, explain exactly what the President has done and exactly what we can do to stop him.

Registration for the webcast is at priestsforlife.org/webcast/index.aspx.

Then, at the conclusion of the call, Father Frank will launch the prayer effort.

“We have composed a special novena prayer to be said from February 16 through the 24th, and it is available at PrayerCampaign.org,” Father Frank explained. “There will also be an additional prayer composed for each day, and posted on that prayer site. We urge individuals, families, schools, and Churches to join in this prayer effort and to let us know they are joining in by means of the form they will find at PrayerCampaign.org.

“This is a moment of profound significance, when we are defending the very principles for which martyrs died and our Founding Fathers established the nation. This is a moment of direct attack on our freedom of conscience and religion. Prayer is essential for us to know what to do, and to have the strength to do it,” Father Frank concluded.

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No Compromise: The Mandate Has to Go, Period.

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Many have asked me whether I think that the President’s announced “accommodation” regarding the HHS mandate for health insurance coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization is acceptable.

Absolutely not.

As many Catholics and non-Catholics point out, the principal problem is that the mandate is still in place. The President’s February 10 announcement changed none of that. What remains is that all employers — not just religious ones — have to provide health insurance for their employees, and all health insurance plans have to cover abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization.

It’s a fiction to say that the insurer, not the employer, is now the one offering this coverage. It is an illusion to think there is any moral difference introduced by the February 10 “accommodation” of the Administration.

As Peggy Noonan wrote, “The short-term White House strategy is to confuse and obfuscate, to spread a thick web of untruths about the decision and let opponents exhaust themselves trying to fight from under the web.”

Simply put, freedom of conscience — which belongs not just to religious people but to every American — demands that people should “retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions” (Respect for Rights of Conscience Act).

Apparently, more will be coming out from the Administration, during the year that it is giving to non-exempt religious groups to “adapt” to the mandate. But we don’t need a year, nor do we need a moment, to determine what we are going to do, or to “adapt” to the mandate. The mandate is unjust. You don’t adapt to injustice; you oppose it.

That’s why Priests for Life is launching a federal lawsuit against the Obama Administration to block the enforcement of this mandate on us, and to declare it unconstitutional.

That is also why we are garnering support for the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467).

This is why we are also helping to organize public rallies, protests, and acts of civil disobedience.

As an organization of Catholic clergy, as a corporation that employs 60 people of various religious backgrounds, and as a ministry whose very purpose is to protect and promote Church teaching about the specific practices at issue in this HHS mandate, we are particularly well-positioned to fight against this intrusion on the rights of conscience.

Moreover, we are convinced that the current mandate, if allowed to stand, paves the way for mandated coverage of abortion on demand, and we see no reason why those pushing for the mandate would not want that in the long run. If the HHS can add at any time to the list of “preventive services” for women, and argues that these services are cost-effective, how could they not argue for health insurance policies to cover abortion, as less expensive than childbirth?

As John Allen said, “There’s no room for compromise on this. The mandate has to go.”

Keep up with details at: PriestsForLife.org

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Priests for Life vs. HHS Lawsuit: Full Speed Ahead

Monday, February 13th, 2012

National Webcast and Prayer Effort Announced

New York, NY – Father Frank reiterated today that the lawsuit he announced last week against the HHS to block enforcement of the mandate requiring objectionable services to be included in health insurance is moving ahead at full speed.

“The so-called ‘accommodation’ announced on Friday by the President changes nothing,” Father Pavone explained. “The moral problem remains, the coercion remains, and therefore our legal challenge remains. We want the mandate rescinded, period.”

Priests for Life will release more information regarding its legal action this week. In the meantime, Priests for Life is organizing a national webcast for Wednesday night, Feb. 15, featuring Congressman Chris Smith as well as leaders of the National Right to Life Committee (David O’Steen, Ph.D., Executive Director, and Douglas Johnson, Federal Legislative Director) to discuss the Obama mandate and the action that can be taken. Charles LiMandri, the attorney for Priests for Life in regard to the federal lawsuit, will also be a presenter.

At the end of the webcast, Priests for Life will also launch a national novena of prayer, to last from Feb. 16 through the 24th. Churches and individuals are urged to participate, and more information will be available on the webcast. Sign up at priestsforlife.org/webcast.

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Update on the HHS Mandate Situation

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Well, the events of the last couple of days have been pretty hectic, with what we and many others have been doing in response to the Obama administration trying to force the payment of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization on those who object.

As you may have seen, we at Priests for Life have launched a federal lawsuit against the administration to block enforcement of this policy and have it declared unconstitutional.

Last night, I was with Sean Hannity, who invited a group of religious leaders to discuss this issue. We taped a special edition of Hannity which will air tonight (Feb 10) at 9pm ET. Tune in! One of the questions he asked us is whether we would be willing to go to jail rather than go along with this policy.

Then, the events of today, and the so-called “accommodation” by the Obama administration, have raised many questions.

But don’t be fooled. It isn’t a reversal and doesn’t solve the problem.

First of all, as Congressman Chris Smith points out, if an organization is paying a health insurer and then the insurer is paying for the abortion-inducing drugs, then we as an organization are still paying for them!

Secondly, religious freedom is not just for religious groups; it is for every American. This is not just a problem affecting Catholic or other religious entities. It affects everyone. Employers have consciences, even if their corporation isn’t a religious entity.

And health insurers have consciences, too. How does a requirement that they pay for abortion-inducing drugs respect their freedom of conscience?

We’re still going full speed ahead with our lawsuit. Stay tuned for more details, and please support our efforts with your prayers and donations!

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We Have Just Begun to Understand

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Psychiatrist and researcher Dr. Philip Ney relates the story of a patient of his who developed fibromyalgia, which causes chronic pain without any apparent cause. He found that she had undergone an abortion just before this pain began, and since then, has developed a theory that in some cases, the pain of fibromyalgia may in fact be caused by chemicals released by the aborted baby’s flesh when it is torn apart. These chemicals cross the placenta, and lodge in the mother’s nervous system. In reality, she is feeling not her own pain, but that of her aborted child.

We have not yet begun to understand all the implications of abortion, and of how destroying a child in the womb destroys the rest of us. Let’s pray that our society may forsake abortion and find healing.

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We Will Be Repaid at the Resurrection of the Just

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Jesus said, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. You should be happy that they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

This command to love and serve those who cannot repay us strengthens our resolve to love and serve the unborn children, who are in danger of being killed by abortion. They cannot know right now that we are helping them and speaking up for them. They cannot repay us. These are the ones we should love and serve above all.

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