Staten Island, NY — Father Frank applauded the additional 12 lawsuits filed around the country today in protest of the Health and Human Services mandate forcing employers to provide coverage for activities they find objectionable.
The lawsuits represent 43 plaintiffs, including the Archdioceses of New York, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis, the Michigan Catholic Conference, and several dioceses.
“These new actions mean there are now 23 lawsuits filed against this assault on religious freedom,’ said Father Pavone, whose organization was the fourth to file suit against the mandate. “Since Priests for Life launched its lawsuit in February, we have urged other organizations and dioceses to do the same. When there are multiple federal lawsuits on the same issue in different parts of the country, this can create the potential kind of conflict that the Supreme Court may be more likely to resolve.”
Besides suing Kathleen Sebelius and the HHS, Father Pavone and Priests for Life are helping organize rallies nationwide to stand up for religious freedom on Friday, June 8. The Priests for Life team is organizing the rally in New York City.
“The fact that the New York Archdiocese is now part of the legal assault on this mandate will, I am sure, create renewed interest and participation in our June 8 rally. We invite all to take part.”
More information on the rally can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank issued the following statement regarding Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s commencement address today at Georgetown University.
“It was outrageous when Notre Dame University awarded an honorary degree to President Obama during commencement exercises in 2009,” said Father Pavone, who was invited by pro-life students to lead an alternative graduation ceremony at the Indiana university. “Georgetown’s decision to invite Secretary Sebelius is just as bad. She is leading the assault on religious freedom that has grave implications for the Catholic Church. By inviting her to speak, Georgetown offers the image of a Church that is, at best, divided, and at worst, hypocritical. What we need instead is a show of unity and resolve.”
Priests for Life in February filed the fourth of what are now 11 lawsuits against the Health and Human Services mandate that would require most faith-based employers to provide their employees with insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization services and abortifacient drugs.
Father Pavone stated, “Not only do we urge the bishops to voice their objections regarding the Sebelius invitation just as they did over Notre Dame’s invitation of Obama, but we further urge the bishops to join in the legal action that we and others have taken against Sebelius and the HHS.”
Forty days after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven. What was different on that day than when He was in heaven before coming to earth? The difference was that now He was in heaven in a human body and soul — the same human nature that you and I share. Jesus took our humanity to the heights of heaven, making it possible for us to go there, too. The Ascension teaches the world the meaning and destiny of human life: we are called to be in the heights of heaven.
That is why we can never permit human life to be thrown in the garbage by abortion and other atrocities. Jesus has taken human nature to the heights of heaven — the same human nature shared by every unborn child.
Father Frank issued the following statement today after learning of the death of Father Norman Weslin, a pro-life activist and founder of the Lambs of Christ.
“Our loss is Heaven’s gain,” said Father Pavone, who worked closely with Father Weslin over the last three decades. “Father Weslin’s commitment to unborn children was so profound that he spent time behind bars on many occasions. He told me in 2001, while awaiting sentencing on a federal charge, that he wasn’t ashamed to be arrested because Jesus and the Apostles all went to jail. He believed that a priest’s place was not behind his people, lending encouragement, but out in front leading the way.”
Father Weslin served for 20 years in the U.S. Army. During his military career, he met and married his wife, Mary. They adopted two children and became active in the pro-life movement. When she was killed in an accident in 1980, he turned their home into a refuge for women facing unplanned pregnancy, and he joined the priesthood. He was ordained a missionary priest of the Oblates of Wisdom in 1986.
“We will miss his passion and his witness,” Father Pavone said. “But we are sure he is being welcomed with open arms by the unborn children he championed and fought so tirelessly to save.”
Father Pavone announced today that pro-life leaders and groups are gearing up for the 40th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, which will be January 22, 2013.
“I can assure you that you will see an intensification of pro-life activity at every level, and a greater unity among the diverse pro-life organizations,” Father Pavone said. “Moreover, this anniversary – which will be observed both as we lead up to January, and also throughout 2013 — will be marked by a significant recruitment of pro-life activists across the nation.”
In the coming weeks, various initiatives and events to mark the 40th anniversary will be planned, and special opportunities announced.
“One of the significant preparations for this major commemoration will be a successful election season in November. By successful, I mean that people will elect public servants who know the difference between serving the public and killing the public. Supporters of abortion have no place in public office, and it’s time to say so in the pulpits and in the voting booths,” Father Pavone stated. “At the end of this month, we have the first of three National Voter Registration Sundays designated for 2012 by the organizations that comprise the Vote Pro-life Coalition. Pentecost Sunday (May 27) reminds us of the new energy and courage that the Holy Spirit gave the Apostles to go out and change the world. That same Spirit is among us today, and it’s time to respond.”
The so-called right to abortion, which the courts have invented out of thin air, enables women to walk away from the responsibilities of motherhood and caring for a child they have conceived.
One of the many unintended consequences of this policy is that fathers are now beginning to claim the same kind of right to walk away from their parental responsibilities. In fact, lawsuits have begun in which men have claimed that because they offered to pay for the abortion of their child, they should not have any further responsibilities toward raising that child if the mother decides to give birth. After all, if we can’t force the mother to be a mother, why should we force the father to be a father? The bitter fruits of Roe v Wade continue to unfold.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice; they will be satisfied. This beatitude speaks to the heart of the pro-life movement. We seek justice first of all by seeking to be right with God and in all our relationships, and we seek justice by seeking to protect the rights of all, especially the weakest among us, our brothers and sisters in the womb. We are blessed not merely by believing they have a right to life, but by feeling the hunger and thirst, the longing and yearning, that they be protected and that this right be recognized and secured by law.
We also seek justice by working to extend healing and forgiveness to all who have been involved in abortion, that they too will be right with God and know His peace.
Yesterday we observed Mothers’ Day, a reminder to pray for all mothers who are afraid to be mothers. So many are already mothers and are just finding out that they are carrying their child within them. They need our encouragement and support, no matter how unplanned, surprising, or shocking the pregnancy may be to them or to us.
The fact that motherhood begins before the mother realizes it reminds us of Jesus’ words from yesterday’s Gospel: “It was not you who chose Me; it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit that will last.” God’s choice always comes before ours. When He chooses that someone is to be a mother, let us respond with joyful support.
Amarillo, TX – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today issued the following statement upon learning of Theodore Shulman’s guilty plea to charges of threatening pro-life leaders.
“I was informed today that Theodore Shulman pleaded guilty to the charges of threatening pro-life leaders, myself included. I hope that his acceptance of personal responsibility for what he did, and his readiness to serve jail time for it, is for him the beginning of a road of conversion and repentance that will reach even to the point of renouncing his position in favor of legal abortion. Violence against me and other leaders is wrong for the same reason that violence against children in the womb is wrong. Both must be rejected.
“I’m grateful to the detectives and other law enforcement personnel who have worked with me and Priests for Life throughout this case to gather and track the threats that I have received. The NYPD, the FBI, the Joint Terrorist Task Force, and the Department of Justice have done an exemplary and professional job.
“From the point of view of my work as a pro-life leader, I also take this opportunity to point out that violence and threats of violence against pro-life activists are far more common, yet far less visible in the media, than violence and threats of violence against abortionists and abortion supporters. In fact, the latter have used a handful of violent acts by people disconnected from the pro-life movement to try to tar the reputation of the entire movement, and those tactics should have no more place in the public debate over abortion than should violence itself.
“Civil debate is possible; people who disagree deeply on fundamental issues can still respect one another. My own friendship with abortion-rights pioneer Bill Baird, and the frequent pleas we have made together over the years for mutual respect among pro-life advocates and abortion-rights advocates demonstrate the path we can follow as a society. Ultimately, ‘respect for life’ means respect for the unborn and the born, for those who agree with us and those who don’t.
“Meanwhile, Mr. Shulman is in my prayers, and I extend to him my personal forgiveness.”
Often those who defend abortion, knowing that they do not have any valid arguments, resort to blanket criticism of priests for abusing children. What these abortion supporters don’t seem to realize is that by supporting the killing of children, they weaken their argument against the abuse of children. After all, it’s the same victim.
The Church, and so many people of good will, oppose both the abuse and killing of children – and of anyone else as well.
The argument of pro-life people is one of consistency and inclusion. The tragedy of Roe v Wade is summarized in its line that “the word person does not include the unborn.”
Let’s oppose the killing of every and any innocent human life, and call on our opponents to stop being selective in their opposition to evil.