Archive for March, 2013

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Monday, March 18th, 2013





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This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“My righteous servant will justify many and he will bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11)

Reflection: Lent is a season of life. The passion, death, and resurrection of Christ have brought us the new life we now live. We commit ourselves to join all our suffering to his for our own salvation and that of the whole world.

Prayer: Jesus, you are the Suffering Servant of the Father. Your passion took away my guilt; your death brought me life. I offer you all my sufferings, that they may be borne in union with your cross and may help bring about a Culture of Life, starting in me. Amen.

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Two Inspirational Families

Friday, March 15th, 2013





As I write this in mid-March I look forward to soon being with two special families, who because of the depth of their love for a family member, found themselves in the midst of an international spotlight they did not seek, and a fierce conflict they did not shirk.

They are the families of Terri Schiavo and Baby Joseph Maraachli. Terri was killed by court-ordered dehydration in 2005, and Joseph was almost deprived of a standard medical intervention that gave him longer life with his loving family in 2011. Both families asked me and Priests for Life for help, and it was a privilege to serve them as best I could.

I will never forget Terri’s last night, when I sat with her, with her brother Bobby and her sister Suzanne into the wee hours of the morning. We spoke to her, sang to her, and blessed her. I have often recounted that while she was dehydrating to death, the flowers in the vase just inches from her parched lips were flourishing in water.

As I preached at Terri’s funeral Mass, we must never forget, and we must see to it that this kind of murder ceases in our world.

In the case of Baby Joseph, I will never forget that midnight flight on the medical jet, by which we literally rescued Baby Joseph from a medical and government bureaucracy in Canada that refused to give him a standard tracheotomy to help him breathe despite his neurological condition. With the help of allies in the medical community and pressure from tens of thousands of supporters, a transfer was arranged to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in Saint Louis, MO.

As I flew on the medical jet with the medical team, Baby Joseph, and his father Moe, the story of the Exodus was uppermost in my mind. Moe was literally pinching himself, saying that he could hardly believe it was happening, as he took his baby to a place where a son would get the treatment he needed and a father would have the freedom to love his son as he deserved.

Neither of these families was looking for a miracle. They did not want a shortcut from the arduous path of sacrifice that love demands. They were willing to live with the disabilities of their loved ones for the rest of their lives, and to love them as much as they would love a fully healthy family member. They trusted in God and knew that the value of life is not measured in how well we function or how long we live, but rather in the love given and received in the process.

These two families resisted the temptation to anger, despair, and self-absorption. Instead, they used – and are still using — the tragedies they suffered to reach out to other families with similar problems.

To both families, I say, what an inspiration it was to live through these battles with you! Let us battle on to the final victory!

Note: Those wishing to send a note to these courageous families may do so through Mail@PriestsForLife.org.

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Parental Rights Should Not End at the State Line

Friday, March 15th, 2013





ParentalRightsIf you’re a parent living in one of the 38 states that require an abortionist to notify you or obtain your consent prior to his performing an abortion on your minor daughter, you may think that your rights to know what happens to your pregnant child are protected.

Think again

In the other twelve states, where an abortionist can perform this invasive procedure on a minor without either of that girl’s parents knowing, it doesn’t matter if the girl is a local resident or from out of state.  It also doesn’t matter if your daughter is accompanied across state lines by the coercive adult father of her child — your grandchild can be aborted without you even being aware of it.

Moreover, this could have been stopped by now.

In 2005 and 2006, both houses of Congress passed versions of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA).  This measure would have made it illegal to transport a minor to another state for the purpose of avoiding a state’s parental notification or consent for abortion law.  It would have protected parents’ rights and protected girls from adult abusers who don’t want evidence of their abuse to survive.

In accordance with normal lawmaking procedure, the slightly different versions of the bills passed by the House and Senate were to be worked out by a conference committee so that a single bill could go to the President to sign.  But Senate Democrats, led by then Minority Leader Harry Reid, blocked the conference committee from being called.

Attempting to reassert the rights of the majority, the House again passed the CIANA legislation in 2006.  Senator Harry Reid responded by staging a filibuster so that the bill could not even be considered by the Senate.  When a cloture vote was taken to end the filibuster and allow a vote, Senator Reid twisted enough Democrats’ arms so that only 57 Senators agreed – three short of the 60 needed.  A minority of pro-abortion zealots in the Senate prevented CIANA’s passage.

After 2006, Senator Reid and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi assumed power in Congress for the next four years, ensuring that no new parents’ rights legislation, much less new pro-life legislation, would see the light of day.

Today, while Senator Reid still rules the upper chamber, there is pro-life leadership and a pro-life majority in the House of Representatives.

The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act has been reintroduced in the House by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) and in the Senate by Senator Marco Rubio (FL).  It would not only bar the transporting of a minor across state lines to avoid a parental notification or consent law, but also require an abortionist to contact a parent of the girl if she’s from out of state.

An overwhelming majority of Americans, whether “pro-life” or “prochoice,” support this commonsense legislation. It would be nice to know why so many Democratic legislators disagree. CIANA has been introduced as a bill; it’s time it became law. For more details, visit www.priestsforlife.org/legislation.

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Pro-Life Striaght Talk 4: The Obama Administration is At It Again

Friday, March 15th, 2013





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Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Friday, March 15th, 2013





jesus-amor-1

This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“If we endure, we shall also reign with him.” (2 Timothy 2:12)

Reflection: In Lent, the Church enters more deeply into meditation on the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. He endured this in order to redeem human life. Life was sacred because he made it, and by His Passion and resurrection it is even more sacred because it is now raised to the heights of heaven, to reign with Him.

Prayer: Lord, I am filled with wonder at your love for human life. Everyone, born and unborn, is called to reign with you! May our laws and practices treat human life accordingly, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Thursday, March 14th, 2013





Wooden-Cross-weathered

This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“Anyone who wishes to follow me must deny himself…” (Matthew 16:24)

Reflection: The traditional practice of “giving something up for Lent” is a practice of self-denial. It means we say no to ourselves and yes to God and others. This reverses the pattern of sin, which says yes to ourselves and no to God and others. In our culture, the most violent no to God and others is abortion.

Prayer: Lord, as I practice self-denial, I offer my sacrifices for the children. May all say yes to you and yes to the unborn. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Prayer for the New Pope

Thursday, March 14th, 2013









Pope-Francis-I

Lord Jesus,

You are the Good Shepherd,
Always providing for our needs and leading us to eternal life.

We thank you for Pope Francis I,
Your Vicar on earth,
The Servant of the Servants of God.

Give him holiness and strength to carry out his mission,
And may he be for the world
A sign of your love
And a clear voice for truth, justice,
And the sanctity of human life.

May all he says and does
Lead us closer to you, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen!

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Happy about the selection of Pope Francis

Thursday, March 14th, 2013





 

Dear Friends,

I was very happy about the selection of Pope Francis yesterday… The Church in Latin America is home to about half the world’s Catholics, and this papacy will be an occasion for us to focus even more on the importance of this population.

I was especially delighted at how he asked the people to bless him, and then bowed in silence to receive their blessing. That says a lot. This is a man who opposes clericalism, the idea that the Church is clergy and that all the power and grace of the Church resides in the clergy, who have more rights than others. That’s nonsense. The Church is the people of God – hierarchically ordered, yes, but nonetheless equal in dignity, and standing as brothers and sisters in Christ who saves us all. The Pope has signaled that from the first moments of his pontificate.

Some of our Priests for Life team was there in St. Peter’s Square to welcome the new Pope, and they kept me updated as I got on and off planes here in the USA.

Because Pope Francis is a man “of the people,” immersing himself in their lives, in their needs, and in the service of the poor, this makes him also especially sensitive to the poorest of the poor, the unborn. He has called abortion a ‘death penalty for the unborn.’

I am collecting now various statements he has made and signed on to regarding the topic of abortion, and will post links to them here.

The new Pope has served as a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family, where I served for some years at the Vatican. This is essentially the Vatican’s “pro-life office,” and the fact that he has been a member of it should be a particular encouragement to pro-life people.

Moreover, Priests for Life has done work in his Archdiocese in Argentina, recently establishing a Rachel’s Vineyard site there for our retreats for healing after abortion. Fr. Victor Salomon, our Director of Hispanic Outreach, had a key role in that, and, of course, he is very excited about this first Latin American Pope. Fr. Victor has had meetings with the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for Latin America – an entity with which the new Pope has also been closely involved.

So we rejoice at the start of a new chapter in the life of the Church. Please visit PrayerCampaign.org to say the prayer I have composed for Pope Francis. You can also send him your own note of congratulations and your own promise of prayers for him on the form that you will find there. I will make sure our staff in Rome delivers your messages to the Pope’s office!

 

Blessings,

Fr. Frank

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Priests for Life offers congratulations to Pope Francis I

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013





newpopeSTATEN ISLAND, NY — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement on the selection of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis I.

“Priests for Life is delighted at the selection of Pope Francis I and we are assured that the sanctity of all human life will be a top priority for this Pope, as it has been for his predecessors. We look forward to working  under the leadership of the new Pope to advance the Culture of Life.”

Leaders of ministries and outreaches under the Priests for Life umbrella also had words of praise for the new Pope.

Father Victor Salomon, Director of Hispanic Outreach for Priests for Life, said the election of Cardinal Bergoglio and his choice of the name Francis represents  “a new wind of the Holy Spirit.”

“Pope Francis I is an intellectual  but he is also a very humble man,” Father Salomon said. “And he is passionately pro-life. In the cathedral in Buenos Aires, he offered blessings to expectant mothers. And on Holy Thursday one year, he washed the feet of a pregnant woman. He is aware of the need for there  to be a renewal inside the Church on the issue of abortion.”

Bryan Kemper, Youth Outreach Director for Priests for Life, also expressed his excitement about the new Pope.

“I stand with Catholic youth around the world praying for Pope Francis,” Kemper said. “I am excited for his leadership and committed to continuing to share the message of life that is so central to our Church.”

Marie Smith, director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, said:

“The inspired selection of Pope Francis is most welcome and exciting news as we face increasing pressure in Latin America from radical forces intent on destroying the culture of life.  Responses from contacts in Argentina comment on the new Pope’s simplicity of style, attention to his role as pastor and focus on the social issues that challenge the region and the world today. We look forward to his leadership of the Church.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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After First Amendment victory, Priests for Life youth leader to return to Ohio college

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013





fp-and-bryanPriests for Life Youth Outreach Director Bryan Kemper, who was banned from holding a pro-life sign during a peaceful protest rally at Sinclair Community College last year, will return to the Dayton, Ohio school tomorrow, after the college agreed to uphold its students’ First Amendment rights.

In June 2012, during a Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally – one of more than 100 simultaneous rallies that Priests for Life helped organize across the country – Kemper was among those who were told by Dayton police that they could not hold up signs describing their opposition to government-mandated free contraception.

TheThomas More Society filed a federal lawsuit against the college on behalf of Kemper and two students. As a result of the suit, the college agreed in January to revise its campus access policy,which now stipulates that “any group may use, without prior notification, any publicly accessible outdoor area” (with some exceptions) for the purposes of speaking, non-verbal expressive conduct, the distribution of literature, displaying signage, and circulating petitions.”

Go to www.priestsforlife.org/deddens-v-warren.pdf  to read the full settlement agreement.

Tomorrow, at the invitation of the school’s Traditional Values Club, Kemper will address students in the school library, from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

“This case has implications for the whole country, especially those of us who express opinions that aren’t politically correct in our current climate,” said Kemper, the founder of Stand True Prolife Outreach. “But it was also important to me, personally, because my son Jaemison, who was 7 at the time, was with me, and I wanted him to see that we can fight against injustice, and we can win.”

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented: “Free speech is protected precisely because it can make people so angry that they will try to shut up the speaker. This case shows that the protection still works, and we need to use it!”

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