Archive for August, 2013

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

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These reflections are taken from the book “Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day” by Fr. Frank Pavone which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“I have gazed upon you in the sanctuary so that I may behold your power and your glory” (Psalm 63:3).

Reflection: The baby in the manger and the man on the cross do not look like God; yet by faith we know Jesus is no mere man. The Eucharist does not look like Jesus, but we worship him. Christians are used to looking beyond appearances. Hence we can also see in the annoying or ugly person or the person who is unconscious in a hospital bed, or in the unborn child, the image of God.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, grant us to see beyond appearances to the dignity of every life! Amen!

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Fr. Pavone and Alveda King to take part in March on Washington Commemoration

Monday, August 26th, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will join Dr. Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and her uncle Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Father Pavone will take part in an interfaith service from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.  and will be present with the King family for the events throughout the day.

“We remember the events of 50 years ago because they speak to today, and the message that the march and the speech have for America is that we cannot have equality and justice until the children in the womb are protected,” said Father Pavone. “Dr. King’s dream would be absolutely unintelligible if one imagines that somehow the dismemberment and decapitation of thousands of children a day could be reconciled with that dream, or could be justified either morally or legally.”

Dr. Alveda King noted that her uncle often spoke of a “Beloved Community.” Father Pavone, Dr. Alveda King, her mother and brother are among the signatories of a 2011 declaration called “The Beloved Community and the Unborn” that draws on a Christmas sermon Martin Luther King delivered in 1967, in which he preached the following words:

“The next thing we must be concerned about if we are to have peace on earth and good will toward men is the nonviolent affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. . . When we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won’t exploit people, we won’t trample over people with the iron feet of oppression, we won’t kill anybody.”

The statement, which calls on America to include the unborn in the Beloved Community, was placed in the time capsule underneath the new monument to Dr. King in Washington, DC.

“Nonviolence is not nonviolence if we still tolerate some violence,” Father Pavone said, “And equality is not equality if some are still not equal. Let the events of these days kindle in us all, from the President to the newest citizen, a determination to bring an end to abortion, and restore justice for the unborn.”

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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Priests for Life Youth Director to Speak at Anti-Obamacare Rally

Monday, August 26th, 2013

bkBryan Kemper, Director of Youth Outreach for Priests for Life, will represent the pro-life movement at a “Pull the Plug on Obamacare Rally” Tuesday, Aug. 26, outside House Speaker John Boehner’s office in Troy, Ohio.

Kemper said there are many problems with Obamacare, including a provision within the Affordable Care Act that mandates all employers, or their insurance carriers, to provide free contraception, abortifacients and sterilization services.

“Priests for Life was one of the first organizations to file a lawsuit against this unjust mandate,” Kemper said. “The suit was dismissed when the Obama administration promised an accommodation for faith-based employers. As expected, the accommodation was unacceptable, and last week we re-filed the suit. We expect to win because we have the U.S. Constitution on our side.”

“Pull the Plug on Obamacare” will begin at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday with 30 minutes of prayer outside the courthouse. The rally will then move to outside Speaker Boehner’s office at 12 South Plum St. for an hour of speeches. Protesters will move back to the courthouse for the final hour, 5 to 6 p.m.

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented, “We are not against the goal of having all Americans enjoy health care coverage. We’re just against trampling people’s lives and consciences in the process of doing it.”

Also scheduled to speak are former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell; Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, and Brent Bozell of ForAmerica. Kemper is the founder of Stand True Pro-Life Outreach, which has its headquarters in Troy.

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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Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Monday, August 26th, 2013

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These reflections are taken from the book “Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day” by Fr. Frank Pavone which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him” (John 14:23).

Reflection: The Spirit is the bond of love between the Father and the Son. When the Father and Son come and abide with us, it is through this Holy Spirit. The Spirit unites the human family in bonds of self-giving love. Abortion, and other manifestations of the culture of death, however, divides the human family, because they are the opposite of self-giving.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, we need you and we long for the unity you bring. Give us the love that overcomes division. Amen.

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Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

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These reflections are taken from the book “Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day” by Fr. Frank Pavone which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“He said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother” (John 19:26-27).

Reflection: Today we observe the Queenship of Mary, acknowledging that the highest place that any creature holds in heaven is occupied by a woman and a mother. To be pro-life is to be pro-woman, and Mary the Mother of God is an example and inspiration for all women about how to embrace the vocation of motherhood, facing the unexpected and the unplanned with faith, courage, and joy.

Prayer: Queen of heaven, grant all your people a deep appreciation of the dignity of women, of motherhood, and of life. Amen.

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Federal Lawsuit Challenges New Obamacare Regulations Requiring Religious Organizations to Comply with Contraception Mandate

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Today, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a federal lawsuit challenging the recently announced regulations enforcing the Obamacare contraceptive services mandate against religious organizations.  The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of Priests for Life, an international Catholic organization; Father Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life; Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Pastoral Associate and Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life; and Janet Morana, the Executive Director of Priests for Life.  The lawsuit alleges that the new regulations violate the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing religious organization to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Father PavoneFather Pavone, a longtime pro-life champion and a plaintiff in the case, summed it up as follows: “As one of the first organizations to launch a lawsuit against this unjust mandate in February 2012, Priests for Life is more than ready to bring this battle to the next level with today’s new filing.  I am more than confident of victory, not only because of the expertise of the American Freedom Law Center, but because we are fighting for what America itself stands for: freedom, and above all, life.”

On June 28 of this year, the Obama administration announced that it had issued its long-awaited, final rules on contraceptive coverage and religious organizations.  These rules were published in the Federal Register on July 2 and became effective on August 1.  Pursuant to these new regulations, religious organizations, including Priests for Life, will still be forced to provide their employees with contraception, sterilization, abortifacients, and related education and counseling as part of their health care plans.  This mandate, which will allegedly require Priests for Life’s health insurance carrier to bear the cost of the contraceptive coverage, will take effect on January 1, 2014.

Robert Muise, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel for AFLC, commented, “Despite his rhetoric about protecting the right of conscience, President Obama continues his war against religious liberty in order to promote his progressive, liberal agenda.  Indeed, progressive liberals view pregnancy as a disease to be ‘prevented’ by contraception or ‘cured’ by abortion.  However, by forcing religious organizations to participate in this culture of death agenda, the Obama administration is violating a core freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights.”

On February 10, 2012, President Obama announced that his administration intended to propose and finalize new regulations that would allegedly “accommodate” religious objections to the contraceptive services mandate.  However, his administration refused to provide in these new regulations a broad religious employer exemption that would completely exempt organizations such as Priests for Life from the mandate.  According to the administration, including such a broad exemption “would lead to more employees having to pay out of pocket for contraceptive services, thus making it less likely that they would use contraceptives, which would undermine the benefits [of requiring the coverage]. . . .  Including these employers within the scope of the exemption would subject their employees to the religious views of the employer, limiting access to contraceptives, thereby inhibiting the use of contraceptive services and the benefits of preventive care.”

Pursuant to the new regulations and its so-called “accommodation” for certain “eligible” religious organizations, the organization’s health insurance carrier will be required to provide the contraceptive services directly to the organization’s health care plan participants without shifting any of the costs to the religious employer.  Consequently, because the religious employer purchased a health care plan for its employees—and for no other reason—the employees will have access to and coverage for the contraceptive services through the issuer of the plan.

As alleged in the lawsuit, under the new regulations, Priests for Life will still be forced to purchase a health care plan that provides contraceptive coverage directly to its plan participants and their beneficiaries, which is unacceptable to Priests for Life.  Priests for Life’s sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit it from promoting or supporting, directly or indirectly, contraception, sterilization, abortifacients, abortion, and related education and counseling, including providing a health care plan that provides access to or the means of acquiring such immoral services.  Consequently, Priests for Life objects to being forced by the government to purchase a health care plan that provides its employees with access to “medical” services which are prohibited by its religious convictions.  This is true whether the immoral services are paid for directly, indirectly, or even not at all by Priests for Life.  Contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients are immoral regardless of their cost.

David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented: “As an orthodox Jew who objects to this mandate on religious and constitutional grounds, I can say with confidence that observant Jews are as opposed to Obama’s assault on religious liberty as are those in the Christian communities across the country.  In this battle, we all stand as one, shoulder to shoulder, against the Obama administration’s latest assault on religious freedom.”

The lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius; the U.S. Department of the Treasury and its Secretary, Jacob Lew; and the U.S. Department of Labor and its Secretary, Thomas Perez.  Each department has a role in enforcing the challenged mandate.

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Priests for Life is Back in Court to Fight for Religious Freedom

Monday, August 19th, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – On behalf of the national pro-life ministry, the American Freedom Law Center filed a lawsuit today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the Obamacare mandate that Priests for Life’s insurance plan must provide contraception, abortifacients and sterilization services to its employees.

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 9 p.m. EDT, Priests for Life will welcome Rep. Michele Bachmann for a Religious Freedom webcast to discuss the case and talk about how people can help to safeguard our First Amendment right to freedom of religion and the even more fundamental right to life itself.

Priests for Life was the fourth organization to file a lawsuit against the mandate in February 2012. The court protected Priests for Life from the effects of the mandate, but declined to rule on its merits because the administration promised that accommodations for faith-based employers would address the organization’s concerns. Those accommodations, released in June, still do not provide Priests for Life the protection it needs from being forced to cover the objectionable drugs and services as part of their health plans.

Therefore, the need now arises to file the lawsuit again, when the court can no longer tell us that new changes are coming or that harm to the organization is not imminent.

“As we predicted from the outset, the accommodation turned out to be no accommodation at all,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.

The lawsuit alleges that the regulations violate the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing religious organizations to violate their religious beliefs.

The new lawsuit names as plaintiffs, along with the Priests for Life organization itself, the following individuals: Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director; Janet Morana, Executive Director, and  Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach.

“Our concerns are not resolved just because the insurance carrier pays for the services that violate our Catholic faith,” Father Pavone explained. “The fact is that Priests for Life still becomes the gateway through which people can have insurance coverage for some of the very things that our international ministry was formed to combat.”

Mrs. Morana noted that, beyond Priests for Life’s religious objections, there are health concerns as well, since the birth control pill has been labeled a Class 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

“We care about our employees at Priests for Life,” she said. “We would never provide something for them that was both morally wrong and physically hazardous.”

Dr. King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., said the Obama administration’s insistence on free contraception is an affront to civil rights.

“There are racist and eugenic roots to this thinking,” Dr. King said. “Efforts to control the population always target minority and lower-income groups. We will not sit still and allow this to happen.”

Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, said, “Despite his rhetoric about protecting the right of conscience, President Obama continues his war against religious liberty in order to promote his progressive, liberal agenda. Indeed, progressive liberals view pregnancy as a disease to be ‘prevented’ by contraception and ‘cured’ by abortion. By forcing religious organizations to participate in this culture of death agenda, the Obama administration is violating a core freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights.”

Catholic groups are not alone in objecting to the contraception/abortifactient mandate. David Yerushalmi, also a co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, said: “As an orthodox Jew who objects to this mandate on religious and constitutional grounds, I can say with confidence that observant Jews are as opposed to Obama’s assault on religious liberty as are those in the Christian communities across the country. In this battle, we all stand as one.”

The Tuesday, Aug. 20 webcast, which can be accessed online or by phone, will feature special guest Rep. Michele Bachmann as well as Father Pavone, Janet Morana, and Dr. King. Other nationally-known guests have been invited. Sign up to join the webcast at PriestsforLife.org/Webcast.

“As one of the first organizations to launch a lawsuit against this unjust mandate, Priests for Life is more than ready to bring this battle to the next level with today’s new filing,” Father Pavone said. “I am more than confident of victory, not only because of the expertise of the American Freedom Law Center, but because we are fighting for what America itself stands for: freedom, and above all, life.”

Priests for Life vs. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can be found at http://www.priestsforlife.org/pdf/complaint-priests-for-life-v-dhhs.pdf

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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Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Friday, August 16th, 2013

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These reflections are taken from the book “Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day” by Fr. Frank Pavone which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“You may well ask: ‘Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?’ … Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. … It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 1963). 

Reflection: There are strong parallels between the Civil Rights Movement and the Pro-life Movement. One of them is that the powers with whom we must negotiate are often unwilling to even begin negotiating, or do not see the need. Peaceful protest is therefore required.

Prayer: Lord, may your people faithfully protest injustice and awaken those in power. Amen.

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Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

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These reflections are taken from the book “Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day” by Fr. Frank Pavone which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“The Mighty One has done great things for me” (Luke 1:49). 

Reflection: Because of her unique role as his mother, Mary received from Jesus a full share, body and soul, in his victory over death. In the human family, which God decided to join, there can be no closer bond than mother and child. They belong together; their destinies are intertwined. That is one of the central messages of the pro-life movement. To love and care for a mother necessarily means protecting, loving, and caring for her child.

Prayer: Blessed Virgin Mother, on this day of joy we honor you. Pray for us, and for the victory of life! Amen!

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Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

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These reflections are taken from the book “Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day” by Fr. Frank Pavone which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“All generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:48).

Reflection: Mary’s Assumption, which we celebrate tomorrow, is a sign that God ultimately saves us — and will raise us — in body and in soul. Some who justify abortion say they don’t know if the child has a soul. But that’s beside the point. What matters is that the child has a body, and when we know that abortion destroys the body, we have all the information we need to know it’s wrong.

Prayer: Mary, Mother of Life, I rejoice in your Assumption, and in the hope to which it points, that we will all enjoy eternal freedom from death. Amen!

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