Archive for December, 2013

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013





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

“With the Lord …a thousand years are like one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

Reflection: At the year’s end, we reflect upon what we have done and what we have failed to do. God gives us the gift of time and we use it in loving service to others.
What have we done this year for the defense of life? Let us resolve tonight that we will increase the amount of time and energy we devote to the number one moral issue: restoring the right to life!

Prayer: Father, thank you for this past year and for all my past years; may my future be filled with the joy of life, and of defending life, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Monday, December 30th, 2013





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

“Come, let us go to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place…” (Luke 2:15)

Reflection: On Good Friday, we sing, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” What about Christmas? What if we sang, “Were you there when the King of Kings was born?” There is a way to be there, and it is to open ourselves to the joy and meaning of the birth of every child – to see in each child, even the unwanted and unexpected, a reflection of the Christ who comes even today.

Prayer: Lord, open my heart, and open every heart, to the wonder of new life. May we greet you in each new child. Amen!

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Fr. Pavone Comments on Record-Setting Closings

Friday, December 27th, 2013





NEW YORK, NY — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Troy Newman, Director of Operation Rescue, have announced that the number of abortion mill closures in  2013 has risen to at least 87.

Fr. Pavone said, “We have been teaching for the last two decades that abortion collapses under its own weight, and that the weak point is precisely the abortion mill. In this year when the horrifying nature of the abortion industry came to light in the Gosnell trial and when so many state laws increased the standards for abortion mills, we see that coming true more than ever.”

According to the tracking done by Operation Rescue, there are now 582 abortion clinics operating in the country today, a drop of 12 percent in 2013 alone, and a 73 percent drop from 1991, when there were some 2,176 abortuaries in the United States.

“These numbers show that the pro-life movement is gaining ground and that the abortion industry is collapsing – mostly due to its own negligence and greed, which has been exposed by their unwillingness and inability to comply with even the most rudimentary safety standards,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue.

Noting that Operation Rescue works closely with Priests for Life on many life-saving projects –particularly the closing of a clinic in Birmingham, AL, that was performing abortions illegally, Newman said, “Both groups share the credit for these awesome statistics.”

Father Pavone said the clinic closings have energized the whole pro-life movement.

“The lives of babies and their mothers are saved when every clinic closes,” he said. “Knowing there are so many children having birthdays in 2014 who might never have been born convinces us that applying pressure to clinic operators and abortionists is a vital part of our work to end abortion.”

To read the full Operation Rescue release, visit  http://www.operationrescue.org/archives/death-throes-of-the-death-industry-a-record-87-surgical-abortion-clinics-close-in-2013/

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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Cardinal John O’Connor Institute for the Pro-life Training of the Clergy

Friday, December 27th, 2013





NEW YORK — Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a key architect of the abortion industry, said publicly to gatherings of clergy, after he became pro-life, that he and his pro-abortion colleagues in the 1960′s and 70′s “would never have gotten away with what we did if you (the clergy) had been united, purposeful, and strong.”

The key reason Priests for Life got started was the conviction that today’s proponents of the culture of death will still not get away with what they are doing if we become more united, purposeful, and strong.

Cardinal O’Connor was instrumental in the genesis and growth of Priests for Life, having released Fr. Frank Pavone in 1993 to do this work full time. In a letter to Fr. Frank, the Cardinal wrote, “I know of no effort more noble, more timely or important than the recruitment of our clergy in the cause of life.” (March 21, 1996).

 Mindful, then, of the teaching and example of Cardinal O’Connor and Dr. Nathanson in this regard, Priests for Life intends to redouble its efforts in 2014 to train the clergy. With the support of Cardinal O’Connor’s sister, Mary Ward, we are launching the Cardinal John O’Connor Institute for the Pro-life Training of the Clergy, which will include a re-packaging of many of the activities Priests for Life has done all along, together with some new initiatives.

These activities, which will span all denominations across the Body of Christ, will include the following:

– Training seminars for seminarians, deacons, and priests, in which our team will travel to seminaries and dioceses, and present a flexible package of presentations ranging in length anywhere from a luncheon talk to a seminar of several days, and covering the themes of preaching, counseling, and pro-life strategies and activities that can be carried out and promoted in parishes, schools, and other Catholic institutions.

– Training in pro-life spirituality, with retreats and days of recollection available for seminarians, deacons, and priests.

– A new book on Preaching the Pro-life Message, containing, among other things, answers to the most common fears about addressing abortion, and homily hints based on the readings of every Sunday of the three-year liturgical cycle. These homily hints are also available for each of these Sundays in video format on You Tube, as well as in a smartphone application.

– Special training days offered for clergy at our New York headquarters of Priests for Life, as well as at our Washington DC office, right behind the Supreme Court. Sessions in Washington will include special opportunities to interact with practicing Christians in Congress and to learn more about how to support pro-life legislation.

– Specialized training in post-abortion healing, making use of our expert team who developed Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries, which operates under the umbrella of Priests for Life, and also making use of the insights of our Silent No More Awareness Campaign.

– Specialized training in the healing of former abortion clinic workers and abortionists, based on the research and experience of the “Society of Centurions,” a worldwide organization of former abortionists, who have gone through healing based on the model developed by Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Philip Ney, foremost expert in the psychology of abortionists.

– Specialized training in how to dialogue with advocates and practitioners of abortion, and show to them the face of Christ, inviting them to conversion based on a recognition that our belief in the sanctity of every human life includes theirs, too.

The Cardinal’s sister, Mary Ward, recently said of this effort, “The pro-life legacy of my brother, Cardinal John O’Connor, is well known. Part of that legacy was his work in helping Priests for Life get started, and his support of Fr. Frank Pavone, whom he ordained and later released to help inspire and motivate clergy across the country. This new Institute started by Priests for Life, and named after the Cardinal, will continue to plant his vision and passion for the defense of life in the hearts and minds of many priests for decades to come. This work deserves the support of all in the Church.”

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Fr. Pavone: ‘We will not obey this mandate’

Friday, December 20th, 2013





Priests for Life files appeal after Obamacare lawsuit dismissed

NEW YORK – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today after learning that Priests for Life’s lawsuit against the HHS contraception mandate was dismissed by a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

“Today, the judge in our case in District Court in Washington D.C. ruled against us regarding the HHS mandate. Because the mandate would go into effect for us on January 1, we filed, within an hour of the judge’s decision, an emergency request with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit, to provide an injunction to maintain the status quo, protecting us from the mandate until our appeal to the same court can be heard and decided.

“The judge’s decision today is a complete contradiction to Judge Cogan’s decision of just a few days ago in New York for organizations situated similarly to us and using exactly the same arguments.

“The New York decision recognized that the religious nonprofits were being forced to cooperate with evil.Our judge, instead, claims that we are not being forced to cooperate with evil. Our judge’s decision is wrong, and we are confident of victory in our appeal.

“Meanwhile, injunction or not, we will absolutely not obey, cooperate with, or tolerate in any way this unjust mandate. As Scripture says, we will obey God rather than men.”

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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Fr. Pavone: “We, too, are confident of victory”

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013





NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement after learning that Catholic groups in New York have won their battle against Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

“This is a victory for religious freedom and all people of faith,” said Father Pavone. “The fact that the judge found that the ‘coercive pressure’ to make these Catholic employers violate their foundational beliefs was ‘substantial’ should not be overlooked. This battle is not about contraception. It’s about the government trying to deny citizens the right to practice their faith, in violation of the very principles on which this country stands.”

Father Pavone noted that a decision in Priests for Life’s lawsuit against the mandate is expected any day. The Priests for Life case was heard Dec. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  Priests for Life filed the fourth of dozens of lawsuits filed to challenge the government’s overt violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“We, too, are confident of victory,” Father Pavone said

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, December 16th, 2013





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

“Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days….They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain.” (Isaiah 65: 20, 25)

Reflection: Christ’s coming heralds a new harmony in all of nature, including between mother and child. Advent leads us to the Silent Night when the whole world finds joy in his birth, a joy no longer threatened by violence.

Prayer: Lord, may your birth shed protection on all about to be born, and as we work to end abortion, may we “wait in joyful hope for the coming of Our Savior, Jesus Christ.” Amen.

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Priests for Life Expecting Decision on Challenge to HHS Mandate

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013





WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Priests for Life case against the HHS mandate was heard today in U.S. District Court here. Father Frank Pavone, National Director, and Janet Morana, Executive Director, were present in the courtroom. Upon leaving court, they issued the following statement:

“We expect a decision in this case very soon, possibly by the end of this week. Whatever the outcome, this much is clear: The government under this administration is trampling upon the rights of the Church. They are trying to tell us what does or does not constitute a burden on our faith. We ask all to pray along with us that the judge will do the right thing.”

Dr. Alveda King, full-time pastoral associate of Priests for Life and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is also a plaintiff in this case.

With a ruling imminent, Priests for Life’s will be among the first cases to receive a ruling on the merits of the arguments as applied to religious groups.

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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A Battle of Biblical Proportions

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013





As reported by Fox News, I was in federal court yesterday (District Court for Washington, DC), along with Janet Morana, our Executive Director  and our attorneys from the American Freedom Law Center, for a hearing regarding the lawsuit of Priests for Life against the HHS mandate. (Our lawsuit was one of the first to be introduced against the mandate, and also includes as a plaintiff Dr. Alveda King, our Director of African-American Outreach and the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.)

The mandate we are opposing requires us, come January 1, to include coverage for contraceptive and other immoral “services” in the health care plan we provide for our employees.

Never mind that the Church teaches that these activities are immoral. Never mind that our organization exists to build a culture of life, based around exactly the opposite mentality. Never mind that we are supposed to have the freedom to practice our religion in this country, not only in Church on Sunday but in the workplace on Monday.

The government says that they care, but their actions say otherwise. As psychiatrists are wont to say, “Believe behavior!” If someone is vigorously drinking from a water fountain and, between gulps, turns quickly to you and says, “I’m not thirsty!“, will you believe his words or his behavior?

And, in fact, the government wants us to be just like them, and make our religion a matter of words while contradicting it with our behavior. What do I mean?

The Obama Administration has indicated that it wants contraceptive “services” more widely and easily available than they already are. Hence arises the requirement — on employers and insurers — to provide coverage for such “services” in health insurance plans.

But this stated goal of the Administration is completely contrary to the goal of the Church and of pro-life organizations like Priests for Life, which are trying to build a culture in which every life is welcomed and protected.

Our religion, and the integrity of our conscience, require us not only to say we disagree with the government’s goal of expanding access to objectionable practices, but in fact to work against that goal, and to avoid doing anything to advance it.

But the government is requiring us to help them advance their goal, because as of January 1, if we offer health insurance to our employees, that insurance policy will cover these objectionable “services.” The government told us in court yesterday that, in fact, our health insurance will cover those practices no matter what we do or don’t do. This, of course, creates the unacceptable situation of having to choose either to drop insurance coverage for our employees, or cooperate in advancing a goal contrary to our religion and our conscience.

Oh but wait — the government said in court that its regulations provide us a way out of this dilemma. Their proposed solution? We sign a document saying that we are a religious, not-for-profit entity which objects to the coverage of contraceptives and other objectionable services in our health insurance.

We were told in court that by doing this, we still “profess” and “stand on” our religious and moral convictions, and that we have to do nothing different than we would have done if the policy did not cover immoral activities. Our behavior, they told us, would not change, because we would simply be providing our insurance company with the names of our employees, and objecting to any immoral practices.

But here’s the problem. We still have to provide the objectionable coverage. The assertion of the government that we are not the ones who pay for it still doesn’t solve the problem. The fact remains that the employees have the coverage precisely through their employment with Priests for Life, which chooses to offer them health insurance.

The government says we have the right to object, and seems to think that’s all the freedom we need. But freedom of conscience does not mean just the right to object; it means the right to refuse to cooperate. It means the right to say “No” to being part of a project, plan, and goal that we oppose.

The government says that, under the HHS mandate, our behavior does not have to change: we do the same thing we would have done before, namely, set up our insurance plan and object to immoral practices. But by making coverage for those immoral practices a necessary part of the insurance plan, the government does in fact require a change in our behavior.

The change is not hard to understand. It’s the difference between providing health insurance that covers immoral practices and providing health insurance that does not cover immoral practices. Before the mandate, we were able to do the latter; now we can’t. That’s a pretty big difference in behavior.

This battle is not over minutiae. And it is not up to the government to decide what is or isn’t important in our religion, or when our conscience is or is not satisfied. This battle is of Biblical proportions, and we at Priests for Life say today — along with millions of other Americans — what the apostles said when they were told not to preach about Jesus anymore: “We will obey God rather than men!”

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Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Monday, December 9th, 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

“O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life” (The Gospel of Life, 105).

Reflection: When Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego (whose feast is today), the Aztecs were practicing human sacrifice. They thought God was against them, and in despair, took life to appease him. so much, in fact, that he became a child, carried in Mary’s womb. This gave them hope, and they stopped their human sacrifice and became Christian.

Prayer: Saint Juan Diego, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. Amen.

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