Archive for the ‘Catholic’ Category

Super Tuesday and Being Human

Monday, March 5th, 2012

I write on the day before Super Tuesday, but my reflections here pertain to the entire election season of 2012, and in fact, of every election cycle.

If you look at the writings of the Catholic Church regarding political responsibility, you often see reference to what is important to “Catholic social teaching” and a “Catholic conscience,” and, of course, that is important to understand, especially for Catholics.

But it is important for us as Americans to also understand the American basis of our social conscience and political responsibility, and, moreover, for us as human beings to understand the purely human basis of the same things.

We are Americans, and as such, we have the right, duty, and privilege to take part in a political process that gives us a voice, not only in who will be elected, but also in who will be on the ballot. Hence, primaries and caucuses are as important to participate in as the general election. To fail to participate in elections is to cheapen the precious freedom, not only given to us through the commitment of our Founding Fathers, but preserved for us through the commitment of the brave men and women who have fought and died for our country. So many of them went to war; many did not return. Many are still in harm’s way today. The least we can do to honor their sacrifice is get out of our house and vote. The least we can say in the pulpits is that “it’s Election Day and we should vote.”

As Americans, moreover, we acknowledge the Creator as the source of our right to life, a right that the government exists to secure (see the Declaration of Independence). So I have less and less patience for anyone who is going to dispute in any way that the protection of human life is and will always remain the fundamental issue for the political community — and this applies to every election, every year, on every level of government. Again, this flows from what we know as Americans, not just as Catholics.

Then there is the purely human dimension. With all due respect to the Church to which I belong and to which I am loyal, it is from my human nature and the commonsense embedded in it that I come to the conclusion that we have an abortion holocaust on our hands, and that nothing else is taking more life than this act of violence. The alarm going off in the minds of millions (mine included) over abortion was not set off by the Church, nor can it be turned off by the Church. And that alarm, for so many of us, is primarily what impels us to go to the voting booth, both in the primaries and in the general election.

Ultimately, the motivation to be politically active is not so much about philosophy, theology, or morality as it is about arithmetic. What’s counted in the end is not opinions or reasons, but votes.

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Reflecting on Catholic Schools Week

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Catholic schools, of every educational level, face many challenges to maintain their Catholic identity. Ironically, sometimes those challenges come from the members of their own faculty. Sometimes these individuals simply do not believe what the Church teaches or refuse to accept the demands of the moral law.

There’s an old saying, “Nobody can give what he does not have.” Catholic schools exist to impart the Catholic faith and to form strong disciples of Christ. If a faculty member objects to some particular demand of the faith, it makes no sense for them to be in a position in which they are expected to pass it on to our children. For the good of the Church and of the students, they should find another job. Let us pray for strong Catholic schools and faculties.

Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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Obama Tampering with Conscience

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

In March of 2010, I had the opportunity to preach to members of Congress and their staff who were gathered at the worship service held inside the Capitol just prior to the vote on Obamacare. In that sermon, I told them that Christianity transforms politics and government, because every human being in Christ has access to God as His son or daughter. Therefore the voice of the people matters, representative government makes sense, and power becomes service, authority becomes a duty to protect human rights.

It’s a message President Obama and his Department of Health and Human Services still don’t get. As the National Catholic Reporter recently reported:

“The Obama administration has turned down repeated requests from Catholic bishops, hospitals, schools and charitable organizations to revise its religious exemption to the requirement that all health plans cover contraceptives and sterilization free of charge.

“…Under the plan, after Aug. 1 of this year, new or significantly altered health plans will be required to provide all FDA-approved contraceptives, including some that can cause abortions, without co-pays or deductibles as part of preventive health care for women.”

Some 200,000 comments were received from the general public regarding this. Rather than making any accommodation to those who object, the Administration arrogantly announced “that nonprofit groups that do not provide contraceptive coverage because of their religious beliefs will get an additional year ‘to adapt to this new rule.’”

An additional year to do what?

No, we don’t need an additional year nor an additional moment to adapt, study, consider, weigh, balance, or decide whether we are going to pay for the killing of human beings. The answer is no. Keep your year, and give us back our freedom of conscience!

The day before the Administration made this announcement, the Pope addressed a group of American bishops who were making their regular, obligatory visit to update the Pope. He mentioned the “worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.” That’s what the President and his team are doing. Go ahead, worship in whatever Church you want, he tells us, but if you run a hospital or other entity, you have to do it our way.

The US bishops have written in Living the Gospel of Life that Roe vs. Wade poisons our entire society. This latest inflexibility in the face of conscience is a good example of that. It is, after all, about abortion. Its fanatical advocates will stop at nothing to expand it, including throwing religious freedom and the Church itself out the window.

What this also tells us is that elections matter. It would be wise for the Church, in tackling this problem, to plan what we are going to do regarding the elections, rather than spending all our energy trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube after it’s been scattered all over the room. Let’s elect more public servants who know the difference between serving the public and killing the public.

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Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries Congratulate New Cardinals

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Father Pavone issued the following statement today to congratulate the new Cardinals named by Pope Benedict XVI.

“On behalf of the international association of Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries, and our entire pastoral team, I want to congratulate the new Cardinals, but more importantly, assure them of our union with them in the defense of our unborn brothers and sisters, “usque ad sanguinis effusionem” (that is, unto the shedding of our blood, which is what the bright red color of Cardinals signifies).”

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Remembering the Holy Innocents

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

This Feast of the Holy Innocents leads Christians to reflect on the tragedy of abortion, and today leads many to pray in front of abortion facilities, where innocent blood is shed. Just as Christmas should be celebrated every day in our hearts, so the Feast of the Holy Innocents should be celebrated every day. Our hearts should be broken as the bodies of these babies are broken, and the souls of those who kill them are weighed down with the burden of guilt and despair. Yet we are the people of Life, and we bring into this world the hope that comes from the birth of Christ and from the birth of every baby. We bring the hope of forgiveness and the determination to work daily for an end to the modern-day slaughter of the innocents.

Please take a moment to check out my Holiday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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Truly He Taught Us to Love One Another

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

The Christmas song “O Holy Night” includes the following words: “Truly he taught us to love one another. His law is love, and his gospel is peace. Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother, and in his name all oppression shall cease.” This is a reminder that as we celebrate Christmas, we renew our commitment to ending all oppression, particularly of those who are most oppressed, the children living before birth within their mothers; children who have been deprived of legal protection, and are oppressed by the mythology of choice. In the name of the newborn Christ, the oppression of our unborn children will cease. May Christmas give us the strength to be silent no more, and more active than ever in the pro-life cause.

Please take a moment to check out my Holiday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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Join Us In Prayer

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Our Lady of Guadalupe is patroness of the unborn. Priests for Life has therefore composed a special prayer novena to prepare for her feast day. This novena for life begins on December 4th and can be found at priestsforlife.org. The prayer asks for renewed hope, because Mary points us to Christ, who has conquered death. Our Lady of Guadalupe’s image ended the practice of human sacrifice among the Aztecs. The novena asks that the human sacrifice of abortion end through her intercession. It asks that we may have compassion for all those tempted to abort or who have had abortions. Please join this novena at priestsforlife.org, and invite your family, pro-life group, school and parish to take part in it as well.

Must-have pro-life book: Ending Abortion; Not Just Fighting It is a collection of lifesaving and informative pro-life essays from Fr. Pavone. Click here to order your signed copy today.

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Waiting in Joyful Hope

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

In Advent, we focus on the first and second comings of Christ. The preparation for Christ’s coming is reform, and the promise of His coming is reconciliation. And the two are linked. If the Messiah comes to restore harmony between nations and people, then the people of the Messiah are to repent of whatever destroys that harmony. If the Messiah will judge the poor with justice, then the people of the Messiah are to work to eliminate injustice. The worst injustice in our society is abortion. But Christ’s coming heralds a new harmony between mother and child. Advent leads us to the Silent Night when the whole world finds joy in His birth. May that 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.”

Must-have pro-life book: Ending Abortion; Not Just Fighting It is a collection of lifesaving and informative pro-life essays from Fr. Pavone. Click here to order your signed copy today.

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Focusing on the Second Coming of Christ

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Advent focuses our minds and hearts on the Second Coming of Christ. At a time nobody knows, He will return to earth, separate good from evil entirely; and publicly judge every person who ever lived. All the good we have done, especially at the price of ridicule, will be rewarded in the presence of the entire human family and the saints of all time. Those who ridiculed us, especially for our pro-life stance, will be proven wrong, and will be ashamed of not having stood for life. As Advent reminds us of these things, let it strengthen us to be even bolder in speaking up for what is true and right. In the light of the eternal judgment and the Second Coming of Christ, what sacrifice is too great to make for our smallest brothers and sisters who need our help today?

Great tool for planning your pro-life activities: The 2012 Priests for Life calendar is a great way to keep pro-life front and center in your home throughout the year. Click here to order yours today.

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You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

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.

Must-have pro-life book: Ending Abortion; Not Just Fighting It is a collection of lifesaving and informative pro-life essays from Fr. Pavone. Click here to order your signed copy today.

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