Archive for the ‘Conscience’ Category

Spy Wednesday

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Wednesday of Holy Week has traditionally been known as “Spy Wednesday,” because the Gospel passage of today says that Judas “kept looking for an opportunity to betray” Jesus.

What a sad commentary this is about how we can abuse our freedom of choice. The door of opportunity opens both ways. Every moment provides opportunities for growing closer to God or for betraying Him. Some are always spying for the chance to do the cowardly thing.

We are called, however, to spy for the opportunity to do heroic things. We are called to be on the lookout at all times for opportunities to proclaim the Gospel of Life, and to defend the sanctity of life.

May the sin of Judas keep us mindful of our weakness and determined to be faithful.

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Fr. Frank Issues Urgent Appeal to U.S. Hospitals on behalf of Baby Joseph: Help!

Friday, March 4th, 2011

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, has issued the following urgent appeal on behalf of Baby Joseph Maraachli:

“Priests for Life and other pro-life and pro-family organizations have been negotiating with hospitals across the United States for more than a week to persuade them to agree to admit Baby Joseph.

“For the most part, they have shown compassion but unfortunately, so far, not one has agreed to take Baby Joseph. The family is asking only to have a simple procedure performed to allow their son to breathe on his own.

“A committee in Canada has declared that efforts on behalf of this boy are futile. The parents are simply asking for a second opinion from an American institution.

“Priests for Life has hired a jet that is standing by now to fly Baby Joseph and his parents anywhere in the U.S. at a moment’s notice. We need one hospital with a sophisticated neo-natal unit and the courage to actually agree to take this child. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to explain to the public why it is that not one has committed to do this yet. I am urgently calling on any U.S. hospitals or administrators who are willing to help to contact my team at the following email address: jghorn.pc@mac.com

“Life is in the balance. It’s time for the American spirit to rise to this occasion and say ‘Let’s roll!’”

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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You Cannot Practice Vice Virtuously

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

The recent revelations about Planned Parenthood’s willingness to cover up sexual exploitation build on revelations uncovered many years ago. Life Dynamics called hundreds of Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide. The caller, posing as a minor made pregnant by statutory rape, was consistently taught how to lie so that the abortion clinic would not have to report the incident.

As I always say, you can’t practice vice virtuously. Planned Parenthood carries out, justifies, defends, and even celebrates the horrifying dismemberment of children in the womb. After doing that, they are hardly going to have much of a conscience left in regard to any other kind of right and wrong. If one devalues the child in the womb, one will devalue the child outside the womb. Find out more at priestsforlife.org.

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Lead Us Not Into Temptation

Friday, February 11th, 2011

In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask, “lead us not into temptation.”

Every temptation is a lie, that makes something evil look good. Among the most masterful temptations of the evil one is to make the killing of a child seem better than the birth of that child. This is the lie that leads each day to thousands of abortions. As we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” let’s keep in mind the need to protect all pregnant mothers from the deception of abortion. Let’s also pray against the temptation to be silent and passive in the midst of this holocaust. Sins of omission are the most frequent sins, especially in regard to the culture of death. Let’s say more, do more, and sacrifice more for life! Lead us not into temptation!

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Political Responsibility is an Ongoing Process

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

When the disciples of Christ exercise their citizenship and elect people to public office, the responsibilities of those disciples do not stop there. The duty of electing public servants then becomes the duty to lobby them, to hold them accountable to those who elected them, and to the responsibilities of public service.

The first of those responsibilities is the defense of human life and human rights. Those in public office who fail in this responsibility need to be challenged by the public. And those elected officials who do carry out their duties need to hear from us words of encouragement and our offer of assistance.

Many who hold public office have told me that they cannot do their job unless we believers do ours. Let’s get to work, then, and lobby for life.

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Advocates of abortion have always tried to hijack the language and concept of freedom!

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Advocates of abortion have always tried to hijack the language and concept of freedom. The reality of killing a child has been camouflaged in the words “freedom of choice.” Yet Scripture makes clear the real meaning of freedom. In Exodus seven sixteen, God has Moses tell Pharaoh, “Let my people go.” But here, and in the following chapters, this command in its fullness is, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.” Freedom has a content. It is not a cloak for whatever we want to do; it is a road to serve the Lord. And the service of the Lord means there are some things we always choose and some things that we always reject. The service of the Lord is a way of life – indeed a narrow way. Yet to follow it is freedom.

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Agreeing to Disagree is Not an Option when Lives are at Stake

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

The following article appeared in The Washington Times on Wednesday, October 13, 2010.

It is dismaying to hear some pro-life politicians calling for a “truce” on social issues like abortion – possible White House contenders Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour among them. Their suggestion is that it’s more important to do whatever is necessary to get elected than to worry about issues that appear to be intractable.

This tactic is akin to the pro-life and pro-abortion movements agreeing to disagree, an option often considered a reasonable one. It does not require that either side change its views, but simply agrees to allow the different views, and the practices that flow from them.

Sorry, but this is a proposal we in the pro-life movement can’t accept. There can be no truce.

First of all, to ask us to “agree to disagree” about abortion is to ask us to change our position on it. Why do we disagree in the first place? When we oppose abortion, we disagree with the notion that it is even negotiable. We do not only claim that we cannot practice abortion, but that nobody can practice it, precisely because it violates the most fundamental human right, the right to life. To “agree to disagree” means that we no longer see abortion for what it is – a violation of a right so fundamental that disagreement cannot be allowed to tamper with it.

To “agree to disagree” is to foster the notion that the baby is a baby only if the mother thinks it is, that the child has value only if the mother says it does and that we have responsibility only for those we choose to have responsibility for.

Certainly, there are many disputes in our nation about which we can “agree to disagree.” Various proposals, programs and strategies can be debated as we try to figure out how best to secure people’s rights. But these legitimate areas of disagreement relate to how to secure people’s rights, whereas the abortion controversy is about whether to secure or even recognize those rights at all. We can agree to disagree whether certain government programs should be allowed, but not whether acts of violence should be allowed. “Agree to disagree” seems like a neutral posture to assume, but it neutralizes what can never be neutral; namely, the right to life.

Furthermore, the abortion dispute is not merely about conceptual disagreement – it’s about justice. It’s about violence, bloodshed and victims who need to be defended. In the midst of a policy permitting thousands of babies a day to be killed, to “agree to disagree” means to cease to defend the absolute rights of these victims.

We don’t fight oppression by “agreeing to disagree” with the oppressor. It is precisely when the oppressor disagrees that we have to intervene to stop the violence. The fact that the oppressor does not recognize the victim as a person does not remove our obligation to the victim. In the face of injustice, we are not simply called to disagree with it, but to stop it.

Worse even than the notion of agreeing to disagree is the suggestion that abortion is irrelevant as an issue in the 2010 elections because it is “settled law.” No issue is less settled than abortion. More importantly, America’s courts and legislatures have a history of changing “settled law.”

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1856) is the most commonly cited instance. The slaveholder’s right to property eclipsed and subsumed the slave’s right to freedom. But the Constitution eventually was amended to correct the error.

Decisions like Lochner v. New York (1905) show us another error: Employers’ right to contract eclipsed and subsumed the workers’ rights to humane conditions and hours. These abuses were corrected by subsequent Supreme Court decisions like Muller v. Oregon and Bunting v. Oregon.

The “separate but equal” doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) sanctioning segregation was overturned by Brown v. Board of Education some 58 years later.

Erroneous decisions like Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918) institutionalized child labor. But this was overturned 23 years later by United States v. Darby. A new development – a “pedagogical moment” – occurred here in constitutional law. The question was whether constitutional rights applied to children, too. The answer was yes.

Many reversals of Supreme Court cases came about when new evidence made it clear that someone’s rights, not previously recognized, were being violated. Thus, Louis Brandeis brought forward the facts about how workers were being harmed.

We are now witnessing the same trend regarding children in the womb. Evidence that has been around for quite some time demonstrating their humanity, and their inalienable right to life, is finding its way into legislatures and courts.

With hundreds of embryological studies, and massive evidence of the harm abortion does to women, such evidence, combined with new legal concepts, can challenge Roe v. Wade in the same way its erroneous ancestral decisions were challenged.

The day after Roe v. Wade was decided, the New York Times headline read, “Supreme Court settles abortion.” It has remained the most unsettled issue on our national landscape.

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Beware of False Prophets

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

A Charlottesville Presbyterian pastor has made a shocking claim: Decisions to abort a child can be guided by the Holy Spirit.

First of all, the Holy Spirit is the Lord and giver of life. He gives us the strength to choose life, not the permission to take it.

Secondly, this pastor’s claim is a blatant abandonment of responsibility, not really any different from the claim, “The devil made me do it.” Each of us is responsible for the good we choose and the evil we choose. No matter who tells us that it’s OK to kill a baby, our duty is to say No.

This pastor reminds us that there are many false prophets in our midst, using words of faith to justify child killing.

It’s amazing how many things are blamed on the Holy Spirit.

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Convenient or Not

Monday, October 11th, 2010

A coalition of pro-life groups has responded to the assertion of some pro-life candidates that in this year’s elections, the social issues like abortion should not be a focus of attention, but rather issues like jobs and the economy.

The Vote ProLife Coalition, organized by Priests for Life, points out that abortion is always a critical election issue, because if the government can take one’s life, it can take one’s job and money, too. There is no issue more fundamental or non-negotiable than abortion.

There can be no truce, and no “agree to disagree” position, because when someone is perpetrating violence, we don’t sit back and agree to disagree with the perpetrator; rather, we stop the perpetrator. Therefore, whether politically convenient or inconvenient, we call for an end to abortion.

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There Can be No Truce on Abortion

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Vote Pro-Life Coalition Statement
Date: October 5, 2010

Some pro-life politicians and candidates for office have drawn national attention by calling for a truce on abortion to allow them to concentrate on jobs, housing and other issues.

This is a proposal the Vote Pro-Life Coalition cannot accept. There can be no truce.

A truce would suggest there are issues more important than life, that abortion is somehow a negotiable issue. It is not. In fact, the heart and core and foundation of every issue is precisely the dignity of the human person and his or her right to life.

The Vote Pro-Life Coalition therefore reaffirms that there is no issue more important than life, and that abortion is not negotiable.

We reiterate the necessity of electing pro-life candidates; such candidates never shy away from explicitly dealing with the abortion issue.

Signed:
Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
Janet Morana, Silent No More Awareness Campaign
Dr Alveda King, Priests for Life African American Outreach
Brian Scarmecchia, Ave Maria School of Law
Lisa Dudley, National Director, Operation Outcry
Allan Parker, President, The Justice Foundation.
Peggy Hartshorn, President, Heartbeat International
Patricia McEwen, Director Life Coalition International
Bradley Mattes, Executive Director, Life Issues Institute
Christopher R. Bell, MA, President, Good Counsel, homes helping mothers & babies
Monica Migliorino Miller, Ph.D., Director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society
Georgette Forney, President, Anglicans for Life and Co-Founder, Silent No More Awareness Campaign

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