Father Pavone seconds Trump’s vow to repeal Johnson Amendment

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“Both when I met with Mr. Trump recently in Washington and in his remarks in New York, he said that Churches should not be afraid to speak their mind on matters related to politics. He  is correct in his claim that religious leaders are ‘petrified’ of wading into politics because they are afraid the IRS will revoke their tax-exempt status. 
 
“There are two problems here. First, the Johnson amendment itself has no Constitutional basis. And second, it is inherently vague, and the interpretation given to it by the IRS, and by many Catholic dioceses and institutions, makes things even worse. 
 
“This is a message I have been spreading for years and is a focus of my book Abolishing Abortion (Nelson Books, 2015). There is no justification for either government censorship of the Churches or self-censorship by the Churches. I wrote the book, in fact, precisely to prepare Churches for this election year and to urge them to step up to the plate, stop the self-censorship, and open their mouths.”

 

Today’s Pro-life Reflection: There is No Peace

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“They lead my people astray, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash” (Ezekiel 13:10).

Reflection: Late-term abortionist George Tiller tells couples who come to him to abort, “The hard part is saying goodbye to the hopes, dreams and relationships that you have with your baby.” He explains that patients may speak directly to their baby, and even has a chaplain who conducts spiritual services and baptisms for the children who are killed.

Prayer: Lord, have mercy. Move to repentance those who misuse the faith of others to justify wrongdoing, and heal all those who turn to you. Amen.

Priests for Life calls for prayer for victory in Texas abortion case

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“Prayer is at the core of the pro-life effort, and this case is no exception. This case, moreover, has the potential of protecting countless women and children from abortionists who are so unqualified as not to be able to get hospital admitting privileges, and from clinics whose standards cannot measure up to those of ambulatory surgical facilities,”

Read the entire Press Release: http://www.priestsforlife.org/pressreleases/5738-priests-for-life-calls-for-prayer-for-victory-in-texas-abortion-case

Waiting For Obama On Religious Liberty – Priests for Life is ready to reach a solution, as the Supreme Court directed.

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The Supreme Court could have settled the question of whether federal bureaucrats may issue punishing, perhaps incapacitating, fines to faith-based organizations that refuse to participate in what we believe to be evil. Instead, the justices sent all of the cases in Zubik back to the four federal circuit courts that heard them first. The high court also asked those appeals courts to step away momentarily and give the two sides time to resolve the case on their own.

What will the administration do now? The White House’s latest “accommodation” proposal for religious nonprofit charities, schools and other organizations did not satisfy the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The proposal and each of its previous versions required faith-based groups seeking an exemption from the mandate to submit a form to an authority. Without this initiating action, abortion-causing drugs would not be made available to our employees. The basic requirement that we be complicit in the provision of abortifacients and other life-denying drugs, devices and procedures was a part of every government proposal. When we responded that we are forbidden by our faith to take part in this scheme—the government effectively retorted, “So what?

But both sides in Zubik have told the Supreme Court that a solution is theoretically possible.

For instance, the administration could, for once, actually listen to the Zubik petitioners—and to the scores of other faith-based groups that have lawsuits pending in lower courts—and propose a solution that does not hijack our health-insurance plans. The administration could, for example, make abortifacient/contraceptive coverage available to religious nonprofit employees through the ObamaCare exchanges, Title X (the federal program devoted to family-planning services), or separate arrangements with our own or another insurance company. In other words, don’t involve us, or the health-insurance plan we offer our employees, in the effort to expand coverage of abortion-inducing drugs.

The administration might be tempted to come up with a proposal that satisfies only those groups that have third-party insurance coverage—and not those that self-insure. This wouldn’t be acceptable, because self-insurers underwrite their own health-insurance plans and are, practically speaking, their own insurance companies. A government “accommodation” that offered as its only option a requirement that insurers of religious nonprofit groups offer the employees of those groups separate plans for abortifacients and contraceptives would still force self-insured religious groups to violate their faith.

Read the entire article in The Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/articles/waiting-for-obama-on-religious-liberty-1465163311

Supreme Court Order in Priests for Life vs. HHS (Part of Zubik vs. Burwell).. Further Comments from Priests for Life

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“We are encouraged by today’s development. The Supreme Court could have ruled against us, but evidently the Obama Administration did not succeed in persuading them to do so. A split Court could also have let the lower court’s negative ruling stand, but again, they did not see fit to do that. Instead, the Supreme Court, upon receiving further briefings, vacated the lower court rulings, and offered the parties an opportunity to work out a mutually acceptable solution in the lower courts, that will both allow the government to pursue its objectives and allow us to practice our faith. We are committed to continuing that process in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.”

 

Read the entire Statement from Priests for Life: http://www.priestsforlife.org/pressreleases/5715-supreme-court-order-in-priests-for-life-vs-hhs

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection: Eliminate Abortion

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“Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity” – Evangelium Vitae, 9

Reflection: If we ask, “How can we eliminate capital punishment?” The answer is, “Eliminate abortion.” After all, as long as we try to solve problems by throwing away the innocent, it is quite hard to convince people that we don’t solve problems by throwing away the guilty.

Prayer: Lord, we confess that so often we think that the way to fix people’s problems is to throw people away. Free us from that way of thinking. May we protect the innocent, and may we not fail to recognize the dignity even of the guilty. Amen.

National Voter Registration Sunday is June 29

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 23, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK, NY — The first of three National Voter Registration Sundays will take place this Sunday, June 29.

Voter Registration Sundays are promoted by Priests for Life and other national pro-life and pro-family organizations to encourage pastors and church attendees to do what they are legally entitled to do – conduct non-partisan voter registration drives.

While the official days of these registration efforts this year are the Sundays before and after Independence Day – June 29 and July 6 — and the Sunday before 9/11, Sept. 7, churches, prayer groups, and Bible studies can register voters on any day of their choosing.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented on the importance of registering voters in time for the November elections.

“It’s mid-term election season, and the importance of an active and informed electorate is greater than it has ever been. The moral direction of America is largely in our hands. Our duty is not only to convert minds and hearts; it is to change laws and policies. And we do that by electing those who share our convictions about what those laws and policies should be.

“The first thing to do, practically, is to register to vote, and to call upon our pastors to have non-partisan voter registration drives in our parishes. Then we have to look closely at the races in our states, and find out who can, in our judgment, best advance the Culture of Life.”

For a list of Vote Pro-Life Coalition partners and to find practical suggestions on helping to get out the vote, go to VoteProLifeCoalition.com

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.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

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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

“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26)

Reflection: It is only of God that the word “create” is used, because only he is the one who can bring life out of nothing. The sanctity of life has its root in the unique relationship that human beings have with their Creator. Life is sacred because it comes from God, belongs to God, and returns to God.

Prayer: Thank you, Father of Life, for creating me. Thank you for creating every human being, born and unborn, healthy and sick. Thank you for life. Amen.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

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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

“Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and he was obedient to them” (Luke 2:51).

Reflection: Though he was conceived of a virgin, Jesus nevertheless lived as a son in a human family. The family is the sanctuary of life. The family, above all, is where life is to be welcomed, no matter how fragile or inconvenient it may be. One of the many reasons why the Church sees abortion and euthanasia as pre-eminent issues is because these crimes are committed by one family member upon another.

Prayer: O Holy Family, bless our families, and lead us to a Culture of Life. Amen.

Equal rights of all human beings

prolife3So did you see the letter that Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, wrote to President Obama yesterday asking him not to nominate her for Secretary of State? In the first paragraph, she praises the “vision and leadership” of the President, and the Administration’s “successes,” including, in her words, “our bold defense of the equal rights of all human beings regardless of their race, religion, economic status or whom they love.”

This made me wonder if Susan Rice has her countries confused.

The Obama Administration, whether at the U.N. or anywhere else, does not defend the “equal rights of all human beings.” First of all, the reference to equal rights “regardless of…religion” is laughable in the light of the Administration’s ongoing attack on religious freedom. “Regardless of…religion” should mean even religions that would prohibit employers to offer coverage of abortion-inducing drugs in the health insurance plans they offer to employees. Yet instead, the Administration is attempting to force such people to violate their religion – including us at Priests for Life, which is why we launched one of the first lawsuits against the HHS and its unjust mandate.

But even more fundamental than the right to religious freedom is the right to life.

And the Obama Administration fails miserably here as well. The defense of legal abortion is, by definition, a defense of the proposition that Roe vs. Wade made that “the word ‘person’…does not include the unborn.” The first of the “equal rights of all human beings” is the right to life. Every other right depends on it. Equality is not equality if some human beings – those living in the womb – are not recognized and protected as equal.

Susan Rice has been criticized for a lot of things. Unfortunately, she just added to the list. She is apparently unable to tell the difference between a “bold defense of the equal rights of all human beings” and a bold denial of them.