Death has been Conquered

On Easter morning, the women who came to the tomb were asked, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here; He has been raised.”

Jesus Christ broke the power of death and overturned its kingdom, which is why we can confidently work against evils like abortion and euthanasia. How easy it is for people to seek the living among the dead. Despair causes them to look to death as a solution. People are made to think that freedom consists in the ability to choose death, either for themselves or their children, but this freedom and these solutions are only in Jesus Christ. We are not to seek the living one among the dead. He is not there. He has been raised, He lives forevermore, and He gives us the power to choose life.

John Paul II: The Pope of Life

Washington, DC – Fr. Pavone, who worked under Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in the Pontifical Council for the Family in the late ‘90’s, released the following statement prior to Sunday’s beatification ceremony:

“John Paul II was the Pope of Life and will be remembered as such through the centuries. The Church’s beatification of him on May 1, recognizing the exemplary way in which he lived the Christian virtues, is also an opportunity for all of us to absorb and apply his teachings more profoundly. He called us to build a Culture of Life with a sense of urgency and confidence. ‘The outcome of the battle for life is already decided,’ he declared at World Youth Day in Denver, yet we have to work to bring that battle to its completion. ‘Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life,’ he warned.

“The worldwide ministry of Priests for Life rededicates itself today to the task of reminding the whole Church that, as John Paul II taught, there is no task more fundamental than defending the very right to life, on which every other right depends.”

Joining in this commitment is the National Pro-life Religious Council, a coalition of many Christian denominations working to end abortion. In a statement also issued today, this Council declared:

“Pope John Paul II was a gift not only to the Roman Catholic community, but to the entire Body of Christ, as he pointed to Christ as the only source of life and hope for the human family. His courageous challenge both to the Church and to the State to defend the most vulnerable among us echoes the historic Christian teaching that life comes from God, belongs to God, and goes back to God.

“The National Pro-life Religious Council calls upon all Christians to recognize again that it is our discipleship of Jesus Christ, rather than any ideology or political platform, that impels us today and always to defend life and to eliminate from our midst the scourge of abortion. We thank the Lord for giving us such a powerful example of that commitment in Pope John Paul II.”

Death is Conquered

When Jesus rose from the dead, an angel descended from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it. This was not so that Jesus could get out, but so that His followers could see that the tomb was empty.

The angel’s actions also mean that we will walk out of our graves. The stone sealed human beings in the grave, but after rolling it away, the angel sat on the stone, symbolizing that death is conquered and cannot any longer hold humanity captive to the grave. Our destiny is now the heights of heaven.

That’s what God thinks of human life, and that’s why we work to end abortion, euthanasia, and every other form of violence. Ultimately, abortion is a denial of Christ’s resurrection, but our Easter faith compels us to extend the victory of life.

Baby Joseph Defies His Critics and Ours

Child, free from tubes and machines, is able to return home with family.

New York, NY — Baby Joseph Maraachli, the Canadian child whom Priests for Life brought to the United States for medical treatment, is going back home. His tracheotomy and subsequent medical care have made it possible for him to breathe on his own, without the assistance of machines. Fr. Pavone issued the following statement:

“Our mission to save Baby Joseph and help his family was never based on any prediction of the future, but rather on the value of his life here and now.

Our critics, on the other hand, looking into the crystal ball that ‘right to die’ advocates seem to always think they have, claimed our intervention was futile because Joseph would only end up having a machine do his breathing for him.

“We don’t have to answer their criticism; Joseph is doing that for us, with every breath he takes. He has gained benefit from his tracheotomy, is breathing on his own, and is going home to live with his parents, who will love and care for him for as much time as God gives them together.

“Baby Joseph’s victory over the culture of death is especially powerful now, as we prepare for Easter, a time when Christians everywhere celebrate Jesus’ victory over death.

“I want to commend the fine, caring staff at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center for their professional excellence and their faith. Likewise I want to thank the team at Kalitta MedFlight in Michigan, who donated the air ambulance and crew to fly Baby Joseph from Ontario to St. Louis last month, and who are flying him home today. Thanks also to the many groups and countless individuals who stepped forward, spoke up, donated, and helped to intervene for this child.

“Priests for Life is happy and humbled to have played a small part in making this joyous day possible. We ask everyone to join us as we continue to pray for Baby Joseph and his family.”

Priests for Life is covering Baby Joseph’s medical expenses, and has set up a fund for that purpose. Go to to donate and to stay updated on related stories.

What a Great Way to Celebrate Easter!

Father Pavone was interviewed this morning on Fox News as Baby Joseph Maraachli was flown home to Canada.

The 15-month-old was transferred from a hospital in London, Ontario, last month because doctors there ruled that to continue to treat his neurological disease was futile, and courts agreed. Plans were in the works to disconnect the breathing tube that was helping him breathe, and to let him die.

Just over a month later, the boy has received the tracheotomy his parents sought and is breathing on his own.

“We knew when he was in Canada…he was mostly breathing on his own,” Father Pavone told Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson this morning. He said the tracheotomy that ultimately was performed at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis “was not extraordinary treatment,’ and had “a high probability of success.”

Father Pavone, who has remained in close contact with Baby Joseph’s parents, Moe and Sana Maraachli, said the parents are excited to be bringing the baby home.

“This is all they wanted,” he said, “to be able to bring him home and care for him for as much time as God gives them together.”

Father Pavone said the family’s tenacity should help empower other families to battle medical bureaucracies, and should encourage pro-life efforts on every front.

“This case should help families to stand up and fight hard,” he said. To pro-lifers, he said, “stay engaged in the pro-life effort because we have more victories to win.”

Baby Joseph, the child of a Muslim father and Catholic mother, was baptized Catholic last month. His transfer home took place on Holy Thursday, just three days before Christians celebrate Jesus’ victory over death.

“Today’s outcome is better than expected,’ Father Pavone said. “What a great way to celebrate Easter.”

Baby Joseph Now Home: Lessons to Learn

New York, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, who traveled with Baby Joseph from Canada to St. Louis last month, issued this statement this morning:

“Baby Joseph’s journey, from the prison of the Canadian hospital to the faith-filled treatment he received in St. Louis, has now brought him to the safety and comfort of his own home, with his loving parents and older brother, in Windsor, Ontario.

“There is no ‘life support’ or ventilator needed for Baby Joseph. From a medical perspective, we did not have any pre-conceived outcome in our mind, nor do we know how long his life will be. What we do know is that there are several key lessons to draw from this story:

a) Doctors do not always know best. Day by day, situations turn out better than many doctors predict. The desires of the patient and the family need to be honored above any kind of medical dictatorships. Some were saying that nothing should be done for Baby Joseph, because he would be attached to machines for the rest of his life, but today, he is breathing on his own.

b) Families need to fight to care for their loved ones. Moe Maraachli and his wife Sana are strong in their faith and in their love for their children. They did not let the death of a previous child bring them to despair about this one. Rather, they fought hard for Joseph to get the care that has now helped him.

c) The meaning and value of life does not come from medical tribunals or courts, and it is not measured in years, months, or days. It is measured by giving and receiving love, first from God and then from each other.

d) When people band together for the cause of life, victories can be won. So many people sent e-mails, prayed, and are helping pay for Baby Joseph’s care (see We need to stay engaged in the pro-life cause, because there are many more victories to win.

“We thank everyone who has helped and will continue to help with this case and others like it. As Moe Maraachli has said, we did not do this only for Baby Joseph, but for all the other Baby Josephs to come.”

To assist in the payment of Baby Joseph’s medical care, and to stay updated on this story, visit:

The Best Way to Honor Terri’s Memory is by Raising Awareness

On March 31, 2005, Terri Schiavo was killed. She was a disabled woman whose estranged husband, and the courts to which he went, decided that she should be deprived of water and food. Terri was not in a coma, she was not on life support, and she did not have a terminal illness. Terri was one of those people who cries out for our extra love and support, which her parents and siblings were ready to give her for the rest of her life. I was at Terri’s bedside during her final hours and moments. As she was dying from lack of water, there stood by her head a display of beautiful live flowers, immersed in water. As I blessed and absolved Terri, I assured her of your love. Now I implore you to educate your neighbors on her behalf.

Six Years Ago Today…

On March 30, 2005, Terri Schiavo had her last full day of life on this earth. I spent her last night by her side, praying with her, reading Scripture to her, and assuring her of the love of so many of you. Terri had not received a drop of water in nearly two weeks. As I reached out my hand to touch hers, I could also reach it out to touch the vase of flowers that was next to her. And that vase was filled with water. The flowers were nourished; Terri was deprived of nourishment. Court orders saw to it that none of us could give her some of the water that nourished the flowers. In a culture of death, law is divorced from humanity, and we are all victimized in the process.

A Dangerous Mentality

Next week marks the anniversary of the murder of Terri Schiavo. She was deprived of food and water, as police officers stood over her bed to make sure nobody gave her any. She did not have any terminal disease and was not on life support. Her loving parents and siblings were ready to care for her for the rest of their lives. Yet through the actions of her estranged husband and the erroneous decisions of the courts, she was killed anyway. It is perfectly logical and moral to forego useless treatments, but that’s not what Terri’s case was all about. In this case, it was not that treatments were considered useless – it was that a life was considered useless, and that type of judgment is dangerous to us all.

Statement from SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center Regarding Baby Joseph

Contact: SSM Cardinal Glennon Public Relations office, 314-577-5615

“SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center has met the needs of children and families with great compassion for more than 50 years. In the case of Joseph Maraachli, we agreed to take the baby into our care to provide a medical consultation. Baby Joseph has Leigh Syndrome, a progressive neurologic disease.

“Following a thorough examination by a multi-disciplinary medical team of specialists from SSM Cardinal Glennon and Saint Louis University School of Medicine, along with extensive consultations with Joseph’s parents and the SSM Cardinal Glennon ethics committee, we concluded that a tracheotomy was medically appropriate.

“Baby Joseph received a tracheotomy on Monday. He is currently in the pediatric intensive care unit, where tracheotomy patients routinely spend 7 to 10 days following the procedure. After he is discharged from SSM Cardinal Glennon, Joseph will travel to Ranken Jordan – A Pediatric Specialty Hospital in St. Louis before being transported to his family home in Windsor.

“It is our hope that this procedure will allow Joseph and his family the gift of a few more months together and that Joseph may be more comfortable with a permanent tracheotomy.

“As with any of the children we help, our primary focus must remain on the patient and what is best in his or her individual circumstances.

“We ask that you keep Baby Joseph and his family in your prayers.”