Today’s Pro-life Reflection: Future of Humanity

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“Although faith provides special light and strength, this question arises in every human conscience which seeks the truth and which cares about the future of humanity” – EV 101 

Reflection: Jesus, the Bible, and the Church teach that stealing is wrong. Therefore, do the laws that prohibit stealing impose a religious belief on the rest of us? Of course not. But some argue that a law protecting the unborn would impose religion. They think freedom of religion should allow child-killing.

Prayer: Lord, you have blessed human conscience with the ability to perceive that killing children is wrong. Increase the moral strength of your people, that this evil may end. Amen.

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

Today’s Pro-life Reflection: God is with us

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“And they shall name him Emmanuel, a name that means ‘God is with us'” Matthew 1:23.

Reflection: In the midst of the abortion tragedy, the Church does not point fingers of condemnation. Rather, the Church extends hands of compassion and help, to lift up out of despair those who are tempted to abort their children. The Church informs her people of the many alternatives to abortion, and says “I am with you, and will enable you to say yes to life.”

Prayer: Lord, so many are tempted to abort because they feel alone. May we reach out to them, that they may know that we and you are with them. 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

“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.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

“Life is always a good. …Why is life a good?… The life which God gives man is …a manifestation of God in the world, a sign of his presence, a trace of his glory” (John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, n.34).

Reflection: Abortion advocates say that the embryo or fetus is “just a collection of cells.” But this is no argument at all. The same can be said of you and me. If someone does not see the dignity of the human person, their view of people is just reduced to cells.

Prayer: Fill us with wonder, Lord, at your glory shining through every human life. Amen.

Can the Government Veto a Sermon?

Friends,

Lots happening this weekend… It’s Respect Life Sunday (and we have resources at ProLifePreaching.com), it’s Life Chain Sunday (and I’ll be participating in one in Detroit… I hope all the Life Chain organizers are ready to collect names, numbers, and emails of the participants to help engage them throughout the year!), it’s the opening of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization (Priests for Life was pleased to send input to the synod on the connections between new evangelization and the pro-life movement) – but what I want to focus on for a moment here is that it is also “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.”

Here’s the question: May the government filter, edit, or veto the contents of a sermon?  No court has ever heard a case regarding whether the Internal Revenue Service can do so. Yet every day – and especially in these weeks prior to an election – preachers act as if their sermons have to be vetted and approved by the IRS.

Indeed, the IRS issues guidelines saying that in order to retain its tax exemption, Churches and other organizations set up as “501 (c)(3)” entities must avoid any intervention in a political campaign.

But this restriction is not in the Constitution. In fact, it only goes back to 1954, to a provision that has no legislative history and has never been challenged in court.

And the result of the restriction, and the ambiguity often surrounding it (because the IRS says that all the “facts and circumstances” have to be taken into account to determine exactly when a preacher has “crossed the line,” therefore meaning in practice that you may not know that you’ve crossed the line until after the fact), what in fact happens is that speech is chilled and pastors do far less than they are able to do.

Since 2008, therefore, pastors across the nation have begun to rise up with a simple message: No government interference in the pulpit! They have decided, on a designated weekend, to preach sermons outside the usual restrictions of the IRS, and have sent those sermons to the IRS. The hope is that this will lead to a court case that can clarify whether the restrictions are in fact even constitutional.

In 2008, some 33 pastors did this. The IRS did not respond.

In 2009, some 84 pastors did this. Again, only silence from the IRS.

In 2010, a hundred pastors engaged in this project. The IRS raised no complaint.

Last year, 539 pastors sent in their sermons challenging the IRS restrictions. And nothing but silence came from the IRS.

This year’s numbers will surpass all the previous years.

It seems clear that the IRS does not want the 1954 restrictions subjected to court scrutiny. We will report more of what happens as a result of this Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Stay tuned!

Fr. Frank

 

 

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

“All of them look to you to give them their food at the appropriate time” (Psalm 104:27).

Reflection: One of the myths that was used to kill Terri Schiavo was the idea that food and water are medical treatments. But when we come back from a meal, we don’t say, “I just had my latest medical treatment.” Rather, we say, “I had breakfast, lunch, or dinner.” Food and water are ordinary means of care which may not be taken away from the sick.

Prayer: Lord, I pray today for all who need assistance to receive nourishment. Protect them and surround them with people who will treat them with care. Amen

Priests for Life Sponsoring Event for NGOs Hosted by Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 13, 2012

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Priests for Life is pleased to announce today to all its supporters that it is sponsoring and promoting a three-day training course in Rome this September for Catholic-Inspired NGOs, hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Family and relevant offices of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See.

With specific focus on social issues, training and networking, the event has at its heart the promotion and defense of the rights and dignity of human life and will feature contributions from leading international scholars.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said” “We are truly honored to collaborate in this wonderful endeavor, and in sharing with you such great news, we invite you to join us in prayer for God’s blessing upon the event and upon all who participate in its task of bringing to the world the message of the Gospel of Life.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit Priests for Life.

Feast of the Holy Trinity

This weekend the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Trinity. We worship one God in Three Persons. The Feast is a lesson in unity and love. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit give themselves completely to one another, and literally have one mind, one will, one power.

As human beings, there are limits to how close we can come to others. But we can come far closer than we are.
Nothing divides human beings from one another more drastically than abortion. It cuts and destroys the most intimate union, that of a mother and her unborn child. The effects of abortion split marriages, families, political bodies, and nations.
As we prepare to celebrate Trinity Sunday, let’s renew our commitment to building unity, starting with the bond between mother and child.