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

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

Teleconference to Discuss Priests for Life vs. HHS, Government Brief, and Upcoming Election

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Today, April 20, a further brief is submitted to the Court by Priests for Life and the other petitioners, and tomorrow’s press conference will talk about their reply to the government.

Media and pro-life leaders are welcome to join by calling 712-432-0700, and entering Pin number 619300.

 

Read the entire press release: http://www.priestsforlife.org/pressreleases/5684-teleconference-to-discuss-priests-for-life-vs-hhs-government-brief-and-upcoming-election

The Mandate is In Effect: Stand With Us!

 

Dear Friends,

The unjust and unconstitutional HHS mandate, against which Priests for Life and 57 other plaintiffs have sued the federal government, takes effect today. We at Priests for Life do not qualify for the year that the government has offered certain groups to “adapt” to the mandate. And we are not “religious” enough for this Administration.

But regardless of all that, we do not adapt to injustice; we oppose it.

Therefore today, on behalf of our organization and on behalf of myself personally, I announce our conscientious objection to this mandate.

Priests for Life has the highest respect for civil government and advocates the observance of all just laws. But this policy is unjust, and today I reaffirm our intention to disobey it.

I issued the following memo this morning at 12:01am to all our employees, consultants and prospective employees:

August 1, 2012

Dear Priests for Life Staff and Consultants,

The HHS mandate, about which we have been educating people since January and against which we have launched a federal lawsuit, goes into effect for Priests for Life today.

Whether or not the government decides to eventually impose fines on us when our health insurance policy is renewed in a few months is not the issue. The issue is that as of today, as far as the government is concerned, we have to provide health insurance coverage for practices that are morally objectionable.

In order to avoid the slightest semblance of scandal, or compromise of our principles, and lest any employee should imagine that we would ever consent to provide coverage for actions that destroy human life, I want to make it clear to you today that we will disobey this mandate. Neither Priests for Life as an organization, nor any one of our administrative team or Board of Directors, nor I personally, consent to provide, pay for, advocate, counsel, refer, or in any way tolerate or cooperate with any process, plan, exchange of money or services, or any other activity that would enable a person to engage in the use of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, or sterilization.

We reaffirm that our mission is precisely to eliminate abortion in every form, and we reaffirm our trust in you that you share that mission and are likewise offended by this mandate. We will therefore stand together in resisting it, and in our confidence that we will prevail, by persevering in prayer and action, in our lawsuit.

Thank you

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director

Having officially communicated this memo to our staff, I likewise invite all our supporters across the country and around the world to stand with us, and let their voices be heard by joining our Citizens’ Amicus Brief and by doubling their commitment to help our many initiatives succeed, especially those related to fostering the political responsibility of citizens.

Today is also the filing deadline for the Administration to introduce its motion to dismiss our case against the HHS, Priests for Life vs. Sebelius, as they have already indicated their intention to do. Our lead counsel in the case has advised us that he is confident our case has addressed the issues in such a way that we will prevail against this motion.

Sincerely,

Fr. Frank Pavone

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.

 

 

Priests for Life and Fr. Pavone declare “Beginning of the End” of the HHS Mandate

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, released the following statement today regarding the preliminary injunction issued in a lawsuit filed by a private company against the Health and Human Services contraception mandate. The ruling marks the first legal victory over the mandate.

 “This decision marks the beginning of the end of the unjust and unconstitutional HHS mandate. Even though the Aug. 1 deadline for compliance is still in effect for organizations like Priests for Life, it’s good news that the suit filed by the owners of Hercules Industries has been successful in holding off, at least temporarily, this mandate that is so clearly a violation of the religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the laws of our country.This gives us reason to be optimistic as our own lawsuit progresses.

 “But no matter what happens, there is no way we will comply with a law that calls for us to violate our consciences by paying for contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilization services.”

In Newland vs. Sebelius, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ruled on July 27 that the constitutional and statutory rights of the plaintiffs – siblings who own a heating and air conditioning company – would be harmed by enforcement of the HHS mandate. Judge John L. Kane also found that Hercules likely would prevail in its claim that the mandate is a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In his ruling, the judge noted that Hercules’ owners, William Newland, Paul Newland, James Newland, and Christine Ketterhagen, run their company according to Catholic principles and teachings, even when those religious, ethical and moral teachings impact their profits.

Fr. Pavone added, “Priests for Life is proud to be in the company of the Newlands and so many others who are not willing to set aside their deeply held beliefs, or their legal rights, even when threatened with economic catastrophe. We are confident that our lawsuit, filed Feb. 15, will protect us from the imposition of more than $1 million a year in fines.

“In addition to pressing on with our legal action, Priests for Life will also help once again to organize nationwide rallies for religious freedom, to take place on Saturday, October 20.”

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.

Father Pavone hails news of 12 new lawsuits filed against HHS mandate

Staten Island, NY — Father Frank applauded the additional 12 lawsuits filed around the country today in protest of the Health and Human Services mandate forcing employers to provide coverage for activities they find objectionable.

The lawsuits represent 43 plaintiffs, including the Archdioceses of New York, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis, the Michigan Catholic Conference, and several dioceses.

“These new actions mean there are now 23 lawsuits filed against this assault on religious freedom,’ said Father Pavone, whose organization was the fourth to file suit against the mandate. “Since Priests for Life launched its lawsuit in February, we have urged other organizations and dioceses to do the same. When there are multiple federal lawsuits on the same issue in different parts of the country, this can create the potential kind of conflict that the Supreme Court may be more likely to resolve.”

Besides suing Kathleen Sebelius and the HHS, Father Pavone and Priests for Life are helping organize rallies nationwide to stand up for religious freedom on Friday, June 8. The Priests for Life team is organizing the rally in New York City.

“The fact that the New York Archdiocese is now part of the legal assault on this mandate will, I am sure, create renewed interest and participation in our June 8 rally. We invite all to take part.”

More information on the rally can be obtained by emailing rally@priestsforlife.org

Fr. Pavone: Sebelius Leading Assault on Religious Freedom

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank issued the following statement regarding Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s commencement address today at Georgetown University.

“It was outrageous when Notre Dame University awarded an honorary degree to President Obama during commencement exercises in 2009,” said Father Pavone, who was invited by pro-life students to lead an alternative graduation ceremony at the Indiana university. “Georgetown’s decision to invite Secretary Sebelius is just as bad. She is leading the assault on religious freedom that has grave implications for the Catholic Church. By inviting her to speak, Georgetown offers the image of a Church that is, at best, divided, and at worst, hypocritical. What we need instead is a show of unity and resolve.”

Priests for Life in February filed the fourth of what are now 11 lawsuits against the Health and Human Services mandate that would require most faith-based employers to provide their employees with insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization services and abortifacient drugs.

Father Pavone stated, “Not only do we urge the bishops to voice their objections regarding the Sebelius invitation just as they did over Notre Dame’s invitation of Obama, but we further urge the bishops to join in the legal action that we and others have taken against Sebelius and the HHS.”

For more information, see priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate.

Fr. Pavone welcomes news of latest lawsuit against HHS mandate

 Father Frank issued the following statement today about the latest lawsuit to be filed against the HHS contraception mandate:

“I congratulate Legatus for deciding to jump into the legal assault on the HHS Mandate.  This brings the total to ten lawsuits, including that of Priests for Life. It is a strategic benefit to have various lawsuits in different parts of the country, so that more courts get involved in ruling on the issues involved, and creating the potential kind of conflict that the Supreme Court may be more likely to resolve.”