Breach of the Seventh Commandment

The Seventh Commandment declares, “You shall not steal.” Whenever we violate the right to life, we steal. We rob the person of what is his – the recognition of his rights, the protection of his life.

Actions like abortion also rob God Himself of what is His. Once when I was praying at an abortion facility with a group of people, and one man had his toes over the property line, a clinic worker shouted, “Get your feet off our property.” I responded, “And when are you going to get your hands off God’s property?”

God alone has dominion over human life. When an abortionist reaches into the sacred space of the womb to rip the child apart, he is stealing from the Almighty, and is also robbing society of the respect it owes to life.

We Do Not Have Authority to Murder the Innocent

The Fifth Commandment states, “You shall not kill.” The literal translation of this commandment forbids murder. This is not about a prohibition on killing cattle for food or on killing bugs for our safety, nor is it an absolute prohibition on repelling an aggressor. The commandment means that we do not have authority to murder the innocent. Babies are always in that category. The commandment against directly, deliberately killing a baby or any other innocent person is absolute.

From this commandment comes the prohibition on abortion, at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason whatsoever. The commandment is based on God’s absolute dominion over human life. He alone gives and takes the lives of human beings; He alone governs who comes into the world and who goes out, and when, and how.

Idolatry in all forms goes against the teachings of God

The First Commandment is “I am the Lord your God; you shall not have other gods besides me.” There are many ways of having false gods. Pope John Paul II once wrote that to think we are the ones who decide whether a child should be created is to say that God is not God. At the root of the contraceptive mentality, and at the root of the so-called “pro-choice” mentality, is idolatry. We place our choices before God’s choices. We break the first of all the commandments. In the Old Testament, we read that God’s people committed idolatry when they sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire to demons. Until we end the child sacrifice of legal abortion, we are guilty of the same kind of idolatry. Let us worship the Lord 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.”

Statement from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center

Joseph Maraachli and his family flew back to Canada on Thursday, April 21, after the infant with a progressive neurological disease received a tracheotomy on March 21st at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, MO.

Joseph responded well to the tracheotomy, a procedure that provides him with increased mobility and comfort while providing a stable, secure airway. The tracheotomy also keeps his lower airway free from secretions and protects his lungs from inhaled saliva or other material that could cause aspiration pneumonia.

The tracheotomy, which creates an opening into Joseph’s windpipe through an incision in his neck, was a success, says Dr. Robert Wilmott, Chief of Pediatrics for SSM Cardinal Glennon and Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

“Joseph has been breathing on his own, without the aid of a mechanical ventilator, for more than a week,” Wilmott said. “By providing him with this common palliative procedure, we’ve given Joseph the chance to go home and be with his family after spending so much of his young life in the hospital.”

Joseph, his parents and 7-year-old brother spent more than a month in St. Louis. The family was ready to return to Canada but will always cherish memories of the people they met while in St. Louis, said Moe Maraachli, Joseph’s father.

“So many people from the United States and Canada and all around the world have reached out, sent letters and called my family to let us know they were praying for us and thinking about us,” Moe Maraachli said. “This has really helped our family through this hard time, to know there is so much kindness in the world.

“We are so grateful for the amazing care and compassion we have received from the doctors, nurses and staff of Cardinal Glennon. Our family also wants to thank the team at Windsor Regional Hospital for reaching out to our family and Dr. Wilmott and making the transfer back home a reality.”

Doctors initially expected to transition Joseph to a local rehabilitation hospital, but he responded so well to the tracheotomy that he was discharged directly home to Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Joseph will transition home with the assistance of Windsor Regional Hospital in Ontario.

“I want to commend the Windsor Regional Hospital team for reaching out to the Maraachli family in early March to start planning for the arrival of Joseph back to Windsor,” stated David Musyj, President and CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital.

“The Maraachli family, Dr. Wilmott and his team at the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center have been very helpful in keeping Windsor Regional Hospital up to date on Joseph’s clinical condition and coordinating the clinical needs, wishes and plans for Joseph’s return home.”

Both SSM Cardinal Glennon and Windsor Regional Hospital continue to send prayers and positive thoughts to the Maraachli family in the next phase of their journey.

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.