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

Cardinal Dziwisz Dedicates Priests for Life Ministry to Saint John Paul II

 

Fr. Frank and Cardinal Dziwisz

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 3, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK, NY — As initially announced following the canonization of St. John Paul II, Priests for Life has dedicated our ministry and organization to his special protection.

This was carried out in two separate ceremonies during the week of May 19. At the monthly meeting of the entire pastoral team of Priests for Life on Wednesday, May 21, this dedication was made at the conclusion of Mass by Father Frank Pavone, National Director. But two days prior to that, Fr. Frank, along with Janet Morana, Executive Director, and several staff, were privileged to visit with Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was visiting in the United States. Cardinal Dziwisz was the longtime secretary and personal assistant to John Paul II.

The Cardinal himself prayed the prayer of dedication of the ministry of Priests for Life to the protection of St. John Paul II, and in that ceremony, the Cardinal presented to Fr. Frank and to the entire team of Priests for Life a first class relic of St. John Paul II.

In presenting the relic, the Cardinal said, “This relic of St. John Paul II is his blood, blood that was taken on the Saturday that he died. This blood is ever a symbol of love. May it signify our love for the family and for life, in defense above all of the lives of unborn children.” [See the letter of authentication]

The visit with the Cardinal was arranged in order to interview him for our Defending Life series on EWTN. The principal theme of the interview was the “Be Not Afraid” John Paul II International Center, established by Cardinal Dziwisz in Krakow in 2006.

The Center is meant to create a living memory of John Paul II, to preserve and spread his legacy, and to promote the values by which he lived and which he inspired us to follow. Priests for Life is working to spread awareness of the Center, and of the foundation which supports it here in the United States, the Friends of St. John Paul the Second “Be Not Afraid” Center, Inc., based in Linden, New Jersey (see www.JohnPaul2USA.org).

Father Frank worked at the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family under the pontificate of John Paul II. The Pontifical Council for the Family fosters the pro-life work of the Catholic Church. Fr. Frank stated, “I was privileged to converse with Pope John Paul II multiple times about the defense of life against abortion and other threats. The core of his teachings and example was and remains the dignity of the human person. In promoting the John Paul II International Center, we at Priests for Life obviously want to give primary attention to this core teaching of St. John Paul II. All who do pro-life work need his intercession today more than ever, both to withstand the attacks that come from all directions and also to avoid the temptation to think that somehow the defense of the unborn should be less of a priority than other issues. Both for the Church and the state, there is one moral imperative today that stands above all the rest: to end abortion.

“I had the opportunity to discuss with John Paul II on multiple occasions the work of Priests for Life, and he expressed strong support and encouragement,” Fr. Frank explained. “Given that personal contact with him, and given the priority he placed on the defense of the right to life, it is highly appropriate that we place our entire ministry and activity under his special patronage.”

A video of the dedication with Cardinal Dziwisz and Father Pavone is available at
http://youtu.be/9bed7DXENzo

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.

Remembering the Pope of Life

On April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II was called from this world to the next.

John Paul II was the Pope of Life. He provided the Church and the world with profound reflections about the origins of human life in the loving mystery of the unity of man and woman. He wrote about love and responsibility, and he called the Church to understand that God’s choice comes before our choices.

He provided the pro-life movement with the encyclical Evangelium Vitae, the Gospel of Life. In it, he declared that the attack on children in the womb is an attack on God Himself, and that when the state no longer protects these children, the disintegration of the state itself has begun.

May the example and teaching of John Paul II hasten the Culture of Life.