Troy Newman and I have worked closely together for many years as colleagues in national pro-life leadership. We have collaborated on many projects, including behind the scenes advice and encouragement on many undercover projects, including the most recent one of Planned Parenthood. Troy is completely committed to the principles at the foundation of our movement, including that of non-violence. Those who see him as an enemy do so not because he is some kind of violent fanatic, but precisely because he is effective at what he does, namely, researching the weaknesses of the abortion industry and then using the legal system to make them accountable for their unscrupulous and dangerous practices.
Troy is not being allowed in Australia not because there’s something wrong with him, but because there’s something wrong with those who are denying him entrance. And we’ve seen this pattern in other countries too. What tremendous tolerance these governments show to viewpoints and activities that might rip the mask off their mindless devotion to keeping the status quo on the greatest holocaust of human history.
Added to the completely baseless blocking of his international travel is the attempt to prevent him from traveling within the United States. That is simply outrageous, and an immediate correction and apology is needed on the part of whoever made that attempt. The Australian government, needless to say, has no jurisdiction here. Moreover, the American authorities have some explaining to do when they start limiting the movement of their own citizens. And those of us in pro-life leadership will be particularly vigilant regarding any attempt to limit our freedom because some people give too much credence to the smears and slanders that are regularly leveled against us because of our role in leading the movement against abortion. I know what those smears are like, having been the object of public protests organized by sitting government officials, leaders of Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Catholics for Choice, and other groups who have accused me of fostering violence.
But as the Lord said, time will prove where wisdom lies.
Each year at the end of August, the International Network of Catholic Legislators meets in Rome. This gathering, which I will address again this year, seeks to network and encourage practicing Catholics in elected office, and give them ongoing formation, spiritual guidance, and strategic ideas that they can implement. At a time when so many moral and religious values are under attack from dangerous forms of legislation, and in a climate where faith is so often divorced from public life, this network is very valuable and necessary.
All of us can participate in two ways. First, as Scripture says, we should pray for those in authority. Second, we have to be active citizens, carefully evaluating those for whom we vote, and then communicating with them once they are in office.
Father Pavone made the following announcement today regarding the 2012 Elections:
“As you well know, the 2012 Election cycle is already underway, and rightly so,” Father Pavone said. “It is never too early to prepare and mobilize to elect pro-life candidates. Therefore, Priests for Life is once again announcing the ‘Vote Pro-life Coalition,’ which will unite organizations, Churches, and activists across the country to make a difference at the voting booth for the cause of life.
“You can sign up at www.PoliticalResponsibility.com, and you will hear about various resources, activities, webcasts, and ways you can help in the months to come.”
Fr. Pavone announced today that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, has officially joined the Advisory Board of Bishops for our organization. “Priests for Life, as a recognized private Association of the Faithful that is both national and international in scope, is not under the auspices of any one diocese,” Fr. Frank explained. “The priests assigned to our ministry belong to a variety of dioceses and religious congregations, and the programs we operate function in dozens of countries, the latest of which is Austria, where Cardinal Schönborn has enthusiastically welcomed our apostolate.”
The Advisory Board of Bishops has functioned, since the start of Priests for Life, as a resource for the organization to facilitate communication with the bishops around the world and to be a sounding board for advice and encouragement.
The war against the unborn can only ultimately be stopped by and through the Church. Just from a natural point of view, this is a vast network of interaction and communication. Imagine what can happen if our clergy infuse that vast structure with clear, vigorous, and compassionate pro-life teaching and action.
The Church is the only institution that has a Divine guarantee that it will prevail over the culture of death. “The gates of hell will not prevail against it,” the Lord said. The gates of death fall in the presence of life.
To fully apply those gifts to the task of ending abortion, does not so much require more structure as it does more spirit, more awareness, more courage, and more determination to use both the means and the opportunities we already have.
This week, the National Right to Life convention will be held in Pittsburgh. Hundreds of pro-life activists will gather from around the country to sharpen their skills in talking about abortion, lobbying for pro-life laws, electing pro-life candidates, and healing those wounded by abortion.
Just as important, these pro-life people will strengthen one another with their sharing of information, experience, and encouragement.
The National Right to Life Committee is one of the most respected and effective lobbying groups in the United States, as acknowledged by supporters of abortion as well as opponents. National Right to Life has also played an irreplaceable role in getting pro-life candidates elected to public office, and then keeping them pro-life once they get there.
For information on how to register for this conference, visit nrlc.org.