Archive for the ‘Political Responsibility’ Category

Fr. Pavone Urges Congress to Approve the Protect Life Act; Stop Abortion Funding in Health Care

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Staten Island, NY – Fr. Pavone today called on Congress to pass H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act, a bill that would bar abortion funding in the President’s health care law.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor has announced that the House will vote on the Protect Life Act next week. The bill would bar the President’s “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” from directly or indirectly funding abortions and would add right of conscience protections for health care workers unwilling to participate in abortions.

“Congress needs to take the funding wiggle room out of health care and close the loopholes – it needs to pass the Protect Life Act so that the public doesn’t have to pay for abortion,” Fr. Pavone said. “Moreover, those who work in the health care industry and who live out their deeply held beliefs need more conscience protection and they need it in writing. This Act will strengthen their protection.”

Priests for Life today alerted every Catholic parish in the nation to have its people call their Congressional representative about this bill.

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

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Fr. Pavone: At the core of every political issue is the right to life

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Priests for Life welcomed today the document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, which the United States bishops are re-proposing, in order to give voters guidance in making their decisions. You can find the document at: priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/fcstatement.pdf

Fr. Pavone and Priests for Life have formed the “Vote Pro-Life Coalition,” whereby many organizations are joining together to educate and mobilize voters in a non-partisan way. Fr. Pavone explained, “We ask the faithful to read, study and discuss this document.

In the new Introductory Note that accompanies the document, an especially helpful comment is that the guide ‘does not offer a quantitative listing of issues for equal consideration.’ To that we say ‘AMEN!’ Not all issues are equal; at the core of every issue is the right to life.”

Priests for Life points out that this document is not to be read in a vacuum, but in the light of all the Church documents on political responsibility, in particular Living the Gospel of Life, issued in 1998 by the full body of bishops. Priests for Life has distributed tens of thousands of those documents and has a study guide on it. Also, many bishops will issue their own statements as the election season intensifies, and Priests for Life will publicize them all on its special election page: PoliticalResponsibility.com.

Fr. Pavone also commented, “One of the messages of this coalition is that the theoretical principles which the Church teaches need to be understood in the practical context that blood is flowing in the streets from the holocaust of abortion. No matter what you want to say about how many other issues there are – and that’s true – when you’re in the middle of a battlefield with a few thousand casualties a day, you’re not exactly thinking about how bad the price of tea is. Let’s be realistic. If a candidate supports terrorism, you don’t say, ‘I disagree with you on that, but what’s your health care plan?’ Abortion is not one iota better than terrorism.”

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My Statement to Pro-Choice Politicians: Clean Up Your Act

Monday, September 19th, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – Father Pavone today urged voters to put the life issue first when evaluating candidates for election.

“When I preach – and help other priests to preach – the clear message that candidates and parties must defend life, some – including clergy – complain to me that my message hurts their favorite candidate or party. My response? ‘Go tell your favorite candidate or party to get the babies’ blood off their hands and clean up their act regarding defending life. Then my words won’t hurt them anymore.’ ”

Father Pavone pointed out that the positions of political parties also are important for voters to understand. Throughout the election season, voters can find information relevant to the elections at politicalresponsibility.com.

Voters who aren’t sure the life issue is the most important issue for a candidate should consider a candidate’s position on terrorism.

“What if a candidate supported terrorism,” Father Pavone asked. “Would citizens say, ‘Well, I disagree with you on terrorism, but what’s your health care plan? Maybe we can work together on some social programs. After all, terrorism isn’t the only issue.

“The heart of what is ‘social’ is that it respects the other person – and that means allowing them the right to life.”

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A Pro-Life Position is “Good Politics”

Monday, September 19th, 2011

A new CNN/ORC International poll that showed a majority of Americans believe abortion should be illegal in some or all circumstances should serve as a wake-up call to political candidates who believe they have to pander to a pro-choice constituency, according to Father Pavone.

The Sept. 9-11 telephone poll of 1,038 voters revealed that 41 percent of respondents said abortion should be “legal in a few circumstances,” and 21 percent said it should be “illegal in all circumstances.” Only 25 percent said it should be “legal under any circumstances.”

“This poll echoes earlier surveys, dating back five years, in pointing out that at a majority of Americans feel that abortion is very often not justified,” Father Pavone said. “Those poll respondents also represent voters. They are a silent majority that will vote for candidates who embrace a pro-life position.

“Politicians who say they personally oppose abortion but want to see it remain legal have to get off the fence once and for all and declare that abortion is an evil Americans will no longer tolerate,” Father Pavone concluded. “It’s the right thing to do, and it’s good politics, and Priests for Life is engaging the mechanism to mobilize those voters.”

Visit politicalresponsibility.com to keep abreast of political developments.

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Political Parties and Skull Cracking

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Whether it’s an election year or not, I see to it that Priests for Life echoes loud and clear the duty of citizens to inform themselves about where the candidates stand on the issues. This evaluation starts, of course, with where they stand on violence against human beings, because if public servants cannot tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public, they don’t belong in public office.

What if a candidate supported terrorism? Would citizens say, “Well, I disagree with you on terrorism, but what’s your health care plan? Maybe we can work together on some social programs. After all, terrorism isn’t the only issue.”

The parallel, of course, is abortion. “Typically, the skull is brought out in fragments rather than as a unified piece” (Baby-killer Martin Haskell, in 1999 Court testimony in Wisconsin, regarding legal abortion). How can anyone make the case that this skull-cracking, which is still legal, is less violent than terrorism? How can anyone make the case that we can tolerate it while we work with the candidate on “social” programs? The heart of what is “social” is that it respects the other person – and that means not cracking their skull. We fight terrorism, and rightly so, but when we allow abortion at the same time, the evil we fight becomes merely a reflection of the evil we do.

And it’s not only the position of the candidates that matters. It’s also the position of the political party to which the candidate belongs. Elections bring not only candidates, but parties into power. How can the position of those parties on key issues not matter as we evaluate whom we will support?

Many will support a particular party because it’s a family tradition (or a Church tradition?), or because they are in bed with leaders in that party who support their social programs in exchange for their silence on baby-killing. That’s often the reason for the perplexing spinelessness often observed among Church leaders on the abortion issue.

In an interview conducted by Gianni Cardinale and published in October of 2008, now Cardinal Raymond Burke observed, “At this point, the Democratic Party risks transforming itself definitively into a ‘party of death’ due to its choices on bioethical issues.”

Not only is this an accurate observation, but it’s perfectly legitimate to say, even in Church. I know, because Priests for Life passed IRS scrutiny on these points. After all, it is a spiritual work of mercy to “instruct the ignorant.” That’s why at Priests for Life we have information both about candidates and political parties, and how to evaluate them. See priestsforlife.org/candidates.

When I preach – and help other priests to preach – the clear message that candidates and parties must defend life, some – including clergy – complain to me that my message hurts their favorite candidate or party. My response? “Go tell your favorite candidate or party to get the babies’ blood off their hands and clean up their act regarding defending life. Then my words won’t hurt them anymore.”

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Fr. Frank Announces Further Initiatives of Vote Pro-life Coalition

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Fr. Pavone has indicated that the Vote Pro-life Coalition, called together by Priests for Life and consisting of over three dozen national groups, has designated “Voter Registration Sundays” for 2012. The Coalition asks organizations, parishes and dioceses to begin learning how to conduct a non-partisan voter registration drive, and to begin planning now to give their people the urgent invitation and opportunity to register to vote. The dates of the Voter Registration Sundays are May 27 (Pentecost, when we rejoice in the power of the Holy Spirit to send us forth to renew the earth), July 1 (Sunday closest to Independence Day), and September 9, 2012 (Sunday closest to Patriot Day).

“The elections of 2012 will be crucial to restoring protection to the unborn, and every day between now and November 6, 2012 my colleagues and I will do all in our power to see to it that the elections advance the cause of life,” Fr. Pavone said. “One of the most important things our coalition groups are doing now is to urge their members to pay attention to the candidate debates and get to know those who are presenting themselves for the highest office in our land.”

Among the groups in the Coalition are: American Values, Americans United for Life Action, Anglicans for Life, Ave Maria School of Law, California Civil Rights Foundation, CatholicVote.org, CEC For Life, Citizens for a Pro-life Society, Christian Coalition of America, Coming Home, Crossroads Pro-Life, Democrats for Life, Expectant Mother Care, Faith and Action, Faithful Catholic Citizens, Good Counsel Homes, Gospel of Life Ministries, The Heidi Group, Heartbeat International, Human Life Alliance, The Justice Foundation, Life Advocacy Resource Project, Life Coalition International, Life Issues Institute, LifeNews, Life Site News, National Clergy Council, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), National Life Center, National Pro-life Religious Council, One More Soul, Operation Outcry, Operation Rescue, Priests for Life, Pro-Life Action League, Rachel’s Vineyard, Susan B. Anthony List, Wallbuilders.

For more information on the coalition, visit VoteProLifeCoalition.com, and for election-related information and activities, visit PoliticalResponsibility.com.

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Faithful Citizenship

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

At various times, in parishes, dioceses and universities, seminars and presentations are held on “Faithful Citizenship,” that is, the Church’s teachings on our responsibilities as citizens and voters. While it is necessary that we have teaching on this point, it is unfortunate that a common pattern is that these presentations become slanted in one way or another to partisan politics. It’s not that the presenter says, “Vote Republican” or “Vote Democrat.” It’s that they will emphasize one part of the Church’s message to the neglect of the other. For instance, one point often omitted is that the Pope and bishops have said often that the right to life is the most important issue in any election, and this is not only Church teaching – it’s common sense. After all, if we don’t have life, we don’t have anything.

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Like St. John the Baptist, We Must Also Speak Up

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Today we observe the martyrdom of St. John the Baptizer. He was killed because he spoke truth to the powerful but sinful king. The Church points to him and tells us we need to do the same: to challenge our government leaders to do what is right, starting with the protection of every human life, born and unborn.

This responsibility takes the form of lobbying and communicating with elected representatives. It also takes the form of voting, so that those who fail in their basic responsibilities to the community may not get into public office in the first place.

We count the cost of this activity too carefully. Today, let’s learn a lesson from the one who lost his head rather than keep silent. St. John the Baptizer, pray for us and for our leaders.

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International Network of Catholic Legislators

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

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.

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Getting to Know the Candidates is Essential

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

In the various debates which have been held so far between Presidential candidates, the issue of abortion has come up. It has been discussed in terms of legislation that the candidate has signed or would sign, nominees which would be selected for the courts, the role of the states in relation to the Federal government, and whether there are any exceptions under which babies should be protected.

Now is the time to pay attention to these debates, and to what the candidates say about abortion and the other issues. Getting to know the candidates is essential if we are to carry out our duty to be informed and active voters. At priestsforlife.org, we will keep you informed of these and other developments as Election Season 2012 continues to unfold.

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