Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice; they will be satisfied. This beatitude speaks to the heart of the pro-life movement. We seek justice first of all by seeking to be right with God and in all our relationships, and we seek justice by seeking to protect the rights of all, especially the weakest among us, our brothers and sisters in the womb. We are blessed not merely by believing they have a right to life, but by feeling the hunger and thirst, the longing and yearning, that they be protected and that this right be recognized and secured by law.
We also seek justice by working to extend healing and forgiveness to all who have been involved in abortion, that they too will be right with God and know His peace.
Yesterday we observed Mothers’ Day, a reminder to pray for all mothers who are afraid to be mothers. So many are already mothers and are just finding out that they are carrying their child within them. They need our encouragement and support, no matter how unplanned, surprising, or shocking the pregnancy may be to them or to us.
The fact that motherhood begins before the mother realizes it reminds us of Jesus’ words from yesterday’s Gospel: “It was not you who chose Me; it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit that will last.” God’s choice always comes before ours. When He chooses that someone is to be a mother, let us respond with joyful support.
Amarillo, TX – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today issued the following statement upon learning of Theodore Shulman’s guilty plea to charges of threatening pro-life leaders.
“I was informed today that Theodore Shulman pleaded guilty to the charges of threatening pro-life leaders, myself included. I hope that his acceptance of personal responsibility for what he did, and his readiness to serve jail time for it, is for him the beginning of a road of conversion and repentance that will reach even to the point of renouncing his position in favor of legal abortion. Violence against me and other leaders is wrong for the same reason that violence against children in the womb is wrong. Both must be rejected.
“I’m grateful to the detectives and other law enforcement personnel who have worked with me and Priests for Life throughout this case to gather and track the threats that I have received. The NYPD, the FBI, the Joint Terrorist Task Force, and the Department of Justice have done an exemplary and professional job.
“From the point of view of my work as a pro-life leader, I also take this opportunity to point out that violence and threats of violence against pro-life activists are far more common, yet far less visible in the media, than violence and threats of violence against abortionists and abortion supporters. In fact, the latter have used a handful of violent acts by people disconnected from the pro-life movement to try to tar the reputation of the entire movement, and those tactics should have no more place in the public debate over abortion than should violence itself.
“Civil debate is possible; people who disagree deeply on fundamental issues can still respect one another. My own friendship with abortion-rights pioneer Bill Baird, and the frequent pleas we have made together over the years for mutual respect among pro-life advocates and abortion-rights advocates demonstrate the path we can follow as a society. Ultimately, ‘respect for life’ means respect for the unborn and the born, for those who agree with us and those who don’t.
“Meanwhile, Mr. Shulman is in my prayers, and I extend to him my personal forgiveness.”
The Christian Faith advances through testimony. Jesus gives testimony to the Father; the Apostles give testimony to the Resurrection; Paul gives testimony to his conversion; Augustine gives testimony in his Confessions; you and I give and receive the testimony of how Jesus changes the lives He enters. That is why the Silent No More Awareness Campaign is so powerful and necessary. Men and women wounded by abortion and then healed are speaking out about the lie of abortion and the power of Jesus. They are giving testimony to why life must be protected. The power of their testimony is calling many to repentance and healing. If you feel called to give a testimony about your abortion, or know someone else who does, contact us at silentnomoreawareness.org.
Today I want to share with you the following e-mail I received from a pro-abortion person who visited the Priests for Life web site and saw the pictures of aborted babies. She wrote:
“I thought that you would like to know that you have changed the mind of at least one person with your web site, me. Although I have never had an abortion myself, I have always thought that it should be a woman’s right to do what she wanted to her body. Today I stand corrected. Thank you for showing me the truth. I will pray for success in your fight against abortion, and for all the children who die every day.”
Invite others to view these images at priestsforlife.org. You may e-mail and print them. Nothing is more effective to end abortion.
In their pastoral plan for pro-life activities, the Catholic bishops of the United States have asked that at every Mass a prayer be offered for the defense of human life.
To help parishes fulfill this request, Priests for Life prepares an entire set of Prayers of the Faithful for each Sunday of the year, based on the readings for that Sunday.
Among these petitions each week is a prayer for an end to abortion and other forms of violence, and for the growth of a Culture of Life.
We also provide homily hints and bulletin inserts for each Sunday.
You can find these resources at priestsforlife.org, and we also provide them weekly via email.
Help your pastor today by bringing him these weekly pro-life resources for the liturgy. Visit priestsforlife.org for information.
One of the best ways to see how to violate all the rules of logic is to examine the arguments – if you can call them arguments at all – of those who try to defend abortion. First of all, the last thing they want to talk about is the very thing they try to defend, namely, abortion. They will talk about choice, freedom, the Constitution, the Church, women’s rights and sometimes, women’s health, but they won’t define or describe abortion itself. The reason is simple: abortion cannot be defended. As soon as it is described, or viewed, the human conscience objects to its obvious violence.
This is why one of the best things a defender of life can say to a defender of abortion is to ask, “Have you ever seen one?”
Priests for Life has joined calls for the U.S. State Department to immediately take steps to bring to safety Chinese forced-abortion dissident Chen Guangcheng, his family and anyone who helped him escape house arrest two weeks ago.
“There is no way to ensure their safety if they remain in China,” said Father Frank. “The whole world is watching this situation, and we must act now.
“Chen has been courageous enough to speak out against forced abortion and sterilization in China. But for too long, the United States has been silent about the brutality with which these policies are enforced, and the way those who oppose them are silenced. We cannot be silent about the very real danger facing Chen, his wife, Yuan Weijing, and those who helped him.”
Father Pavone urged everyone to contact their U.S. Senators and Representatives about this matter.
The Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, a ministry of Gospel of Life, has urged Parliamentarians to voice concern for Chen to Chinese officials and embassies in their respective countries; to call, fax and e-mail national embassies in China to create global concern for Chen’s well-being, and to use social media to keep the international spotlight on Chen and his family. For information, go to PNCIUS.org
The Christian Defense Coalition has organized a prayer vigil for Friday at Noon in front of the White House. The location is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, on the Lafayette Park side. Priests for Life will be one of the groups represented.
We sometimes hear from those on the other side of the pro-life battle that they want to work together with us to “reduce the need for abortion”. It is part of our pro-life mission to reduce the numbers of abortions, and in fact our goal is not just to reduce but to end it. We have to start by making it clear that there is no need for abortion in the first place. No abortion is necessary, neither medically, nor morally. Women get abortions not because of freedom of choice, but because they feel they have no freedom and no choice. Yet when the People of God provide better choices, the way is clear to help both mother and child. Yes, we will reduce abortions, but let’s never imply there is a need for abortion.
Some pastors hesitate to address the abortion issue because they are afraid of controversy and opposition from their congregations. This is precisely where we need to strengthen their hearts, however, and remind them of the words and example of St. Paul, who declared that the word must be preached in season and out of season, whether convenient or inconvenient. A pastor is appointed by God to proclaim His word; He is not appointed by the people to tickle their ears. Moreover, on the abortion issue, most of the public is with us. This is increasingly true, as statistics show more and more people identifying themselves as pro-life. If people object to the pro-life message, they are the ones in the minority, and they should be told as much. It’s time to stand boldly for life.