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.
I received the following e-mail from someone who visited the Priests for Life web site and saw the pictures of aborted babies. She wrote:
“OH MY GOSH. I just read your entire web page. OH MY GOSH is all I can really say out loud. I have seen articles and read about abortions before – but I still felt like it was the woman’s decision. My mind was changed TODAY because of your web site. I can’t tell you how much you touched me and turned me around in a full circle. Thank you. I will definitely share this message with other women I know.”
Invite others to view these images at priestsforlife.org. You may e-mail and print them. Nothing is more effective to end abortion.
This Sunday is “Vocations Sunday.” We pray that many will hear the call to the priesthood, the call to devote themselves fully to the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, which is the Gospel of Life.
Many young people today are finding their vocation precisely because of the Church’s witness to the sanctity of life amidst the holocaust of abortion. Responding to a vocation requires counter-cultural service, which is precisely the context which the pro-life movement offers. Devoting oneself to the defense of life provides a powerful seed-bed for the flowering of priestly vocations, just as a response to a priestly vocation is necessarily a commitment to the defense of life.
Let us pray today for many “good shepherds,” and let us encourage those who have already accepted that call.
Many ask why pastors do not preach more about abortion. One reason that some give is that they do not want to hurt the people in the congregation who have had abortions.
Now it is certainly true that there are people in the congregation who have had abortions, and it is also true that they have pain.
But if they are in pain from their abortion, and the pastor is silent about the topic, what are they to think? They could conclude that the pastor doesn’t know about their pain, or doesn’t care about it, or that though he knows and cares, there is no hope.
But none of these is true. He does know, he does care, and there is hope – and that is precisely why he needs to speak up.
Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs. When the Lord speaks about the poor in spirit, He is speaking about those for whom there is no help or hope but God Himself. God is the only hope for any of us, but when we have a lot of possessions, friends, and earthly protection, we are tempted to think that those are the things on which our spirits can ultimately rely. But that is an illusion. “Only in God be at rest, my soul; from Him comes my help and salvation.” Today, nobody is more unsafe and unprotected than the child in the womb. Though father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. The unborn are the poorest of the poor, and God calls us to acknowledge and bless them.
STATEN ISLAND, NY — Father Frank issued the following comment today on the Vatican’s assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR):
“As a pro-life ministry dedicated to fully activating the Church to end abortion and euthanasia, Priests for Life is grateful to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for the assessment it has issued of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and in particular for pointing out the problem of silence regarding abortion and the right to life.”
Following a two-year investigation into the LCWR, the Vatican concluded, in part, that, “while there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death.”
Responding to that finding, Father Pavone said, “Priests for Life has the highest regard for the women religious in the Church and the consecration they have made to God of their lives. We want to work side by side with them and support them in the pro-life dimensions of their life and ministry. We therefore encourage the LCWR and all its members to make the right to life a clear and constant aspect of the message they proclaim to the world.”
Father Frank concluded: “As we have often pointed out, the very act of consecrating one’s life to God strikes at the heart of the culture of death. While the culture of death proclaims, ‘I have the right to choose,’ the religious life proclaims, ‘My life and choices belong to God, and there is where I find true freedom.’ ”
You can read the statement from the Vatican here.
On April 18, 2007, the United States Supreme Court upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion. In that decision, Gonzales v Carhart, the court described another abortion procedure that remains legal throughout America. It is called the D and E procedure.
Here are the exact words of the Supreme Court:
“The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix…, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman. The process of evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues until it has been completely removed.”
Let us continue to work to raise awareness about this gruesome procedure.
On the morning of Jesus’ resurrection, there was a lot of running taking place. The women, having seen the empty tomb, ran back to the disciples. Peter and John, having heard the women’s story, ran toward the tomb.
And in the end, of course, all the Apostles ran into the world to announce this greatest news of history.
We, too, must run. The victory of life over death is definitive, and yet it is still unfolding. We fight the power of death as we defend human life, especially the unborn. It is time to run, to announce the Gospel of Life with vigor, and to intervene to save the unborn with urgency.
Fear paralyzes and slows people down, but confidence in the victory of the Risen Christ causes us to run and fulfill our mission.
On Easter, many throughout the world are baptized into the Church, and those already baptized renew the vows of their baptism.
By baptism, we are immersed in the new life of Christ, and welcomed into the community of those who believe in the Catholic Faith. Thanks to baptism, God looks at us through the eyes of His Son, and says, ‘You are my child; you died on the cross, therefore you will rise from the dead.’
Baptism is a sacrament of welcome. God chooses us long before we choose, and all the chosen welcome each other. This is the exact opposite of the mindset of abortion, which ignores God’s choice, and says that we can choose not to welcome children into the community.
Let’s thank God for baptism, and for life!