Washington, DC – Fr. Pavone, who worked under Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in the Pontifical Council for the Family in the late ‘90’s, released the following statement prior to Sunday’s beatification ceremony:
“John Paul II was the Pope of Life and will be remembered as such through the centuries. The Church’s beatification of him on May 1, recognizing the exemplary way in which he lived the Christian virtues, is also an opportunity for all of us to absorb and apply his teachings more profoundly. He called us to build a Culture of Life with a sense of urgency and confidence. ‘The outcome of the battle for life is already decided,’ he declared at World Youth Day in Denver, yet we have to work to bring that battle to its completion. ‘Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life,’ he warned.
“The worldwide ministry of Priests for Life rededicates itself today to the task of reminding the whole Church that, as John Paul II taught, there is no task more fundamental than defending the very right to life, on which every other right depends.”
Joining in this commitment is the National Pro-life Religious Council, a coalition of many Christian denominations working to end abortion. In a statement also issued today, this Council declared:
“Pope John Paul II was a gift not only to the Roman Catholic community, but to the entire Body of Christ, as he pointed to Christ as the only source of life and hope for the human family. His courageous challenge both to the Church and to the State to defend the most vulnerable among us echoes the historic Christian teaching that life comes from God, belongs to God, and goes back to God.
“The National Pro-life Religious Council calls upon all Christians to recognize again that it is our discipleship of Jesus Christ, rather than any ideology or political platform, that impels us today and always to defend life and to eliminate from our midst the scourge of abortion. We thank the Lord for giving us such a powerful example of that commitment in Pope John Paul II.”