"More than any act of violence, disease, war or act of terrorism - abortion has taken the most lives," said the Rev. Frank A. Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, April 18 at St. Thomas More, Allentown.
Fr. Pavone, leader of the Catholic pro-life organization, visited the parish to offer the homily during the weekend Masses and discuss "The responsibilities of Christians."
The St. Thomas More LIFE (Life is for Everyone) Organization sponsored his visit in an effort to rally more support for pro-life candidates running in Pennsylvania's upcoming primary election.
"Our religion is all about life. The purpose of Catholic schools, sacraments and all of our religious activities is summed up in one word - life," said Fr. Pavone.
He said Christian men and women must stand up for life and stand against "all things that destroy life" to help stop the 4,000 children killed each day through the act of abortion.
"We are called to participate in civic duties. It is not about voting for people or things that benefit ourselves - but for who and what will build up a common good," explained Fr. Pavone.
While respecting life builds the common good, he said not to be fooled by the term "pro-choice" and maintained women obtain abortions because they feel they have no other alternative.
"Women get abortions because they feel no freedom or choice. They feel trapped, abandoned, alone and feel they have nowhere to go to get help," said Fr. Pavone.
"I come to you today with good news and that is people are ready to help. If a woman is pregnant and in need, she can come to us, the Church, this ministry or me personally. There is help for them, such as a place to live, payment of medical expenses, jobs, legal counsel and adoption plans."
During his homily he called on the congregation to start correcting the injustices in a country built on the foundation that life is sacred.
"I visited a zoo that posted a sign that said the sea turtle eggs were protected by state and federal law. I am glad we don't have the right to smash their eggs," related Fr. Pavone. "But why do we have the right to smash a baby?"
"The Declaration of Independence is very clear. The government does not give us the right to life - God does," he maintained.
Listing clothing, food, shelter and health care as issues that impact human life, Fr. Pavone explained that the government cannot dispose of these needs.
"If life is disposable, then so are all our other rights," he argued.
When contemplating pro-life or pro-choice candidates, Fr. Pavone asked, "what is there to choose?"
"Is it about choosing to tear a little child apart or respecting the right of a woman? How are some political officials able to respect the rights of a woman but not respect the life of a baby?" asked Fr. Pavone.
He maintained that no one has the higher right to live over another human being and asked the congregation to ponder about their government officials.
"How can a public servant serve the public if he/she turns his/her back on a whole segment of the public being destroyed? There are certain things we cannot agree to disagree on - such as things that protect human life. It's like saying you don't agree with terrorism but agree that terrorists have the right to do it," he related.
Besides supporting pro-life officials, Fr. Pavone told the congregation they can also play a role in building a culture of life by assisting the many women who are unaware of the help that is available.
"There are children alive this morning because people like you spoke up to a pregnant woman in need," he said.
He said help is also available for women who have received abortions and added that the Church welcomed back one woman who had 24 abortions.
"We are here to welcome them back to God's mercy," said Fr. Pavone.
"We are also called to elect leaders to do the same. The task today is in your hands."