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Fr. Pavone Speaks at National Youth Day


Frank Morriss

The Wanderer - St. Paul, MN

  August 18, 1994 DENVER. Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, told the thousands of Catholic youth gathered here on August 5th to avoid thinking that abortion is "not that bad" and therefore no action is necessary, or at the other extreme, thinking that the problem is so bad that no action is possible. A featured speaker at the August 4-7th National Youth Day, Fr. Pavone called on young people to make it their "top priority to bring an end to abortion in the United States." To do this, said Fr. Pavone, they need to undertake "direct, peaceful action in the streets of their communities, to educate the public, to provide alternatives for mothers, and to put pressure on abortionists to stop killing." Youthful pro-life activists, Fr. Pavone stated, need to answer two questions in their pro-life communities: 1) Where is the killing of babies being done? 2) Who is doing it? "The local abortionists need to be exposed," declared Fr. Pavone. "This will cause many of them to stop doing abortions." "Speak the, truth about how abortion harms women," Fr. Pavone told those assembled, at McNichols Sports Arena. "More than 24 studies show that abortion greatly increases the risk of breast cancer." This National Youth Day event was a follow-up to World Youth Day, held here last summer, at which the Pope deplored the "culture of death." It also heralded the upcoming World Youth Day in Manila. National Youth Day 1994 opened Thursday, August 4th, with a concert rally in McNichols Arena. Musical groups from all over the United States and Australia performed during the free nine-hour program. Featured speakers at the four day celebration included: Fr. Ken Roberts, an internationally known author and lecturer; Chris Godfrey of Athletes for Life; Fr. Matthew Habiger, president of Human Life International; Paul Lauer, founder of YOU! magazine; Dan Lynch, national guardian of the missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Mother Teresa had been scheduled to appear, but was unable to free her agenda, according to National Youth Day organizer Kevin Cunningham. She prepared a special video message which participants watched on Friday, August 5th. Archbishop J. Francis Stafford of Denver, who endorsed National Youth Day, celebrated Mass for the young people on Friday. Fr. Pavone in particular and the National Youth Day in general called for a new chapter of the pro-life movement to begin now: one marked by intense training, vigorous recruiting, constant prayer, an increased presence on the streets, and the voices of those whose peers were killed by abortion and who themselves were considered "non-persons" during the first nine months of their lives. National Youth Day organizers issued this statement at an opening press conference: "The youth of the world no longer intend to be passive bystanders in the shaping of today's society. We who are the future of this country and the Church must unite to proclaim the Gospel of Life and reject the prevalent 'culture of death,' as evidenced by the increased violence in our society, suicides, sexual crimes, and drug use. We must become modern day Apostles and, by our example and leadership, spread the love and truth of Christ. That is why the theme of National Youth Day is 'It's Our Move'."

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