STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE
May 19, 2001
Staten Island Advance
950 Fingerboard Rd.
Staten Island , New York 10304
If you read
Senator Eric Schneiderman's letter about me, published in the May 17 issue,
you see a classic example of how abortion-supporters deal with the abortion
First of all, they use the same tactics
that were used against Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the struggle to end
segregation. He was accused of inciting violence, despite his very strong public
articulation of non-violence. Yet as he pointed out, when there is injustice in
the land, it needs to be exposed rather than hidden.
Priests for Life very successfully
exposes the violence of abortion, and that's what makes people like Senator
Schneiderman nervous. After all, either he succeeds in painting people like me
as supporters of violence, or he stands exposed as one who supports an act of
violence that goes by the euphemism of "freedom to choose."
A second favorite tactic of today's
abortion-rights leaders is to attribute to an entire movement the guilt of a
misguided few. The Senator mentions the "record" of violent acts committed
against abortion clinics and their staff. Without hesitation, he then assumes
that these are acts of the "anti-abortion movement." Apparently he is unaware
that acts of violence have been carried out against abortion clinics by
abortionists themselves and by disgruntled patients.
Closely following upon the general
smear tactic is the tactic of "guilt by association." I have condemned violence
in the strongest, clearest terms possible. But wait -- some of the people I know
have been accused of promoting violence. See! I am not really sincere. This
reminds me of an objection once raised to someone who ate with tax collectors
Finally, the Senator is troubled by my
statement that "breaking a law of trespass to prevent killing is perfectly
justified." Does this mean that if he saw a child drowning in a swimming pool,
he would stay away from the pool because of a "No Trespassing" sign?
I am a Catholic priest, and it is
therefore my job to articulate the teachings of the Catholic Faith. I cannot
imagine that anyone would expect any less of me. Sometimes those teachings are
quite upsetting to others, especially in an age of abortion-on-demand. Yet what
is ultimately at stake here is the freedom of religion, and the freedom to bear
public testimony to its moral teachings. Senator Schneiderman's attacks on me
constitute an attack on all priests, on all Catholics, and on our freedom. And
thus do those who claim to be "pro-choice" contradict themselves.
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director