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St. Louis Review

January 17, 2003

Priest speaks about pro-life issues

By Jennifer Brinker

Review Staff Writer

When Father Frank Pavone was in town last weekend for the annual St. Louis Marian Conference, he took time to reflect on pro-life issues and what we must do as Catholics to continue the pro-life movement.

Father Pavone, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and founder of Priests for Life, explained to conference-goers that it is through Christ's flesh that we are saved as human beings.

"His flesh and blood are essential to salvation," he said.

Father Pavone also noted that it was the Blessed Virgin Mary who said "yes" to giving birth to Christ - and that is where our salvation lies.

So it is abortion, he noted, that is a "refusal of salvation. There is nothing happening in our society that proclaims the opposite of the Gospel more than abortion. Salvation is based on 'yes.' The great 'no' is abortion," he said.

During his talk, Father Pavone showed photographic images of living infants still in their mothers' wombs - some images were as early as seven weeks old. In addition, he also showed the graphic images of infants who were aborted.

"The reason we look at these things," he said, "is we need to feel the emotional strength of standing up for something. That's why we stare at the Crucifix."

Conference-goers were nearly silent as they viewed the images. Some could be faintly heard as they whispered comments such as, "There's the nose," and, "Look at those fingers." And yet another person said, "Look, he's sucking his thumb."

Father Pavone stressed the images are not to serve as condemnation of those who have had an abortion. "Just as we stand up for these unborn lives, we stand up for their parents who cause the abortion. We stand up for these doctors who cause the abortion. We want to be seen as the ones helping others, not condemning them."

Therefore, he said, it is important to give those facing an abortion a real choice.

"We don't just say abortion is wrong - don't do it," Father Pavone said. "We need to give the courage to others. Get to know your pregnancy resource centers. Get the phone numbers and spread them around."

Father Pavone also said it is important to write letters to the editor about pro-life issues as well as getting out to vote for pro-life candidates.

"And for those of you in Missouri, thank you for giving us another pro-life senator," the priest said as he referred to newly elected U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, R-2nd District.

"We're making progress," Father Pavone said. "Victory is always with life. The truth will prevail."

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