In a powerful address to the Proudly Pro-Life Dinner April 25 in New York, Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, stirred pro-lifers to new resolve in the fight for a culture of life in our nation. Fr. Pavone, together with pro-life businessman Lawrence Garvey, a longtime supporter of NRLC, received the Proudly Pro-Life Award given annually by NRLC.
In commenting on the outpouring of prayer and fasting during last fall's election, Fr. Pavone urged pro-lifers to continue with even greater strength and intensity. He suggested that "a door of mercy has been granted our nation" and that we need to "push through it!"
"Our goal is not just to make abortion illegal. Our goal is to make abortion undesirable, unavailable, unnecessary in the eyes of those that would want it. In short, our goal is to make abortion unthinkable," Fr. Pavone declared.
"Why is it so hard to reach that goal?" the Priests for Life director questioned. "Because of the pain .... a pain shared by all of us in some way ... the kind of pain [when a person] realizes, sometimes dimly, that there is an evil taking place in their midst.... And at the same time realizing that if they take the time and trouble to look closely and carefully at what that evil is, they will not be able to live with themselves unless they do something about it. But at the same time realizing that if they do something about it, there is going to be a price to pay. They are going to have to change their lives....
"So how do they resolve the dilemma? ... Bury the issue .... Tuck it away in a comfortable place in the mind and get on with life ....
"The task we face is to point out to our brothers and sisters that the price to be paid by ignoring this issue is greater than the price to be paid by addressing it. We do that by connecting the issue to the other evils, ills, concerns they do hold close to their heart.
"This movement will succeed only when we succeed in helping our brothers and sisters understand that so many ills in our society are proceeding directly because of abortion on demand. As the problem in the healing process for the individual woman is to connect the abortion experience with the other problems she is experiencing, so it is for the healing of our society to connect the abortion problem with the other problems we are concerned with -- to see that we will never make progress on those problems until we deal with this one." As an example, Fr. Pavone related the student killings in schools to Roe v. Wade: "Children will stop killing children when parents stop killing children."
Commenting on the biblical image of "the gates of hell," Fr. Pavone pointed out that "a gate stands still," so "Who is storming the gates? ... It is the Church taking the initiative and storming the gates of hell.... The gates of death must flee in the presence of you, the people of life."