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Dynamic pro-life speaker
delivers strong message


By PAUL A. BARRA for The Miscellany of Charleston, S.C.

MAULDIN -- When the Piedmont Respect Life coordinators invited Father Frank Pavone to speak to their community, they got his message straight from the shoulder.

"There is no such thing as a pro-choice Christian," Father Pavone said. "It's a total contradiction."

Father Pavone is the national director of Priests for Life. He travels across the country preaching and teaching against abortion, and is well-known for a long series of pro-life pieces he produced for the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). The New York diocesan priest also writes a newsletter and brochures.

He came through the Low country before visiting the Upstate. He spoke to priests of the Coastal Deanery and of the Piedmont Deanery and to Respect Life coordinators in both deaneries. Father Pavone also celebrated a Votive Mass of Our Lady of the Rosary at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish, addressed a public forum of more than 400 people and prayed in front of an abortion clinic.

He spoke to the priests about preaching the prolife message from the ambo. Afterwards, Father Michael Davino, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Charleston, agreed with Father Pavone's contention that the people of Christ are the people of life.

"It was an excellent presentation. We probably don't say enough," Father Davino said. "The Gospel has to include all aspects of life, as he said. We must challenge the people to respond to the issue."

In Mauldin, Father Pavone used the Eucharist as an example of a truth that cannot be perceived through the human senses. "A thing's value does not rely on its size or appearance. Is the host too small to accept as God? How can a baby this small...", (holding his thumb and forefinger two centimeters apart), "have constitutional rights?"

Valerie Baronkin and Ingrid Ireland were instrumental in booking Father Pavone for his Diocese of Charleston visit. It took them one year.

"It was a difficult process, because he is in such demand. We had heard he was a dynamic speaker and Father (Howard L.) Coughlin passed around tapes of his TV talks," Baronkin said.

Father Pavone's fame drew large crowds at all his Upstate events. He did not disappoint them.

"God's in the business of destroying death," he said. "To accept Christ is to accept everyone He accepts. We are one human family; we have a responsibility for each other before we choose."

He said that the 4,400 children who die each day through abortions are our brothers and sisters. "When they are about to be destroyed, I have a responsibility to say no."

Father Pavone spoke of the irony of the consecration words, "This is My body," being used and turned inside out by pro-abortionists." The words are spoken from opposite ends of the universe," he said.

The pro-life movement is the culture of life opposing the culture of death, he said. The pro-life priest said that "it is an insult to God if we don't speak out" against abortion.

At an abortion clinic on Laurens Road in Greenville Friday, Father Pavone's words proved their worth. Two women changed their minds about having abortions, one after actually entering the clinic, according to Baronkin.

Priests for Life in the News

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 •