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Living the Gospel of Life -- Study Guide


Priests for Life was founded to disseminate the teachings of the bishops on abortion, and to assist the clergy and faithful to carry out those teachings. Few tools have been more helpful in that mission than the current document, Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics. Written by the US bishops in their role as "pastors and teachers," this document was issued three years after Pope John Paul II's encyclical The Gospel of Life, and applies his teaching to the political and cultural landscape of America.

The bishops praise our nation and its founding principles, and call us as disciples of Christ to rediscover those principles, to see their relationship to the Gospel, and to build, by our active citizenship, a nation that proclaims, celebrates, and serves the gift of life. This document clarifies the true meaning of the "consistent ethic of life" and identifies abortion and euthanasia as preeminent threats to human dignity, within the wider framework of life issues about which we all need to be actively concerned. The document calls us to exercise our duty to vote, and addresses the scandal of public officials, especially Catholics, who claim that abortion should remain legal.

We have prepared this study guide to assist individuals and parishes to understand the bishops' teachings, and to prepare for our nation's elections. This study guide is not an endorsement for any candidate or party, but rather an educational and pastoral tool. It provides some background information, references to other Church documents and publications relevant to the theme, reflections, and discussion questions.

The entire study guide, with expanded reference materials and hyperlinks, can be followed by groups or individuals online at

Priests for Life is happy to provide this tool to the Church and the pro-life movement. As always, our priests and other speakers are ready to come to your parishes, schools and communities to strengthen the pro-life effort and to share the encouragement we all find in Christ, the Lord of nations and the Lord of Life. May he bless you and the work you do for him!

-- Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
President, National Pro-life Religious Council

Click here for more background information, and talks you can listen to, about the Pope's Encyclical The Gospel of Life.

Click here for references to other documents on the sanctity of life by the Pope and bishops of the United States and the world.

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Priests for Life
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