Priests for Life, the Catholic association which assists clergy of all denominations to address the abortion issue, announced today that it is offering $50,000 to anyone providing authorities with information leading to the capture of fugitives wanted for abortion clinic shootings.
Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of the group, stated: "The purpose of this reward is not only to help police apprehend abortion clinic shooting suspects, but also to actively discourage this kind of violence.
"The pro-life movement categorically rejects the philosophy of violence," Fr. Pavone continued. "It is never permissible to take a life, whether it is that of an unborn child or that of an abortion provider. Those individuals who perpetrate violence against abortionists are actually "pro-choice," because they believe it is sometimes OK to take a life to solve a problem."
Fr. Pavone said that Priests for Life started this fund a couple of years ago, after several benefactors suggested the idea and then supplied the money. The reward fund is currently being held in a special account marked specifically for that purpose.
Priests for Life chose today, April 4th, as the day on which to make this announcement, in tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated on this date in 1968. Fr. Pavone said: "Dr. King has always been my hero and my model. He was a champion for the cause of non-violent resistance against evil. That is exactly what Priests for Life and the pro-life movement is all about. We are dedicated to stopping the evil of abortion through non-violent means. Unfortunately, there are misguided individuals in any cause who sometimes act in ways contrary to the principles of that cause. In the event any abortionist is ever the victim of violence--- and we earnestly hope this will never happen again--- Priests for Life stands ready to assist financially in the capture of the criminal. That is how much we are committed to the philosophy of non-violence."
Unfortunately, there has been some misunderstanding about this "reward fund."
First of all, this fund has existed for almost two years, and was not created or announced to coincide with any recent developments in the news. We make no statements or judgments regarding the guilt of anyone accused of killing an abortionist.
Secondly, we did not raise this money. It was given to us by donors who want it used exclusively as a reward fund. Under the law, we are not free to use this money in any other way. It is in a totally separate account, and does not take anything away from our other projects and activities. In those other projects and activities, by the way, we spend over a hundred times more money on things like promoting alternatives to abortion and encouraging and assisting pro-life activists to peacefully oppose abortion.
Moreover, we will take strict measures to see to it that at no time in the future is the reward fund, or the promise of it, used to exacerbate an already biased and unfair treatment of pro-life people at the hands of our "justice" system. It won’t be given when there is any doubt about someone’s guilt.
It is a reward offered to stop activity which is not pro-life. The pro-life stand is a stand of nonviolence. It is our hope that the existence and promise of the fund, even if it is never used, will serve to counteract the increased efforts of the pro-abortion groups to paint us all as violent.
The effort won't make sense if viewed only from a perspective "internal" to the pro-life movement -- that is, how the groups within the movement, especially the most activist ones, see each other. It makes sense only in the light of trying to explain to the next stranger who walks down the street whether the pro-life movement supports violence or not.
Now some of the people who have objected to this fund have no problem with the killing of abortionists. We do, and so does the Church. That, of course, is the reason we’re doing what we're doing.
-- Priests for Life Media Department