Washington, DC)… Priests for Life, the Catholic association which assists clergy of all denominations to address the abortion issue, today officially launched an educational campaign to activate believers in their political responsibilities during the 2000 election season. Father Frank Pavone, National Director of the organization, joined by clergy of various denominations, representing every region of the country, announces the campaign at a news conference today at 1:30pm at the National Press Club.
The group's efforts are being kicked off with a full-page ad in The New York Times this week.
"We pledge to repeat the teachings of the US Bishops concerning political responsibility as outlined in the documents Living the Gospel of Life and Faithful Citizenship," Fr. Pavone explained. "Our message is simple:
1. Christians have a responsibility to be informed and active in the political process, including exercising their duty to vote;
2. The most fundamental right is the right to life, and any candidate or policy is to be evaluated above all on how it impacts human life and dignity; and
3. No public official of any party or religion can responsibly take a "pro-choice" position on abortion. That contradicts the teachings of the Church, the meaning of the Gospel, and the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
"This has nothing to do with endorsing candidates or singling out individual races. It has everything to do with what the Church has done for centuries: defending human life, and challenging the government to do the same. We will deal with specific individuals through invitations for private consultation with us or other clergy."
The Priests for Life Political-Media Plan will include the following elements:
- Strategically placed advertising, both print and television, targeting national and regional audiences. This will include full -page ads in major national newspapers, like the New York Times, as well as three television commercials, to be filmed in mid-July. A major media buy for these TV spots is anticipated.
- Phone banks to priests across the nation encouraging them to use the pulpit to highlight the important issue of life and the critical role it must play in the election.
- Encouraging priests across the nation to personally visit with candidates and elected officials to bring them this message.
- Encouraging pastors in every diocese to use homily hints and bulletin inserts, prepared by Priests for Life, on the theme of political responsibility.
- Priests for Life and priests across the country will be writing op-eds and letters to the editor for their local newspapers.
- Mass produce and distribute Priests for Life's audio tapes and booklets, making extensive use of it website, www.priestsforlife.org.
- Priests for Life will make this effort a major theme of Father Pavone’s syndicated diocesan newspaper columns and the organization’s newsletters between now and the election.
- The organization’s five full-time priest associates will make the theme of political responsibility one of the main subjects in their weekly travels across the nation. In addition, they will distribute without charge large quantities of the Bishops' documents as well as all our audio-tapes and printed materials on this issue.
- Continue to tape special radio and TV programs about the Bishops' documents and these themes, to supplement the shows we have been doing weekly on Catholic Family Radio and the 50 spots we taped for Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
"We will not be intimidated or frightened into complacency, by those who would prefer us to keep silent behind the walls of the Church sanctuary," concluded Fr. Pavone.
Fr. Frank Pavone's Statement to the Press at National Press Club, July 18, 2000
Click here to see htm file containing NY Times Full-page Ad
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