Priests for Life Newsletter
Volume 10, Number 1
Message from the Director: Pregnancy Hotline numbers
Help for Preaching
A Useful Resource
Priests for Life welcomes "Faithful Citizenship"
Continued reflection on the Crucial Importance of the Abortion
Addition of New Priest Signals Rapid Expansion of Priests for
Raw Judicial Power
General Intercessions for the Sundays of Lent
Message from the Director Pregnancy Assistance
One of our goals at Priests for Life, a very simple and basic one, is to see
to it that every member of the clergy in America -- and everyone else for that
matter -- has as much information as possible regarding where a person can turn
for assistance in handling a pregnancy in a way that respects life. For that
reason, our website, www.priestsforlife.org, contains information about nearly
every Pregnancy Assistance Center in the nation.
Also for that reason, we publicize national hotline numbers, and invite
clergy to publicize either these or any other number of their choosing, so that
people in their parishes know where help is available. One suggestion is to
place one such number as a permanent item on the cover of the parish bulletin.
If you have ideas and suggestions about how to promote alternatives to
abortion, you won't find anyone more eager to hear them than we are. Contact us!
Following are a few national hotlines. There are many other numbers, most of
them more local, that can be used. Priests for Life is making only one comment
about these hotlines: They provide alternatives to abortion. And we are making
one other comment about what pro-life people should do: We should find a number
we are comfortable promoting, and not rest until everyone in our reach knows
Nurturing Network 800-TNN-4MOM
Bethany Christians Services 800-238-4269
Several Sources Foundation 800-NO-ABORT
America’s Crisis Pregnancy Helpline 800-67-BABY-6
Good Counsel Homes 800 723-8331
Catholic Home Bureau 212-371-1000 Exts. 2117 and 2187 (In New
Help for Preaching
"Preaching on Abortion," a 44-page booklet for clergy, is now available
from Priests for Life. Positive in tone, and rooted in Scripture, the booklet is
a practical help for priests, deacons, and any teacher of God's word who wants
to address the issue of abortion. The booklet is written based on the experience
that Fr. Frank Pavone and the other full-time priests of Priests for Life have
had in preaching on abortion in all 50 states every day for the past six years.
It addresses topics such as the links between priesthood and pro-life ministry,
the Consistent Ethic of Life, how to speak to children and to the elderly about
abortion, and concrete "points of entry" into the topic of abortion from the
Scriptural, doctrinal, and seasonal angles. You won't be disappointed with this
resource. Priests and ministers are welcome to send us their own input for the
future revision of this booklet. The text is also available on our website on
the page www.priestsforlife.org/preaching/preach1.html.
- The Alan Guttmacher Institute, which favors the "freedom to terminate
unwanted pregnancies" (Mission statement), states that 12%, that is, 164,400 of
the 1.37 million abortions that occurred in 1996 occurred after 12 weeks of
pregnancy. It further indicates that some 13,700 of these abortions took place
at 21 weeks or more (Source: Website of the Alan Guttmacher Institute). Babies
delivered at this stage of development have been known to survive.
- Some people say that the assertion, "Life begins at conception" is only a
"religious belief." Yet the following quote is found in a book about how to
perform abortions: "Conception is the only occasion in the whole course of
events when something happens during a brief moment of time that is truly
'momentous'…How different is the fetus ten minutes before parturition and ten
minutes after; that is, different in a way that would affect its value?" (Second
Trimester Abortion: Perspectives After a Decade of Experience, Berger et
al., eds., p. 215).
- Some who defend abortion claim that one is "truly human" only when able to
reason, to choose, and to be creative. Yet a book about how to perform abortions
contains this quote: "Surely embryos and fetuses do none of these things. In
fact, neither do newborns, and there's the rub. Presumably it would be equally
as acceptable to destroy newborns as fetuses, since both are in the same
prehuman boat" (Second Trimester Abortion: Perspectives After a Decade of
Experience, Berger et al., eds., p. 215). Think about it.
- More people than ever are coming forward to talk about how they regret
having an abortion. Here are some quotes from actual testimonies, provided by a
national research project: "It affected my relationship with my children because
I emotionally pushed them away - I felt I didn't deserve them"; "I would go to
the cemetery wondering what they did with my baby"; "Initially I also felt a
sense of relief that it was all over. But it was a strange brand of relief that
did everything relief should, except make me feel any better." If you need help,
call 1-800-5-WE-CARE (National Office of Post-abortion Reconciliation and
A Useful Resource
The Human Life Review is the only publication of its kind: a
scholarly quarterly devoted entirely to the life issues. Now in its 25th year,
it has been called "indispensable" by many in the pro-life movement. You may
write for a free sample copy or a subscription ($20 per year) to: the Human Life
Review, 215 Lexington Avenue, NY, NY 10016; or visit their website at
Priests for Life welcomes the recent statement
of the United States Catholic Conference, "Faithful Citizenship: Civic
Responsibility for a New Millennium." It's text, as well as a multitude of
statements on the dignity of life by the Holy Father and by Bishops around the
world, can be accessed through our website, www.priestsforlife.org, on the page
Continued reflections on the Crucial Importance of the
A minister recently used this comparison for a fellow-pastor who was
reluctant to do much about abortion, because, he said, "My mission is to
proclaim the Gospel."
Suppose you knew that at a given moment, a father was taking his child to
"The First Church of the False Gospel," and another father was about to kill his
If you were able to intervene, to which situation would you direct your
In attempting to save the child's life, one does not deny the critical
importance of raising that child in the truth of the Gospel. But error in
religious matters can be dealt with throughout life. One needs a life to begin
It is a strange concern, indeed, that addressing abortion somehow "intrudes
upon" our mission of evangelizing. Evangelium Vitae points out that
because life belongs to God, "whoever attacks human life, in some way attacks
God himself" (EV 9). Quoting Vatican II"s Pastoral Constitution on the
Church in the Modern World, John Paul II later says, "'By his Incarnation
the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every person' (Gaudium
et Spes, 22). It is precisely in the "flesh" of every person that Christ
continues to reveal himself and to enter into fellowship with us, so that
rejection of human life, in whatever form that rejection takes, is really
a rejection of Christ" (EV 104).
ADDITION OF NEW PRIEST SIGNALS RAPID EXPANSION OF
PRIESTS FOR LIFE
In September of 1999, Fr. Frank Pavone announced the exciting news that
yet another priest has joined the ranks of our organization as a full-time
priest associate. Fr. Walter J. Quinn, O.S.A., has been released by his
Ordinary, the Very Reverend John Deegan, Prior Provincial of the Augustinian
Order, St. Thomas of Villanova, to devote 100% of his time to Priests for Life.
The addition of Fr. Quinn to the Priests for Life staff brings the number of
full-time priests in the association to five! Assisting the priests is a rapidly
growing, nationwide lay staff of 23.
Fr. Quinn brings to Priests for Life nearly four decades of experience in the
priesthood. Born August 8, 1930 in Lansdowne, PA, he attended West Catholic High
School in Philadelphia, and then the Wharton School of Finance & Commerce at the
University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1952 with a BS in Economics.
He was a 1st Lieutenant in the Army during the Korean War, and for a
time worked in industrial sales before being ordained in 1961.
Fr. Quinn has served as an Augustinian Priest in many parishes throughout the
Northeast, including Our Mother of Consolation, near Philadelphia, St. Nicholas
of Tolentine, in the Bronx, Our Lady of Good Counsel, in Staten Island, and
Immaculate Conception, in the Albany Diocese, to name but a few. He has been
actively involved in pro-life work since the late 1960’s, and has founded
pro-life organizations in Philadelphia and New Jersey. He was also recently
appointed by Bishop Colin Campbell, of the diocese of Antigonish, to be
spiritual director of the "United Hearts of Jesus and Mary," an international
lay organization that has chapters in the U.S., Canada, England and Ireland.
Fr. Pavone, who has headed Priests for Life since 1993, said: "We are
thrilled to have Fr. Quinn as part of the Priests for Life team. Together with
Frs. Hogan, West, Wilde and myself, Fr. Quinn will be traveling the country,
teaching, training, motivating and encouraging his brother priests to speak up
"Even more exciting, though, is what all this indicates for the future. There
is a specific charism in the Church, a charism for the defense of human life.
That charism is fittingly embodied in a number of institutional structures. If
it is in accordance with God’s will and the desire of the Church, Priests for
Life could provide a natural launching point for an eventual Religious Order or
society of priests dedicated to pro-life ministry."
Raw Judicial Power
Many are familiar with how Justice Byron White described Roe vs. Wade in
his dissent: "an exercise of raw judicial power."
A couple of decades later, we can see clearly how "judicial power" has kept
abortion going time and again, including by decisions which even allow
partial-birth abortion to continue, contrary to the will of the people expressed
through bans on the state level.
This raises in the minds of more than one legal expert the question about how
to restore a balance of powers among the three branches of government. An
excellent, succinct review of the matter, along with a concrete proposal, has
been made by Thomas A. Glessner in "Curbing Raw Judicial Power: A Proposal for a
Checks and Balances Amendment," published in the Regent University Law Review
(Volume 11, Number 2, 1998-99). Mr. Glessner asserts, "I suggest we are indeed
in a constitutional crisis if we accept the idea that the US Supreme Court is
the final and exclusive interpreter of the Constitution…Nowhere in the
Constitution is it acknowledged that the 'reasoned judgment' of the Supreme
Court is superior to the 'reasoned judgment' of the elected officials of the
people or of the people themselves."
The bulk of the time, energy, and personal resources of the pro-life
movement are spent in providing alternatives to abortion, providing real choices
to girls who feel they have no choice. Planned Parenthood, the largest single
abortion-provider in the US, receives one-third of its total revenue from
government grants and contracts. At the same time, however, the nation's crisis
pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies rely on contributions
from concerned citizens to run their shoe-string budgets.
A bill has been introduced to correct this situation by establishing an $85
million formula grant program to provide pregnant women with assistance through
these various centers. The bill is the Women and Children's Resources Act, HR
2901, introduced by Representative Joseph R. Pitts of Pennsylvania, and in the
Senate (S. 1605) by Senator Rick Santorum.
It really is about time.
The courts have maintained that the government, in allowing abortion, is not
required to favor it, but rather is free to encourage childbirth over abortion
(see, for example, Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, 505 US 833, 886). And as far as
the Church is concerned, our response to the abortion tragedy is not, and has
never been, simply to say, "This is wrong, don't do it." Instead, we say, "We
are with you, and we will give you the strength to do what is right."
We encourage you to obtain more information about this bill and to do all you
can to support it.
General Intercessions for the Sundays of Lent
Ash Wednesday falls on March 8, 2000. The following General Intercessions
are suggested for the Sundays of Lent this year (based on the readings for Cycle
First Sunday of Lent:
That God, who made a covenant with Noah that earth's creatures should not be
destroyed, will give us the strength to protect all life, we pray to the Lord
Second Sunday of Lent:
That Christ, who revealed his glory to the apostles, may reveal to us the
sanctity of every human life, we pray to the Lord
Third Sunday of Lent:
That legislators will enact policies that conform to the Commandments of God,
the Lord of Life, we pray to the Lord
Fourth Sunday of Lent:
That God, who sent His Son to save the world, will bring repentance and
forgiveness to all who have had abortions, we pray to the Lord
Fifth Sunday of Lent:
That God's people may oppose abortion by offering themselves to care for
those who are pregnant and in need, we pray to the Lord
Passion (Palm) Sunday:
That the passion and death of Christ may help us find meaning in our
suffering, we pray to the Lord
Priests for Life has known for some time of the grisly trade in baby
parts taking place in abortion facilities throughout the nation. Through the
efforts of our friends at Life Dynamics, Inc., the details of this trade have
come to light. You may obtain from Life Dynamics (1-800-401-6494) copies of the
actual order forms used. Some of the forms request that there be no
abnormalities. Many mistakenly think that abortions in later stages of
pregnancy are performed only in cases of fetal abnormality.
The following is taken from Life Dynamics' publication of this information:
"Fetal tissue wholesalers are companies which place employees in abortion
clinics to harvest tissue, limbs, organs, etc. from aborted babies. This
material is then shipped to researchers working for universities, pharmaceutical
companies and government agencies. Although it is against federal law to sell
human tissue or body parts, these organizations have devised a system to
circumvent this restriction. Technically, all fetal material they harvest is
"donated" to them by the clinics. However, they do pay a "site fee" to the
clinics for the right to access the tissue. The tissue is then "donated" to the
researchers who in turn pay the wholesalers for the cost of retrieval. Profit is
realized by the wholesalers' ability to set their own retrieval fees."