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Priests for Life Newsletter

Volume 4, Number 4
Autumn - Winter 1994

ffportrait.jpg (6029 bytes)C O N T E N T S

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

Abortion Is Legal, But Malpractice Is Not

Is the Fetus Human? Book Available

"Abortion Hurts Women" Signs

Beatification in Rome Gives Encouragement to Pro-Life Activists

Abortion and Breast Cancer

Let Us Face our Fears, Part 4 - Fr. Frank Pavone

A Message from Heidi

Bulletin Service

 

Photo: Fr. Frank in Denver (53604 bytes)My Brother Priests,

There he was, holding a sign that said "Keep Baby-Killing Legal." He said to me, "I support abortion, and I believe that those of us who support it should be honest about what we are supporting." I thanked him for being honest, and not dodging the reality of abortion. More and more pro-abortion people are coming right out and saying, "It's killing, but it should still be the woman's choice." This makes it clear that abortion is not merely about when a human life begins, but about what a human life is. We as priests have the answer to that question. We are all persons with an eternal destiny. A person is not an object to be used and disposed of. The only proper response to a person is love. Abortion always offends against love.

Photo: Fr. Frank in Fargo, ND (50492 bytes)Let's teach it loud and clear. I have been privileged to speak on abortion recently in Dallas, Steubenville (at the priests' and deacons' retreat), Houston, Little Rock (where I met the man with the sign), Washington, Fargo (where I joined Bishop Sullivan and 1000 faithful in a Eucharistic procession to the abortuary), and Denver (at the National Youth Day co-sponsored by Priests for Life). Upcoming events take me to Melbourne, Florida, Pittsburgh, Providence, Birmingham, Wichita, Tucson, Phoenix, Wheeling, and a Chicago meeting of former abortion providers. Clergy meetings, rallies, workshops, and prayer vigils in the streets mark these events. The word on Priests for Life is traveling fast. Let's work together to being an end to the killing!

Sincerely,

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director

 

Homily: AM I MY BROTHER'S KEEPER?

- By Fr. Frank A. Pavone

Some call it "the issue that just won't go away." The national debate over abortion continues to rage. Yet we have many ways of protecting ourselves from information that makes us uneasy.

So did Cain, who committed the first murder in the history of the world. "Let us go out into the field," Cain said to his younger brother Abel. When they were in the field, Cain killed Abel (Gen. 4:8). The Lord then asked Cain where his brother was. This was the most uncomfortable question Cain had yet faced in his life. How could he stand up to God and explain the murder of his own brother? It was an issue he wished would go away; it was a truth too hard to deal with. So, in a desperate attempt to dodge the issue, he claimed ignorance. "I do not know," was his response to God.

Then Cain went on to challenge God for asking the question in the first place. "AM I MY BROTHER'S KEEPER?" (Gen. 4:9) With these words, he tried to absolve himself of responsibility for his brother. Abel's whereabouts, his safety, his very life were not the responsibility of Cain! God, however, called Cain back at once to take responsibility for his own actions against his brother. "What have you done?", God demanded.

Cain wanted the issue to go away, but it wouldn't go away. The issue was as close to Cain as Cain himself. It was his own action that took his brother's life. Yes, he is his brother's keeper by the very fact that he is his brother. His brother has rights which he must "keep;" that is, respect and, if necessary, defend. Cain had done the opposite. He held his brother's rights in contempt. He had no regard for his brother's very right to life. He tried to conceal his action by taking his brother into the field, where nobody else would see them. Yet God confirms that the deed cannot be covered over. "Listen," God tells Cain, "Your brother's blood cries out to me from the soil!" (Gen. 4:10) The issue just won't go away.

We are our brothers' keepers; this is not an option. Rather, it flows from our very existence as sons and daughters of one God in one human family. We have responsibilities towards one another, whether we like it or not. We have responsibility especially for the weakest and most defenseless ones in our society, the unborn, who are daily ripped apart in their mothers' womb by abortion.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is ultimately the one who answers Cain's argument, "AM I MY BROTHER'S KEEPER?" and our arguments about "minding our business" and about "privacy." Christ is the one who teaches us in clear terms that we do have responsibility to each other, and that we cannot make the issue of injustice to our neighbor go away. For Christ declares to us, "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12). How did he love us? St. Paul tells us, "It is precisely in this that God shows his love for us: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). In other words, Christ took the initiative. He came to us and died for us before our asking him and without our deserving him. We were totally helpless. He acted out of pure love when he saw our need. He made our plight his business. He didn't hesitate for one minute; he didn't ask His Father, "AM I MY BROTHER'S KEEPER?"

As Christ loved us, so must we love our pre-born brothers and sisters. We do not love them because they ask it or merit it. We love them because they are our brothers and sisters in need. Abortion is an issue that is solved not by wishing it away or ignoring it. It is solved only by active love. We ARE our brother's keeper. Amen!

 

Abortion is Legal but Malpractice is NOT

Please spread the word that women have a right to sue abortionists for malpractice. Abortion is an unregulated industry. A woman who used to run several abortion mills told me that they routinely did not sterilize the instruments . . . and that is one of the smaller problems!

Attorneys are ready to help women who want to sue. You may have them call Legal Action for Women at 1-800-U-CAN-SUE or the American Rights Coalition at 1-800-634-2224.

 

Is The Fetus Human?

Order this brief, excellent book from author Eric Pastuszek,

You may order a copy of this book by calling TAN Books at 1-800-437-5876, or write to TAN Books at P.O. Box 424, Rockford, Illinois 61105

 

Resources are available!

Priests for Life has brochures as well as videotapes. A new manual on street activism is also available. Write for an order form.

 

ABORTION HURTS WOMEN

The new sign being used in Life Chains across the country, Abortion Hurts Women, was printed in 1994 as a result of a suggestion by Priests for Life and the director, Fr. Frank Pavone. It is crucial that the public understand that abortion is bad for the mother as well as for the child. The pro-life movement does not love the child in place of the mother. The pro-life movement asks, "Why can't we love them both? For a free copy of a newsletter that will keep you updated on the research showing how harmful abortion is to women, send a 52 cent stamped envelope to Elliott Institute, P.O.Box 9079, Springfield, IL 62791-9079.

 

BEATIFICATION IN ROME GIVES ENCOURAGEMENT TO PRO-LIFE ACTIVISTS

On Sunday, April 24, Pope John Paul II, speaking in the name of the Catholic Church, publicly recognized the personal holiness and witness of an Italian mother, Gianna Beretta Molla, wife and pediatrician who in 1962 preferred to die rather than undergo a so-called therapeutic abortion.

In 1961, during her fourth pregnancy, a fibrous tumor was diagnosed in her uterus. Knowing full well the risks to her own life, she asked the surgeon to operate in such a way as to save the pregnancy. Dr. Molla continued trusting in God's goodness. The life of the unborn baby was saved and she continued the pregnancy, tending all the while to her duties as wife, mother and doctor. A few days before the birth, she told her doctor, "If you have to choose, there should be no doubt: choose the life of the baby. I demand it." Her fourth child was born on April 21, 1962. Because she chose life over abortion, Gianna Molla died one week later at the age of 39.

Present for her beatification in Rome were her children and her husband, who have the consolation of knowing that their beloved wife and mother is now regarded by all members of the Church with profound veneration. We can all see in the life of Gianna Beretta Molla a radiant example of heroic self-sacrifice which spontaneously brings to mind the words of the LORD JESUS: "This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. THERE IS NO GREATER LOVE THAN THIS: TO LAY DOWN ONE'S LIFE FOR ONE'S FRIENDS." (John 15:12-13).

-Fr. Robert Cox
Dallas PFL Chapter

 

 ABORTION AND BREAST CANCER

Every culture and subculture with high abortion rates has high breast cancer rates, and every society that recently legalized abortion has rising breast cancer rates. Some 26 studies indicate a link between abortion and breast cancer, and most of these researchers are personally "pro-choice." Pregnancy introduces changes in breast tissue. The interruption of a pregnancy leaves the cells in a state in which they are more likely to become cancerous.

October is both Respect Life Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Let's make people aware of the link all through the year. For information, contact Abortion Industry Monitor (A.I.M.), P.O. Box 871, Purcellville, VA 22132, or call (703-668-6527)

Women have a right to know!

 

LET'S FACE OUR FEARS, PART 4.

We continue here to deal with possible obstacles in our pro-life ministry.

1. Do I have trouble relating abortion to Scripture? My own theological field of expertise is Scripture, and I will say without qualification that if Scripture does not teach the immorality of abortion, it does not teach anything at all. A particular word like "abortion" does not have to appear in the text of Scripture in order for there to be a clear teaching in Scripture about it. The word "Trinity," for example, is not anywhere in the Bible, but the teaching is. Abortion is the killing of an innocent, human child. The teaching on abortion is contained in the numerous condemnations of the shedding of innocent blood, and the numerous instructions about charity, especially toward the weak, the small, the helpless, and those whom society rejects. Numerous texts can be pointed to, but beyond this are the entire themes and directions in which Scripture moves. The people of the old and new covenants are called to be a holy people, a community bound to God and one another in love. This happens because God takes the initiative not only in giving life but in intervening to save the helpless. Such are central events of both the Old and the New Testaments. Abortion belongs to a totally contradictory dynamic of thought and life. It excludes members of the community and destroys rather than defends the helpless. (Priests for Life provides specific materials on relating the abortion issue to Scripture, including sample homilies. Write to request them.)

2. Do I need more resources? No problem. Write to us and we will refer you to more sources than you can ever use. 

3. Am I disillusioned by the lack of support I have in addressing abortion? We may not be feeling the encouragement we need from our fellow priests, our people, or our Church authorities. With reference to brother priests, this encouragement in standing up for life is one of the benefits Priests for Life is meant to provide. A local chapter in your diocese, or contact with other members, can help. There are also other priests' movements that strengthen us in various aspects of our ministry. In regard to our congregations, the encouragement is certainly there. Take a strong stand on life and it will grow. Complaints will also come, but it is not the complainers who have to answer to God for what is preached or not preached in the pulpit! In regard to our bishops and religious superiors, we need to heed Scripture's advice to pray for them, and if some are not encouraging us regarding the life issues, we should kindly but firmly request that they do.

 

A Message from Heidi

Heidi Huffman's mother, Tina, thought she had aborted her. But Heidi survived. Now 15, she speaks out for life. She recently told Fr. Frank Pavone that priests who do not speak on abortion "fear their congregation more than God," and thanked those who do speak out.

 

Priests For Life needs your help!

PFL is supported solely by the donations of private individuals. Please send in a generous donation today, and each month. Thanks for helping us to save lives and help moms. God bless you!

 

Bulletin Service

Priests for Life and American Life League, are working with bulletin companies to provide parishes with a monthly pro-life bulletin insert. If you are interested in this new service, call 540-659-4171 and ask for pro-life bulletin board.

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