Priests for Life Newsletter
Volume 6, Number 5
September - October 1996
The Biggest March Ever!
Abortion: The Inside Story
Associate Director Visits New
Priests for Life Announces: "FIRSTDAY
Partial Birth Abortion Tape
Leaders Endorse Our Work
Get Out And Vote
The Biggest March Ever!
Wednesday, January 22, 1997: Mark your calendars for
Washington, D.C., where it is time to have the biggest March for Life we have
ever had! It doesn’t matter how long we have been marching. What
matters is that babies are scheduled to be killed today and tomorrow.
This is a new tragedy that demands a new response and a new call to our
government to do what it was established to do: to secure the God-given
right to life! Call 202-LIFE-377.
Priests for Life recommends to all clergy and laity members
the work of Al Brown Photo, a small, family-run business which produces
handcrafted religious cards, as well as beautiful back-lit transparencies of
stained glass windows. These images are ideally suited for the home, chapel or
church, and are available at a fraction of the cost of genuine stained glass.
For more information, write to : Al Brown Photo, 3597 N. Roberts Road,
Bardstown, KY 40004.
Abortion: The Inside Story
"God....has reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and
given us the Ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18).
Priests for Life has been privileged to extend the hand of
reconciliation to a number of people who used to perform and promote abortion.
Actually, hundreds are leaving the abortion industry and discovering the Lord
Jesus Christ through His Church.
How does someone get into the abortion industry, and what
makes them decide to leave? Hear the powerful testimonies on the videotape
Abortion: The Inside Story, produced by Joe Scheidler’s Pro-life Action
League and available from Priests for Life for $19.95. Call to order
The Trinity, Grace, and Abortion
Homilies can be developed along several lines of thought by
examining some aspects of the doctrines of the Trinity and Grace, and comparing
them to the evil of abortion. This shows why abortion is unalterably opposed to
the very foundations of the Gospel, and at the same time points a way to the
solution to this problem.
The New Testament reveals the fact that the Persons of the
Trinity have an intimate sharing of life with each other, and that furthermore,
that life is passed on to us in a manner in some way comparable to what happens
in the Trinity. In John 17: 20-23 we read, "I pray not only for them, but also
for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be
one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be one in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you
have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you
sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me."
The Trinity exhibits the ultimate realities of union and
self-giving, which then, not by necessity but by God’s free decision, overflow
into our lives. We are caught up in the life of the Trinity, the life of Grace.
The Father loves us as He loves the Son. The Son commands us to love one another
as He loves us (see Jn. 15: 12).
Just as the Father shows Himself to the Son, the Son reveals
the Father to us. We read in Matthew 11: 27: "All things have been handed over
to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the
Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him." This
knowledge, of course, is the eternal life (see Jn. 17: 3) which is Christ
The Lord makes the same connection when He speaks of the
Eucharist in John 6: 57: "Just as the living Father sent me and I have life
because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of
The Holy Spirit is sent by both the Father and the Son. "And
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you
always, the Spirit of truth" (Jn. 14: 16-17). "If I do not go, the Advocate will
not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you" (Jn. 16: 7). He is sent by
the Father and the Son because He proceeds from them both. The giving of the
Spirit to us in history reflects the Trinitarian life of God beyond history.
So it is, in different degrees, with all creation Psalm 19
tells us, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his
handiwork" (Ps.19: 1). St. Paul teaches that God’s existence and basic
attributes can be known by an examination of what He has made (see Rom.
The natural relationship between father, mother, and child
reflects God’s love and life. (We almost need new language to speak about this
because having heard it so often, it takes extra effort to penetrate its
meaning.) Marriage, parenting, and family life are strong and healthy when the
members of the family give themselves away in love. Self-giving love
gives life on a natural level, just as we have seen is true on a supernatural
Abortion contradicts this dynamic directly. Rather than a
self-giving dynamic which fosters life, it is a self-asserting dynamic which
fosters death. It does not and can never reflect the realities of grace and the
Trinity. This is another reason why a "pro-choice Christian" is a total
It is necessary to re-introduce into a culture of death the
dynamic reflected in God Himself: to build a culture in which we give ourselves
away in love. It is not enough to teach that abortion destroys a baby (though
this is an essential message). We need to also teach that it destroys the very
thing pro-choicers claim to defend: one’s personal fulfillment and pursuit of
happiness. In claiming they have their "rights" and "choices," they have
forgotten why. The "why" must be re-discovered, as those who can sacrifice
themselves for others reach out to save these babies and concretely assist their
moms and dads in need. That is the dynamic of the pro-life movement. That is
also the reflection of what God Himself does. He who gives Himself away for us
made us in order that we might give ourselves away for one another and for Him.
That is why we have our freedom, and that is the only road to fulfillment.
Associate Director Visits New
Fr. Richard Hogan
On Saturday, June 8th, I flew from Minneapolis-St. Paul to
New Orleans. I was met by Fr. Lance Campo who is the associate pastor at
Immaculate Conception parish in Marrero, LA. Immaculate Conception is a very
large parish with a parish grade school of nine hundred children and a parish
high school of five hundred.
During my homily, I emphasized the lies behind the slogan
"pro-choice." Every single time the mildest restriction is proposed in a
legislature on abortion, someone will claim that the proposed law is "opposed to
choice" or will "limit choice!" What nonsense! Choice is an act of the will. The
will is an internal and autonomous power of the soul which no one controls
except the individual. Aside from the individual, only God could possibly
directly move the will, and He will never do that because that would be
tantamount to taking personhood away from someone. We are persons because we
have minds and wills. There is no way that an external reality (such as a civil
law) can directly control choice. Otherwise the whole concept of civil
disobedience through appeal to a higher law or power would be impossible. It
would be impossible to ever make a choice against any law, including the
commandments -- which we do every day by sin.
I also tried to underline the other lie behind the "choice"
argument: that all I have to do is choose something and it is right. The
pro-choice argument holds that any one of us can create our own reality simply
by choosing something. The pro-choicers argue that it is choice that makes
things right or wrong. If a woman chooses to have a baby while she is pregnant,
that is right because SHE CHOSE IT. If she chooses to kill the child, that is
also right because SHE CHOSE IT. If such a principle is followed to its logical
conclusion, we would all become gods creating our own realities simply by
choosing them. After mentioning how abortion hurts women, I concluded by asking
the people to pray, to tell everyone they knew about the help for women through
crisis pregnancy centers, to tell everyone about the mercy of the Church
available to all Catholics in the sacrament of Reconciliation, to vote pro-life,
and to support the work of the pro-life movement.
Fr. Lance and Fr. Al both commented on the homily (the pastor
was out of town) and the people received it very well. While the schools were
already closed for the summer, I was able to give a talk one evening to the
pro-life group at Immaculate Conception. Fr. Campo is the chaplain to this
group. The talk was on the Gospel of Life
and its four central themes of the loss of the sense of God, the modern problem
of understanding the proper relationship between freedom and truth, the problem
of suffering, and the opposition between the culture of death and the culture of
life. Even though the attendance was small, everyone there was very committed to
the pro-life movement. More and more it is clear that the pro-life movement will
prevail if we have people absolutely firm in their pro-life positions. The level
of commitment to the effort is much more important than large numbers who are
only marginally convinced of the truth of this war for the unborn. Of course, as
we all know, the numbers of committed pro-lifers is growing.
One of the highpoints of my visit to New Orleans was meeting
with the Priests For Life chapter. It is very well organized. On this occasion,
the meeting was at St. Leo’s and chaired by the pastor, Fr. Roger Swenson. There
were about ten priests present, about half the total membership -- that is
rather impressive for the beginning of summer. The chapter sponsors life chain
and other activities. They also occasionally draft letters as a PFL chapter
commenting on various developments.
It is always uplifting to find PFL priests working in their
own assignments to promote the work of pro-life. Let us all pray for all the
priest around the country who are working, sometimes without recognition, for
the pro-life movement.
Priest for Life is grateful to Fr. John Owens from the
Diocese of Bismarck, ND, for his suggestion that priests offer a special
pro-life intention for each month while praying the Liturgy of the Hours. We
will publicize the suggested intentions in our newsletter, and welcome your
"That all of those who have submitted themselves to an
abortion will seek reconciliation and peace for themselves and their family."
"That political leaders who make laws affecting "LIFE ISSUES"
will dwell on the many ramifications of bad laws and the denial of God’s
dominion over life."
Priests for Life Announces: "FIRSTDAY PROJECT"
Every pro-lifer knows the answer to the question, "When does
life begin?" It begins, of course, at fertilization -- that is simply high
Why, then, don’t we celebrate the beginning of our lives when
they actually began?
It has been the growing conviction of a number of pro-life
leaders that the practice of "Firstday" or "Lifeday" observances should be held,
celebrating the actual beginning of one’s life, nine months before one’s
In fact, Life Expressions (1/800/736-LIFE) has even begun
selling "Firstday" greeting cards!
It’s only logical! It may even make some people think! And it
can be fun -- let the celebration begin!
Partial Birth Abortion Tape
Priests for Life is offering a one-hour audio tape, "The
Partial-Birth Abortion Controversy: An Overview." (It may be obtained from us
for $4.00). In this talk you will hear the reason why this method of abortion
has received so much attention, and why that attention has helped the pro-life
cause. You will hear what pro-lifers have done to stop this procedure, and what
some have said and done to actually defend it.
Every direct abortion is equally wrong, and every pre-born
child is equally deserving of protection. The partial birth abortion, however,
has made an unusually effective psychological impact on the general
public. If we respond effectively, we may be able to harness the energy of that
impact to restore a sense of reverence for all life.
Ask for our tape today! (Orders: 888-PFL-3448 )
Leaders Endorse Our Work!
Our seminars have been very successful. For example, we have
received the following endorsements among others:
"I feel confident in saying that, after 25 years of
involvement in the battle for the sanctity of life, the seminar that
features Father Frank Pavone is among the most helpful and
informative....using common sense insights and theological principles,
Father Pavone’s message crosses denominational, social and political lines."
Dr. Jean Garton, Litt. D.
Founder, Lutherans for Life
"The response to your message was tremendous. In fact,
never before have we had a uniformly positive response to anyone speaking to
the entire priestly community here in our diocese. This is a first!"
Kent Peters, Director
Office for the Social Apostolate
Diocese of Duluth, MN
"This is my body. I will control it, even if the baby must die."
The Lord says,
"This is My Body, given up for you, that you may have life."
Priests for Life has an audio tape and brochure which develops this powerful
(Order them from us for only $4.)
We even had DANA, the famous Irish singer, write a song about it!
Get Out and Vote!
"Every citizen ought to be mindful of his right and his duty to promote the
common good by using his vote." (Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution on the
Church in the Modern World, #75).
"As citizens we need to face our own public responsibilities: to register and
vote, to understand issues and assess candidates’ positions and qualifications;
and to join with others in advocating for the common good." (US Bishops,
Political Responsibility, 1995).
* In 1997 we will begin our new training seminars for priests. We will come
to your city. Call us for more information.
* December 9 is the National Night of Prayer for Life. Let your parish take
part! Call 516-234-6921.
* Visit our website http://www.priestsforlife.org. We will post information
for you about state or diocesan pro-life news and resources.
Board of Advisors of Priests for Life
His Eminence Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo
Most Reverend Charles J Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., D.D.
Most Reverend George Lynch, D.D.
Most Reverend James D. Niedergeses, D.D.
Most Reverend John Francis Donoghue, D.D.
Most Reverend John Quinn Weitzel, M., D.D.
Most Reverend Francis Quinn
Most Reverend Albert H. Ottenweller, D.D., S.T.L.
Most Reverend Daniel E. Sheehan, D.D., J.C.D.
Most Reverend James C. Timlin, D.D.
Most Reverend James S. Sullivan, D.D.
Most Reverend John J. Myers, D.D.,J.C.D.
Most Reverend Juan Fremiot Torres, D.D.
Most Reverend Rene H. Gracida, D.D.
Most Reverend Paul Donovan
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