For Immediate Release
Contact: Jerry Horn
Fr. Frank Pavone today announced that two more full-time priests have joined the staff of Priests for Life, the International pro-life organization which he has led since 1993.
Fr. Denis G. Wilde, of Villanova, PA, and Fr. Peter West, of Newark, NJ have both been released by their Ordinaries to devote 100% of their time to Priests for Life.
"This is an incredible day for our association," said Fr. Pavone, who is an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome. "We are very grateful to Archbishop Theodore McCarrick of Newark, and to the Very Reverend John Deegan, Prior Provincial of the Augustinian Order, St. Thomas of Villanova, for releasing these two priests to us at a time when priests are in such demand.
"It is gratifying to know that Priests for Life enjoys such tremendous support among the bishops of the United States. Since we began our mission, seven years ago, we have very consciously avoided building a separate structure apart from the Church; rather, we have endeavored at all times to work within the structure of the Catholic Church, in total union and cooperation with the Bishops, and to assist their diocesan pro-life offices to infuse the structure which already exists with ever-greater pro-life fervor, energy and effectiveness."
Fr. Pavone was in Washington D.C. to introduce the two new priests to officials of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and to various pro-life leaders. His D.C. stop comes at the beginning of a pro-life swing across the country that will take him to 14 states in 40 days.
The addition of Fr. West and Fr. Wilde to the staff of Priests for Life brings the number of full-time priests in the organization to four. "This will literally double our effectiveness" stated Fr. Pavone. "For the last several years, Fr. Richard Hogan, of St. Paul-Minneapolis, and I have been averaging three pro-life trips per week. We have preached against abortion in every one of the fifty states, and have personally reached an estimated 500,000 people with our message. We will now be able to do twice as much!"
Priests for Life has taken this occasion to make public a statement called "Choice in Christ," which challenges the notion that church communities and individual Christians can be "pro-choice" and still remain faithful to their calling.
"From the beginning of the abortion battle," said Fr. Pavone, "the pro-abortion forces, knowing their greatest obstacle is the Catholic Church, have attempted to silence and intimidate the clergy on this issue, and to say that a pro-choice position is consistent with the Gospel. It is time for them to realize that that game is over."