BISHOPS’ SPOKESWOMAN DENOUNCES MISLEADING ATTACKS ON PRO-LIFERS, PRIESTS FOR
April 25, 2001
WASHINGTON—Cathleen Cleaver, director of planning and information for the
Pro-Life Secretariat of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, denounced
"misleading, insulting and inflammatory" remarks about the pro-life community
made by a state legislator.
In a letter to New York State Senator Eric Schneiderman, Ms. Cleaver
"You urge supporters of abortion to participate in a protest rally against a
ceremony, sponsored by the National Right to Life Committee, during which Father
(Frank) Pavone (National Director of Priests for Life) will receive an
award…However, I am concerned about remarks you make regarding not just Father
Pavone but, by extension, others in the pro-life community that con only be
described as misleading, insulting and inflammatory."
"The mainstream pro-life movement, representing millions of Americans -- male
and female, Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative, religious members
and those with no religious affiliation at all -- have been outspoken in their
rejection of violence and in condemning the actions of those who would resort to
murder in the name of pro-life. We have repeatedly, publicly stated, and firmly
hold, that to resort to violence makes a mockery of the core beliefs of the
pro-life movement," Ms. Cleaver said.
"To suggest that the ‘real intentions’ of the millions of Americans who
oppose abortion are to endorse the murder of abortionists…is similar to saying
the murderous actions of Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, are representative of the
real intentions of environmental activists," she continued.
"The pro-life movement, the Catholic Church, and certainly Fr. Pavone
unambiguously reject all violence in opposition to abortion," Ms. Cleaver
continued. "Contrary to your suggestions, our real intention is that all turn
away from violence as a means to address our nation’s problems, and that
includes violence against our unborn brothers and sisters."