Archive for the ‘Rachel’s Vineyard’ Category

Priests for Life, Heartbeat International, Good Counsel Urge Pastors: Give Your People Life-Saving Information!

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 28, 2017

Contact: Leslie Palma
732-757-9087

TITUSVILLE, FL — “Saving a life from abortion and a heart from despair can be as easy as memorizing a phone number and a website,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.

For Respect Life Month this October, Priests for Life is partnering with Heartbeat International and Good Counsel Homes to urge pastors to include life-saving information as permanent features on their parish bulletins and web sites.

The project aims to raise awareness of alternatives to abortion and healing after abortion. Sometimes these alternatives simply consist in a listening ear and encouraging word, but they also meet needs like finding a pregnant woman a place to live, medical services, legal advice, help with making an adoption plan, parenting classes and help in finding a job or job training.

Counseling for those suffering from a past abortion is also provided by many pregnancy centers and other ministries.

Heartbeat International is the world’s largest network of life-affirming, pregnancy help organizations. Its message is: “Every woman should be loved and supported during her pregnancy.”

Visitors to Heartbeat’s OptionLine.org, or those who call its 24-hour emergency helpline 800-712-HELP (4357) will be connected to help available closest to where they live. Confidential guidance is offered in English and in Spanish.

Good Counsel offers a life-saving alternative for any pregnant, homeless mother in need. Pregnant women, even those with other children and those struggling with addiction or mental health challenges, may live in a Good Counsel home for a year or longer as they return to school, get a job or begin a vocational training program.

Visit www.goodcounselhomes.org or call 800-723-8331 to find – or offer – help. More information may be found at Good Counsel on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

Good Counsel also offers healing for men, women and siblings suffering in the aftermath of an abortion. Many are suffering silently in church pews today. Confidential, compassionate counseling is available at www.postabortionhelp.org or by calling 877-586-4621.

Priests for Life also has set up the website AbortionForgiveness.com where visitors can enter a Zip code and find ministries for healing after abortion closest to where they live. These include pregnancy centers, special ministries and Rachel’s Vineyard retreat sites.

The three groups are making a simple plea to churches of all denominations: Let your people know that help is available by placing it prominently on parish bulletins and websites.

This will accomplish two things: People in need of alternatives to abortion and healing after abortion will find help, and everyone in the parish will be equipped to help others in need. By making this information easily accessible, pastors will underscore the fact that churches not only oppose abortion but are ready to help people find real solutions.

“Everyone can reach upward, in prayer, to Our Lord for His help in such difficult situations,” said Peggy Hartshorn, chairman of the board of Heartbeat International. “But on occasion, we actually have the opportunity to reach out and guide someone to loving, caring, life-affirming help. It is by sacrificial service, modeled on Christ as the Servant of His Father and Our Savior who died for us, that we save lives and change lives.”

Christopher Bell, president and executive director of Good Counsel Homes, said, “We may all be different parts, but we are certainly members of the One Body of Christ sharing the Good News about the Gospel of Life. The more we work together, the more men and women, children and babies will find concrete help and real hope.”

Fr. Frank Pavone concluded, “There are many hotlines, websites and services. The ones we are speaking of here are the most comprehensive. We are asking pastors to start somewhere. The pro-life movement and the church do not point fingers of condemnation, but rather extend hands of help and hope. Let’s utilize these concrete tools to replace despair with hope and save many lives!”

For more information about this project, go to www.prolife.church

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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What Do These “Celebrities” (Except Wonder Woman) Have in Common?

Thursday, July 13th, 2017
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Celebrities: You either have to love them, hate them, or not care one way or the other. One interesting truth about “celebrity” men and women is that abortions have affected many of them.

I’ve included Wonder Woman in the mix here because the anti-abortion and anti-life (prolife and pro abortion) feminists are both laying claim to the Wonder Woman mystique these days. Will the real super women please stand up?

I could also include photos of men celebrities, because some of them have post abortion testimonies as well. We’ll save that one for part two.

I’ve added a photo of myself from the 1970′s because I became post abortive in 1970 and was still hiding my pain in deep denial back then

Yes, even celebrities have abortions. All of the women in our meme (except Wonder Woman) have had abortions. Thank goodness people are talking more about abortions these days.

At Civil Rights for the Unborn we uncover the injustice of abortion. Abortion isn’t a civil right; it’s a crime against humanity. At Priests for Life, we work hard to end abortion. See Silent No More Awareness and Rachel’s Vineyard and find out why men and women truly regret our abortions.

Also, please read this compelling account about celebrity abortions by Kevin Burke, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard. Also read RECALL ABORTION by Priests for Life Executive Director, Janet Morana. After reading one or both please ask yourself these questions:

1. Why must a woman choose between health, safety and security or abortion?
2. How can taking an innocent life save a life?
3. Does the truth really matter?

“Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16 NLT

Let’s pray for America to end abortion and return to God.

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Silent No More Awareness Campaign will share message that abortion hurts women at Women’s March on Washington

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

SNMAC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Women from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will gather at Independence Avenue and Third Street SW at 10 a.m. Saturday to share the message that abortion hurts women.

“It’s ironic that the Women’s March on Washington aims to speak for all women, when half of those killed in abortion are baby girls,” said Janet Morana, co-founder of the Campaign and executive director of Priests for Life. “We also need to stop treating the women killed or injured in abortion as collateral damage.”

Campaign co-founder Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life, said the Women’s March “has embraced a pro-abortion stance, betraying its mission of non-violence, by letting Planned Parenthood and NARAL serve as partners for the event. Therefore, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign has decided that our counter-witness also needs to be present. We do not want people to think all women embrace abortion so we will stand on the sidewalk sharing the truth, ready to offer ministry and help to the hurting.”

Holding signs that say “I Regret My Abortion,” the women will provide a powerful visual contrast to the pro-abortion marchers, as they did in 2004 at the March for Women’s Lives during President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

Noting that Saturday’s march is a protest primarily of the election of Donald Trump, Mrs. Morana said, “President-elect Trump is pro-life, has promised to nominate pro-life justices and judges to the Supreme Court and the federal bench, has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood and protect babies in the womb past 20 weeks. We will not march against him.”
Mrs. Forney added: “Many of those participating in the March for Women’s Lives need to see the Campaign’s message and learn that there is help and healing for any one struggling with their abortion experience.”

The Campaign, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, has been present at the March for Life every year since 2003. Dozens of women and men who regret their abortion experiences tell their stories in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, where Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were decided in 1973.

The Campaign began Nov. 11, 2002. As of January 2017, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign has held 1,803 Gatherings in 17 countries and all 50 states, with 6,270 women and men sharing their abortion testimonies. Testimonies have also been shared at 136 high schools and universities in the last seven years, 11 in 2016 alone.

There are 2,506 testimonies posted on the Campaign website, with 421 that are shared via video! Currently there are 17,611 people registered with the Campaign, representing 77 countries.

People who are not ready to join the Campaign, are invited to register their regret. So far, 5,361 women and 625 men have said they regret their abortion or lost fatherhood. Also, 648 women and men have posted memorials to their children.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is a joint project of Anglicans for Life and Priests for Life. For more information, please visit our website: www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org

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Dioceses of Spokane and Yakima Host Rachel’s Vineyard Training in Washington State

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 6, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Dr. Theresa Burke, founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, the largest ministry devoted to healing after abortion, just returned from Washington State, where she led a training for clergy. Three dioceses were represented – Spokane and Yakima in Washington and a diocese in Nigeria.

A total of 66 people attended the training in Wenatchee, WA, including 24 clergymen, four deacons’ wives and Sister Mary Rosanna Emenusiobi from Nigeria. She works full time in Nigeria’s largest pro-life, pro-family educational group, Family-Light of the Nation Foundation.

This training was the brainchild of Teresa Drollman, who helped organize 40 Days for Life and has been working to start a new Rachel’s Vineyard retreat site in Wenatchee. Chancellor Monsignor Robert Siller and Father Osmar Aguirre helped plan the conference along with the Rachel’s Vineyard team.

Yakima Bishop Joseph Tyson was also instrumental in making the training happen. Bishop Tyson has initiated a program called Prepares, a nurturing response of the Catholic community to provide families the supportive services needed to help ensure healthy childhood development from pregnancy to age five. For more information click here: http://www.preparesforlife.org/.

“Father Peter Steele, ordained in May, told me this training was invaluable, and ten clergy want to be on the new teams in Washington state,” Dr. Burke said. “This was a valuable trip to help a new team that seeks to offer English and Spanish retreats. There is a very large population of immigrant workers in agriculture who live in Wenatchee and Planned Parenthood is very active in advertising abortion to them. It’s our goal to start a vibrant Latino ministry as well as the new English-speaking retreats.”

Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreats for healing after abortion are presently being offered at 375 sites across the United States and in over 70 countries, and the ministry continues to expand its outreach. Some Rachel’s Vineyard retreats are hosted by church-based ministries, counseling outreach programs, diocesan Respect Life offices, and crisis pregnancy centers. It is offered in both Catholic and interdenominational settings. Some 33 Catholic dioceses in the United States officially host Rachel’s Vineyard sites.

“People who come to Rachel’s Vineyard will meet people who care about them and the child or children lost to abortion,” said Father Frank Pavone, Pastoral Director of Rachel’s Vineyard. “The retreats are led by those who know the way of healing, and are ready to welcome all into a journey that leads to mercy and peace.”

The ministry’s hotline number, for those in need of healing, is 877 HOPE 4 ME (877-467-3463).

Rachel’s Vineyard, which enjoys the strong personal support of Pope Francis, is a ministry of Priests for Life. For more information on the ministry, go to www.rachelsvineyard.org.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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December Shockwaves Focuses on Healing Available to Everyone Impacted by Abortion

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

SPACERHealing the Shockwaves of Abortion, an initiative to raise awareness of the various groups of people impacted by the loss of a child to abortion, in December calls on all priests, pastors and clergy members to preach about the healing power of the Lord in this season of Advent.

“December, and the Advent season, lead us to cry out, “Come, Lord Jesus!” Aware as we are of the many wounds abortion brings, we are more deeply aware of our need for the Savior who comes with healing in his wings,” said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life and pastoral director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, which launched Shockwaves nearly two years ago.

Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life and co-founder of Silent No More, noted that for mothers and fathers who have lost a child to abortion, December can bring about a melancholy tied to the awareness that someone is missing from the family celebration of Jesus’s birth.

“I often wonder what my baby’s First Christmas ornaments on the tree would look like, and what she would be doing now,” she said. “It is in these moments when I am most grateful that Jesus came to save a sinner like me.”

Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life and co-founder of Silent No More, said that for Catholics, Pope Francis’s recent announcement that all priests throughout the world will continue to be authorized to bring people to full reconciliation after the sin of abortion dovetails nicely with the December Shockwaves theme, Come Lord Jesus!

“The international conversation sparked by the pope’s announcement raises awareness that abortion is a sin that impacts the Church as well as society,” she said. “Forgiveness is available to all who seek it, no matter how they may have been complicit in abortion.

Kevin Burke, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard and a Shockwaves architect, said “The Advent and Christmas seasons can be a time of abundant grace and new opportunities for spiritual growth, healing and joy, even for those harmed by the loss of a child to abortion. In fact, this loss can lead us to a deeper faith.”

Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion is an international educational and pastoral effort, launched in January 2015 by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign with the aim of raising awareness about and ministering to a wide variety of groups of people who are impacted when a child is killed by abortion. These groups include mothers, father, grandparents, siblings, survivors, friends, pro-life advocates and those who perform or advocate abortion.

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Fr. Pavone grateful for Pope Francis’s statement on abortion forgiveness

Monday, November 21st, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 21, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and also Pastoral Director of the worldwide ministries of Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More, issued the following statement this morning:

“The announcement of Pope Francis that he is extending indefinitely the faculties of priests worldwide to absolve those who repent of the sin of abortion is something we at Priests for Life both expected and gratefully welcome.

“We are privileged to facilitate the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion, Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry about which Pope Francis has personally expressed to me his enthusiastic support and gratitude. Likewise, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign (a joint project of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life) is one of our projects which, through the power of testimony, invites people to take hold of God’s mercy after abortion.

“We who oppose abortion do not oppose those who have abortions. Rather, we embrace them with mercy and forgiveness. We have ministered to people who have had as many as 25 abortions, and we see that it impacts the entire family: parents, grandparents, siblings, and beyond.

“We will continue to provide training for clergy and laity alike regarding the wounds abortion brings and how to lead people to healing.

“Those who are looking for opportunities for healing and reconciliation after abortion can go to our special website www.AbortionForgiveness.com.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Silent No More Founders Blast Results of Biased Study on Abortion Certainty

Friday, October 14th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Georgette Forney and Janet Morana, co-founders of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, today took issue with a study published in the journal Contraception that shows most women are sure of their decisions to have an abortion.

Mrs. Morana, executive director of Priests for Life, pointed out that four of the study’s five authors are affiliated with the pro-abortion University of California, San Francisco, and its Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) center.

“Has ANSIRH ever produced a study that showed abortion in a negative light,” Mrs. Morana asked. “I have never seen one. Also, the study selected 500 predominantly white women over 25, which is not a representative sample of women having abortions in the U.S.

“I know from my work in pro-life since 1989, with Silent No More and Rachel’s Vineyard, that coercion and uncertainty are prevalent among women who have abortions. This study does a disservice to women and to the unborn.”

Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life, also noted the authors’ studies “always affirm their theories,” but said this study is virtually worthless, because even those women who were sure of their decisions report feeling regret afterward.

“When we talk about the pain and remorse that we feel after our abortions, we are told there is no such thing as after-abortion regret, and chances are ANSIRH has a biased study about that, too,” she said. “Those of us who have had abortions know the truth. Even if it seemed like an easy decision to make – because of what we saw as a lack of options – it was the worst decision, and it was irrevocable. This study is invalid and meaningless.”

To read what real women feel about their abortions, go to www.abortiontestimonies.com

The Campaign began November 11, 2002. As of January 2016, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign has held 1,582 Gatherings in 17 countries & 48 states with 5,978 women and men sharing their abortion testimonies. Testimonies have also been shared at 117 high schools and universities in the last 5 years, 14 in 2015. There are 2,405 testimonies posted on the Campaign website, with 395 that are shared via video! Currently there are 17,049 people registered with the Campaign representing 77 countries.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is a joint project of Anglicans for Life and Priests for Life. For more information, please visit our website: www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org

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Rachel’s Vineyard to Host Latino Leadership Conference

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 28, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Rachel’s Vineyard will host its first Latino Leadership Conference Aug. 1-3 in Cusco, Peru.

Dr. Theresa Burke, founder of Rachel’s Vineyard — a ministry of Priests for Life, and the largest ministry in the world for healing after abortion — will lead the conference with Eugenia Hadley, Rachel’s Vineyard Director of International Training in Spanish, and spiritual advisor Father Victor Salomon, a member of retreat teams in Washington, D.C., and Caracas, Venezuela.

Attendees are expected from nearly every country in South America.

“The Latino Leadership Conference will be a wonderful opportunity for members of our Spanish retreat teams to expand their education as we bring everyone together for three days of learning, fellowship and prayer in South America,” Dr. Burke said. “This is also a great way for those who are looking to learn more about Rachel’s Vineyard and post-abortion healing to network with volunteers and leaders from around the world.”

Since the first Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreat was held in 1995, the ministry of post-abortion healing has grown from a single retreat site to more than 375 sites in 49 states and more than 70 countries. Retreats are offered in 37 languages, and the retreat manual has been translated into 22 languages. In 2002, Rachel’s Vineyard became part of the Priests for Life family of ministries.

This year, Rachel’s Vineyard’s global expansion continued with its first-ever retreat in South Africa. The Latino Leadership Conference reflects the ministry’s continued growth throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

Pope Francis first became aware of the work of Rachel’s Vineyard when he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires. When he met with Pope Francis in 2013, Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard, was told by the pontiff that “Rachel’s Vineyard is very good; it is an excellent work! Go forward with that!”

To arrange interviews before or after the Latino Leadership Conference, in English or Spanish, call Leslie Palma at 347-286-7277 or email her at media@priestsforlife.org

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Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More Play Key Role in the Year of Mercy

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Phones started ringing at Rachel’s Vineyard headquarters in Pennsylvania as soon as Pope Francis announced that as part of the Year of Mercy, every priest throughout the world would have the faculties to reconcile to the Church those who have had an abortion. Some had buried their guilt for decades.

As the Year of Mercy begins Dec. 8, Rachel’s Vineyard will play an important role in helping women who committed abortions in the past to find forgiveness and healing. So will the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, co-founded by Janet Morana and Georgette Forney. This Campaign enables those who have found healing to give public witness to the mercy of God by sharing their stories.

Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More even have the pope’s seal of approval: In greeting Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard, in Rome, the Holy Father said: “Rachel’s Vineyard is very good. It is an excellent work! Go forward with that!”

And in meeting Janet Morana, the Pope similarly praised the work of Silent No More around the world.

Reporters, editors, talk show hosts and news producers looking for story angles for the Year of Mercy, and Pope Francis’s offer of forgiveness for those who have lost children to abortion, can localize their stories by interviewing a Rachel’s Vineyard or Silent No More team leader in their coverage areas.

To discuss interview possibilities, please contact Leslie Palma, director of communications for Priests for Life, at 347-286-7277 or email her at leslie@priestsforlife.org

As Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis first became acquainted with Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry active in 49 U.S. states and more than 70 countries, including Argentina. It has touched the lives of more than 250,000 people; even prisoners in a maximum-security prison in Florida are benefitting from Rachel’s Vineyard’s unique approach.

“Pope Francis stresses forgiveness and inclusion, and these are both hallmarks of Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard. “It is very encouraging to know how enthusiastic he is about our work.”

His representative in the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, also expressed strong support of our work when he joined the gathering of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in front of the Supreme Court in January 2015. The papal nuncio addressed the gathering of men, women, and families who had been healed through Rachel’s Vineyard and were now sharing their testimony publicly. He said,

“I am glad to be here in the name of Pope Francis, representing him and the mercy of God to each one of you who are taking part in this March for Life. I want to share with you the joy that God has put into our hearts, because we love Him and we want to share with you the mercy He’s given to each one of us, especially those who ask for mercy. Pope Francis said that we should ask for mercy.”

Rachel’s Vineyard founder Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph. D., discovered how deep the need for healing after abortion is while leading a support group for women with eating disorders as part of her training for degrees in psychology and counseling. An impromptu discussion of abortion led several women to display signs of emotional trauma, but when Dr. Burke brought this up to her professor, she was advised not to talk to women about abortion. So, in 1986, she founded the Center for Post Abortion Healing, one of the first therapeutic support groups for post-abortive women.

Six years later she published Rachel’s Vineyard: A Psychological and Spiritual Journey for Post Abortion Healing, a unique support group model for counselors. In 1995, Dr. Burke expanded the curriculum into a format for weekend retreats. Soon individuals seeking healing began to travel from other states to experience the healing process.

Without a budget, office or advertising, Rachel’s Vineyard became a grass-roots national outreach. By word of mouth only, the retreats began to spread across the country, from 18 retreats in 1999 to 35 a year later. In 2003, Rachel’s Vineyard became a ministry of Priests for Life. Since then, Rachel’s Vineyard has grown to more than 750 retreats annually, with many new sites in development. The retreat manual is available in 22 languages.

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Fr. Pavone Welcomes Church’s “eagerness to reconcile those who have had abortions”

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 1, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and also Pastoral Director of the world’s largest ministry for healing after abortion, Rachel’s Vineyard, and also of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, the largest mobilization of those who have had abortions, issued the following statement this morning:

“All of us at Priests for Life, Rachel’s Vineyard, and Silent No More welcome the letter our Holy Father issued today, indicating his compassionate concern for those who have had abortions, and making it easier for them to obtain the absolution of a priest. This step does not mean that forgiveness wasn’t available before. However, it simplifies the process outlined in Church law whereby, in certain circumstances, the priest needs to get authorization before giving absolution. In the Jubilee Year, priests will not need to delay that absolution, provided there is repentance.

“We welcome this concrete expression of the Church’s eagerness to reconcile those who have had abortions. We who oppose abortion do not oppose those who have had abortions; rather, we welcome them with mercy and compassion. A very large part of our work at Priests for Life is to extend the urgent invitation to healing. We oversee the work of Rachel’s Vineyard (www.RachelsVineyard.org), a retreat program which constitutes the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion and which enjoys the personal and enthusiastic support of Pope Francis.

“Moreover, through our Silent No More Awareness Campaign, through which mothers, fathers, and entire families witness to the pain of being involved in abortion and the joy of God’s healing, we echo that invitation to healing through the testimonies of those who have found it. They share these testimonies in churches, at rallies, and in the media (see www.SilentNoMore.com).

“I have spoken with Pope Francis on five occasions specifically about our work of healing those who have had abortions, and healing even abortionists who have killed tens of thousands of children. We at Priests for Life will continue to train and encourage our brother priests to be the heralds of mercy and compassion in the face of abortion. Truth and compassion are not in tension; they are both aspects of the same God. To treat someone with compassion includes sharing with them honestly the truth they need to hear, and to be fully truthful includes revealing the reality of compassion and mercy,” stated Fr. Pavone.

The relevant portion of the Pope’s letter today is as follows:

“One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life. A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life. The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe that they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfill this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.”

The full letter is at http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2015/09/01/0637/01386.html#ing

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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