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Fr. Frank's Column: The Pope's Bioethics Council
The week of February 21, three members of the Priests for Life Pastoral Team travelled to Rome for the General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Fr. Frank Pavone, who is a member of the Academy, along with Dr. Theresa Burke (Founder of Rachel’s Vineyard and fulltime Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life) and Janet Morana (Executive Director of Priests for Life) participated in the meeting from Thursday to Saturday. The Assembly, bringing members from around the world, focused, among other themes, on post-abortion trauma and healing. The Pontifical Academy for Life, which engages in research on life issues at the service of the Holy See, asked Dr. Theresa Burke to give the presentation on what the scientific literature says about the damage abortion does.
Fr. Pavone stated, “Priests for Life has had a long and fruitful relationship with the Academy for Life over the years. The research that our own Pastoral Team collects and carries out has been helpful to individual diocesan bishops, Episcopal conferences, and to the Holy See, and we are happy to continue that tradition! In all the meetings we had with Vatican officials, moreover, the work of Rachel’s Vineyard, which operates under the umbrella of Priests for Life, was a topic of conversation, as we continue to bring the Lord’s healing to countless men and women who have lost children to abortion around the world.”
The General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life concluded on Saturday, February 26 with a meeting with His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.
In his remarks, the Holy Father affirmed the work of ministries like Rachel’s Vineyard with the following words:
“It is necessary -- as has been indicated in your works -- to provide the necessary help to women who sadly have already taken recourse to abortion, and who now experience all its moral and existential tragedy. There are many initiatives, at the diocesan level or through individual volunteer entities, which offer psychological and spiritual support for a complete human recovery. The solidarity of the Christian community cannot give up this type of co-responsibility.”
Read the full text of the Pope's remarks