"To me, the role of a pro-life leader is something that is nonnegotiable to my priesthood," [Fr. Pavone] said.
Priests for Life has four other full-time priests, and Father Pavone said those who have worked with him know where he wants the organization to go.... Still small and relatively unknown when Father Pavone took the helm, it has grown to an international organization with about 40,000 priest, deacon and lay associate members.
Father Pavone said the pro-life position must be articulated on rational grounds and that all the evidence - medical, philosophical, etc. - is "on our side." Yet, he noted, the battle is with those who in the face of that evidence still say, "I have my beliefs and you have your beliefs," and that, in America, people can believe what they want.
Father Pavone called on the business leaders to show that the "concept of our faith is not disconnected from our life," and asked that they lend their skills to a movement that is primarily made up of volunteers, and thus does not possess the advanced marketing, staffing and debate skills of those who support keeping abortion legal. He noted that Priests for Life recently launched a media campaign that includes billboards, television and newspaper ads.
He said organizations such as Civitas Dei could contribute to such campaigns not only with their resources but also with their witness to the pro-life cause.
One of the most important tools the pro-life movement has is the First Amendment, Father Pavone said. He noted that Priests for Life has started discussions with television producers about showing an abortion on television.
"We are going to make a public issue out of the question," he said.
As for those who think it would be too graphic, Father Pavone asked, "Is there any reason why the pro-life movement should be exempt from the principles of social reform?"
He said it is when "disturbing images of injustice" have been shown that people wake up and see the injustice. Not until people saw the abuses against blacks, when they were sprayed with hoses and attacked by dogs, did people take action, he said.
"We can't think about what people think of us as the messenger," Father Pavone said. "We have to care about what people think of abortion."