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By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/23/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

When you were first elected, many rejoiced that yet another barrier had been broken for racial equality in our nation. I rejoiced with them. Yet so many African-Americans could have been -- and can still be -- elected to the Presidency who better represent and advance the principles on which our country was founded. We proclaim the principle behind the civil rights movement -- namely, equality for every human life -- and apply it to the children yet in their mothers' womb.

Fr Frank Pavone

Fr Frank Pavone


By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (

1/23/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Roe v Wade, Doe v Bolton, Fr Frank Pavone, President Barack Obama, Pro-Life, Right to Life, Deacon Keith Fournier

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - On January 22, 2013, all who recognize the objective truth that every procured abortion takes an innocent human life will mourn the infamous Supreme Court decisions of Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton. Numerous services, Liturgies and events are planned to mark the day. A call for prayer and fasting has gone out. On Friday, hundreds of thousands will gather in Washington DC to show our solidarity with our first neighbors in the womb and lend them our voice.

The great human rights movement of our age is the struggle to restore to the Civil and positive law of this Nation - and the rest of the nations - the legal recognition of the fundamental Human Right to Life. This Right to Life is the foundation of all other rights and is revealed by the Natural Law which can be known through the exercise of reason. The Natural Law is binding upon all men and women.

When the official history of the great human rights movement of our age is written - and make no mistake it will be written - there will be several women, men, associations, movements and organizations holding a deserved place of honor. Right at the top of that list will be this indefatigable Catholic Priest and Champion for Life named Fr Frank Pavone and the vital association which the Lord of Life called him to found, Priests for Life.

Without recognizing this first Right to life there can be no recognition of any other derivative rights. In fact, the entire infrastructure of human rights is placed at risk. All true Human Rights are goods of human persons. When there is no human person there can be no rights endowed upon them or exercised by them. All the "rights talk" in the world will not change that.

Every procured abortion is intrinsically immoral because it takes an innocent human life. It is always and everywhere wrong to take innocent human life. Medical science confirms what our conscience has always known; the child in the womb is one of us, our neighbor. No positive law can change that fact.

When they seek to do so they are unjust laws which are not law at all. The great civil rights movements of the past two centuries have depended upon the recognition of an objective truth; every human being, at at every age and stage, has human dignity and a right to life. 

Civil Rights are those human rights which are first recognized - and then properly protected by - civil government. The American founders stood in the trajectory of Western civilization in their insistence that human rights are not given or bestowed by government but by the God in whose Image we have all been created. Truly just governments are instituted precisely to secure these human rights. The first among them is the Right to Life.

There is no more urgent work in the contemporary culture than the movement called "Pro-Life". That is precisely because the Right to Life movement is the foundational human and thus civil rights movement. We have failed to hear the cry of our youngest neighbors in the first home of the whole human race. When we allow their killing for any reason and by any means - and then actually call it a "right" - we profane the very word. We also place our future survival as a Nation at risk. 

When we allow their innocent blood to be shed and then protect the evil act with the Police Power of the State we betray our claim to being a civilized people. When we deny them the Freedom to be born we undermine the very understanding of ordered liberty upon which our Nation was founded. Those engaged in the Pro-Life movement assert with the American founders that there are truths that are self evident - such as our equality before God - and rights which are inalienable - such as the Right to Life.

The Right to Life is the fundamental human rights issue of our age because without it there are no other rights. It is also the great freedom movement of our day because without the freedom to be born, there are no other freedoms. Forty years ago, with the stroke of a judicial pen, seven Justices of the United States Supreme Court consigned an entire class of persons, children in the first home of the whole human race (their mother's womb), to the status of property. We cannot, we will not, stop in our efforts to defend these children and to end this evil.

When we are victorious in this monumental struggle - and we will be victorious - there will be many heroes whose sacrifice and courage will be recounted in our history books. They will be celebrated by our children and grandchildren as Champions of Life who overcame the current culture of death, replacing it with a new Culture of life.  When recognition of the fundamental Human Right to life is restored to the Civil and Positive law, these heroes will be remembered, honored and imitated.

Right at the top of that list will be a Catholic Priest named Fr. Frank Pavone. He may be of small physical stature, like David of the Old Testament story, but he has a heart which is huge and the courage of a spiritual warrior. Fr Frank Pavone has wielded his small smooth stones and sling mightily in the battle against the Goliath of the contemporary Culture of Death and that giant staggers as a result.

On the day when we gather in Washington DC, to mourn the Fourtieth anniversary of Roe and Doe, I can think of no place I would rather be than by the side of Fr Frank Pavone. I will be, beginning at the National Memorial for the preborn and their mothers and fathers.  You need to be there as well. You can find out all about it and join thousands of others in prayer, repentance and action by visiting this website.

I offer below an example of the prophetic and courageous voice of Fr Frank Pavone. This is a letter Fr Pavone addressed to President Barack Obama on the occasion of his second inauguration on Monday, January 21, 2013, the anniversary of the slain Civil Rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I invite our readers to reproduce this letter and make it as widely available as possible.


An Open Letter to President Obama

January 21, 2013

Mr. President:

Many Americans are praying for you as you are inaugurated today. I am among them, as I participate today in the national commemorative service for the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and join his family at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Yet when wild applause erupts today for you here today, I will not be applauding. When standing ovations occur, I will stand to honor my country and the office of its President, but I will not be applauding, because, I do not believe that you should be the current occupant of the White House.

When you were first elected, many rejoiced that yet another barrier had been broken for racial equality in our nation. I rejoiced with them. Yet so many African-Americans could have been -- and can still be -- elected to the Presidency who better represent and advance the principles on which our country was founded.

Instead, you so often violate them. Therefore, along with the chorus of praise, I want to write this letter today representing so many of our fellow Americans who raise a chorus of concern, particularly regarding your stand on life, religious freedom, and marriage.

As I stated, I am here today with the King Family in Atlanta. That is because Dr. Alveda King, Martin's niece, is a fulltime member of my team at Priests for Life. She travels this nation bearing witness to the fact that the civil rights movement of today is the pro-life movement. We proclaim the principle behind the civil rights movement -- namely, equality for every human life -- and apply it to the children yet in their mothers' womb.

And we protest your apparent unwillingness to recognize their equal dignity. You represent the blind spot that advocates of abortion across America demonstrate, as they cry out about the right to life of children slain in Newtown, Connecticut, but never acknowledge the right to life that those same children had when in the womb.

We protest your unrelenting attack on religious freedom and on the institution of marriage. My ministry of Priests for Life was among the first to launch a federal lawsuit against the HHS mandate, and we recently won an initial victory in federal court in New York. We will continue to advance this lawsuit and will settle for nothing less than the complete withdrawal of the mandate across the board and across the nation.

Mr. President, I write today on behalf of countless Americans who love their country, but whose very love of that country causes them distress at so many of your actions and positions. There is a lot of room in our country for legitimate political debate. But our objections go beyond that. This is not just about your policies, but about your principles, so many of which completely contradict those on which our nation was founded.

Indeed, many will be praying for you today, and part of that fervent prayer is for an authentic change of mind and heart on the part of the President of the United States.


Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life


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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
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