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Pro-Life Hero, Catholic Convert, Deacon Paul Schenck, to be Ordained to the Priesthood

By James Tillman
June 9th, 2010
LifeSiteNews (www.lifesitenews.com)

'The pro-life movement drew me toward reunion with the Catholic Church... I saw that coherent moral theology, Christian unity and spiritual authority were essential to success. I'm blessed beyond expression by this generous and gratuitous privilege of being ordained a priest, an 'alter Christi' [another Christ]'.

WASHINGTON, DC (LifeSiteNews.com) - Following a journey from Reform Judaism through the Episcopal Church, pro-life hero Deacon Paul Schenck, who was involved in founding Operation Rescue, is soon to be ordained a Catholic priest.

"I consider the most important pro-life battlefield to be religious indifference," he told LifeSiteNews.  "I hope that as a Catholic priest, I'll help to awaken Catholics and all people of conscience from the slumber of indifference to authentic concern and effort to defend innocent lives."

Together with his brother Robert, Schenck was raised as a Reform Jew on Grand Island, New York. Both brothers converted to Christianity in 1974, when Paul was 16.

In addition to his involvement in founding Operation Rescue, Schenck has been arrested multiple times for his pro-life activities.  He was also the lead plaintiff in the landmark case Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western New York in 1997.

This case found that the 15-foot "floating buffer zones" indiscriminately applied to all clients and vehicles entering abortion facility property were an unconstitutional violation of freedom of speech. The court ruled that such "zones would restrict the speech of those who simply line the sidewalk or curb in an effort to chant, shout, or hold signs peacefully."  The same case found, however, that fixed buffer zones were constitutional.

Schenck is founder and chairman of the National Pro-Life Action Center in Washington, DC.

He became a minister of the Reformed Episcopal Church before converting to Catholicism in 2004 with his family.

"The pro-life movement drew me toward reunion with the Catholic Church," he told.  "I saw that coherent moral theology, Christian unity and spiritual authority were essential to success."

He continued: "Most people believe in God, most of them believe God gave them their lives, and most believe taking an innocent life is morally wrong. But most are indifferent towards the victims of abortion."

"If most Catholics, most Christians and most believers of any type overcame their indifference and personally opposed killing innocents by abortion, the struggle for the right to life would be won."

As a transitional deacon in the diocese of Harrisburg, he has acted as director of the Respect Life Office, and conducts pro-life ministry in Annapolis and throughout the country.

"I'm blessed beyond expression by this generous and gratuitous privilege of being ordained a priest, an 'alter Christi' [another Christ]" he told LSN.

He will be ordained on June 12 at 10:00am in St. Joseph's Church at 2935 Kingston Road, York, Pennsylvania 17402.

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