Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
From Fr. Pavone: Wait till you read what one diocesan attorney sent to the pastors in his diocese!
Imagine you are the pastor of a parish and you receive an urgent letter from the attorney who serves as your diocese's lawyer. In the letter, you read that you are NOT to allow anyone to distribute any pro-life voter guides to your parishioners ... otherwise you risk violating tax laws.
How would you react? What would you do?
In all likelihood you'd follow the diocesan lawyer's advice and make sure that no pro-life voting guides see the light of day in your parish.
And that's exactly how pastors in one diocese acted during the critical 2004 election after they received just such a letter from their diocesan attorney. Unfortunately, this letter was like many others sent out in other dioceses.
But here's the problem.
Not only was the letter totally incorrect,
... but the lawyer who wrote it is an abortion advocate who has given thousands of dollars to help pro-abortion political candidates win their elections!
I was reminded of this outrage when I read that several pastors in a Southern city told pro-life activists that they did not have the pastors' permission to hold pro-life events on public sidewalks near their churches.
I'm going to give these pastors the benefit of the doubt and assume that they acted as they did because of a misconception that if they allowed these pro-lifers to speak out against abortion near church property that they risk violating IRS guidelines and jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.
The fact of the matter is no one needs the permission of a pastor to speak out against the crime of abortion no matter how close they are to a church! Public sidewalks are just that ... PUBLIC! As such, they are a forum from which any citizen can preach the Gospel of Life.
I shared these two examples with you because the 2008 election campaign is already upon us ... and Priests for Life must re-educate the clergy regarding their legal rights in order to let pastors and bishops know all that can do and say about abortion and political candidates during the campaign.
In order to do so, however, I must have your help today.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries
PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314
(For those unable to donate online, checks payable to "Priests for Life" may be sent to the address above. All donations are tax-deductible.)
PS Here's another reason why I am putting this project on the fast track. As you know, every year Nellie Gray gathers tens of thousands of pro-life activists for her "March for Life" in Washington, D.C. and I lead a prayer service in the US Senate. On that occasion I meet with a lot of priests, pastors and seminarians of all denominations, and would like to have this material ready to give them. In order to make that happen, I have to move now. So please do whatever you can to help make this happen.