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.
Friday, January 4, 2008
This question will really make people think – Fr. Frank Pavone
From the Desk of Fr. Frank Pavone, M.E.V.
December 31, 2007
Stay of Execution
Fr. Frank Pavone at the 2007 Priests for Life Christmas Party with Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate and Niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (left) and her mother Naomi King, Wife of slain civil rights leader, Rev. A.D. King. (right)
Thank you, Father Pavone, for coming to us in the Lehigh Valley this past weekend. And thank you for your tireless efforts for "the cause." You were an awesome inspiration, as I watched you and your troops head around the fence to go down to the doors where these poor souls go in to have their abortions. How important, indeed, to have our priests lead the way! Also, your Holy Hour...was verypowerful. It caused me to make a weekly commitment to go out to the mill to fight for the babies. - Karin, Allentown PA
Click on the photo above to view my video message about the new year.
Dear Deacon John,
Today's biweekly column will give you some thought-provoking questions to ask those who are not as solidly against abortion as they should be.
Before you read it, however, please take note of a few practical updates:
1. Any parish can order from us any quantity of pro-life bulletin inserts that they are willing to use as we approach the Roe vs. Wade anniversary (January 22). Just go to www.priestsforlife.org/bulletin. Please note that the pastor must give his OK before we ship the bulletin inserts, which are available for review on the website.
2. Those going by bus to the March for Life in DC or the Walk for Life in San Francisco may obtain from us educational pro-life videos to show on the way, or pro-life prayer cards to give the participants. Contact Liz at email@example.com if you are interested.
3. The January monthly online poll will be posted tomorrow. The question is, "Do you oppose abortion primarily for religious reasons, or for reasons springing from human reason alone?" We value your opinion, and you can answer our monthly online poll at www.priestsforlife.org.
4. Travels galore continue for me and our pastoral team. Among other stops, on January 8 I'll be speaking at Bishop Fulton Sheen Seminary in Chillum, MD. It's always a joy to equip future priests with the tools to advance the pro-life message!
On January 17, I'll fly to San Francisco to speak at various events, including an interdenominational prayer service on the night of the 18th in the Cathedral, and will then take part in the Walk for Life the next day. Dr. Alveda King will be with me, as will Janet Morana, co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
On Sunday the 20th I'll speak in Washington DC, including to a group from the Archdiocese of Chicago in the evening. Then I'll fly to Atlanta, and on Monday morning the 21st will deliver the New Testament Reading at the annual commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Then I'll fly back to DC to concelebrate the evening Vigil Mass for Life at the Basilica Shrine - I look forward to seeing many of you there, as always!
Then next morning, I'll preach at the annual National Memorial for the Preborn and their Brothers and Sisters, to be held in the US Senate. We will inform you of the exact room. The service will begin shortly after 8am and will conclude in plenty of time to get to the Rally and March.
I look forward to seeing as many marchers as possible; I'll be up by the Supreme Court looking for you!
Then, in front of the Supreme Court starting at 4pm, we will hold a gathering of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. Please stick around and support the women and men who will publicly testify how abortion hurt them and Jesus healed them!
5. Then, in February and March, I will be traveling to many of the sites that will observe the 40 Days for Life campaign. I am calling upon pro-life people nationwide to participate in prayerful presence at the abortion facilities during Lent, and upon clergy to preach more clearly and forcefully than ever regarding this holocaust.
I invite you to read my booklet "Our Media is the Streets" in order to understand even more deeply the rationale and value of going to the abortion mills to pray. You can find the full text of the booklet at www.priestsforlife.org/brochures/ourmedia.html.
6. Finally, if you are a law student or an attorney - or know one - you may want to ask for my article that just appeared in the Ave Maria Law Review (Vol. 5, N. 2, 2007) titled, "How Law Students and Attorneys Can Help the Pro-life Movement." I will be happy to send you a copy (or more) of the article. Please request it from Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, let me also provide you with the upcoming schedules for our own TV shows and Radio programming:
Hear us on EWTN radio on Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo. I am her guest every Wednesday at 9:30am ET and Janet Morana is her guest every Friday at 9:10am ET. For radio station information and to listen to the live show on the internet, go to www.avemariaradio.net
Defending Life: Watch on EWTN every Friday at 10pm ET and Saturday at 2:30am ET. Listen on EWTN radio every Friday at 1am ET, Saturday at 6:30pm ET and Sunday at 5am ET.
January 4-5: Lay Apostolate of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. Guest: James Pinto, Jr., National Coordinator, Missionaries of the Gospel of Life - Lay Associates.
January 11-12: Christians Influencing Hollywood. Guest: Jonathan Flora, Hollywood director and writer.
Gospel of Life topics (seen on Sky Angel satellite, Angel One, every Monday at 3:30am, Tuesday at 2:00 am, Thursday at 8:30am and Saturday at 7:30pm -- all times Eastern). www.skyangel.com
Week of December 30: How God Broke My Heart About Abortion. Guest: Rev. Rusty Thomas, Elijah Ministries.
Week of January 6: Roe Becomes Pro-Life. Guest: Norma McCorvey.
Even from death row, you can change history and save lives.
Two death-sentenced Kentucky prisoners have a grievance which the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear. In the case of Baze v. Rees, the inmates argue that the method of execution most commonly used - that is, lethal injection - violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. In fact, at least half of the death row inmates facing an imminent execution in the last two years have filed suit challenging the chemicals used in lethal injections.
The fact that the high court has agreed to hear this case has caused many states to halt executions until the decision is rendered sometime in 2008.
At issue is not the constitutionality of the death penalty itself, but rather a specific question raised by the type of chemicals used and the method of application. In the 1980s, most of the states that have capital punishment switched over from electrocution to lethal injection, on the theory that injecting a cocktail of poisons would be more painless and humane. Since capital punishment was reinstated three decades ago, nearly 900 of the 1,056 U.S. executions carried out through 2006 were by lethal injection.
The three-drug lethal injection process works like this: First, a sedative is administered through an IV, rendering the inmate unconscious, then a paralyzing agent stops the breathing muscles and finally a shot of potassium chloride stops the heart. But objections have been raised that the method, even when applied properly, leaves open the possibility that the inmate would still be conscious of severe pain but be unable to express it because of the paralyzing effect of the drug. Moreover, because correctional officers, not medical practitioners, administer the fatal dose in most state, the risk of mistakes increases.
So what level of risk of unnecessary pain constitutes crossing the line into "cruel and unusual punishment?" That is the Constitutional issue the Court must decide.
Meanwhile, a similar issue has surfaced in recent years, regarding unnecessary pain inflicted on another group of people scheduled for death. In the last Congress, a bill was introduced that would provide an option for unborn children scheduled to be aborted at 20 weeks or more after fertilization to receive pain reducing medication prior to being dismembered. Each year in the United States alone, over 18,000 abortions take place at 21 or more weeks of pregnancy. These children also would be unable to express the pain they have.
In 1994, an article in the prestigious British medical journal, the Lancet, revealed hormonal stress reactions in the fetus. The article concluded with the recommendation that painkillers be used when surgery is done on the fetus. The authors wrote, "This applies not just to diagnostic and therapeutic procedures on the fetus, but possibly also to termination of pregnancy, especially by surgical techniques involving dismemberment." In 1991, scientific advisors to the Federal Medical Council in Germany had made a similar recommendation.
How about a stay of execution for the unborn, for the same humanitarian reasons?