Ruling on HHS Mandate: “As Contrary to Religious Freedom as You Can Get

November 14th, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 14, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today to the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which ruled against Priests for Life’s challenge to the HHS mandate in the case Priests for Life et al. vs. US Dept. of HHS et al.

“As we have said from the beginning, Priests for Life will not obey the HHS mandate. To ask a group of priests to cooperate in the government’s plan to expand access to birth control and abortion-inducing drugs is about as contrary to religious freedom as you can get.

In the interim, the government has provided what it calls an ‘accommodation’ by which we opt-out of the obligation to provide such coverage. In principle, of course, this moves in the right direction. The conscience of every American should be accommodated by law, so that government never forces anyone to violate his or her conscience.

But the problem at issue in our case — in which the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic University of America, Thomas Aquinas College, and other plaintiffs are also joined — is that the mechanism the government has provided for us to opt out is, in itself, objectionable to our religious and moral convictions. We have been pointing this out from the outset of this case.

If the government is sincere in wanting to enable us to opt out of something because it violates our moral conscience, it is reasonable for us to insist that we be given a way to opt out that does not itself violate our moral conscience. And whether it violates our conscience is for us to say, not the government.

Today’s decision states that our moral objection to the government’s current ‘opt-out’ mechanism is not their problem.

The decision mischaracterizes our objections. It says, “What Plaintiffs object to here are “the government’s independent actions in mandating contraceptive coverage, not to any action that the government has required [Plaintiffs] themselves to take.”’ That is not correct. What we object to are the actions the government is asking us to take. The decision later acknowledges that, but dismisses our objection as not being weighty enough.

What it boils down to is this: the government finds it hard to believe that we are objecting precisely to an action that lets us opt out of its plan to make it easier for our employees to get contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.

But the court’s own words today show why we object. The following two paragraphs from the decision capture why we continue to object and why we will not obey the regulations:

“Once the eligible organization expresses its desire to have no involvement in the practice to which it objects, the government ensures that a separation is effectuated and arranges for other entities to step in and fill the gap as required to serve the legislatively mandated regime.”

“Only if the eligible organizations communicate that they are dropping contraceptive coverage from the health insurance they have arranged for their employees will the government be able to ensure that the resultant gaps in employees’ coverage are otherwise filled. The government contends that its interests would be impaired if eligible organizations were entitled to exempt themselves from the contraceptive coverage requirement without notifying either HHS, or their insurers or TPAs.”

That’s the point. We refuse to take actions that are necessary to help the government “fill the gap” to provide drugs that kill babies and harm women. This decision admits that the action they are asking us to take does precisely that and is in fact necessary for that to happen. Therefore we will continue to refuse to obey the regulations, and we will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.”

Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life and a personal plaintiff in the case added, “This decision praises the so-called benefits of contraception as if its well-documented negative health risks did not exist. Our objection to be any part of the government’s plan to make contraception more easily accessible is grounded not only in our respect for conscience and religion, but precisely in our regard for women and their health. The Pill, IUDs and sterilization devices like Essure are harming women every day.”

Alveda King, daughter of Rev. A.D. King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, and also a personal plaintiff in the case, added, “In the interests of civil rights, which include the right of conscience to practice one’s faith regardless of how the government wants to define it, we will continue to pursue this case at the level of the Supreme Court. If my Uncle ML were still around, I have no doubt that he would be fully supportive of our efforts to secure freedom for every American to have his or her conscience free from government intrusion or reinterpretation.”

Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center, which represents Priests for Life in this case, stated, “This decision by the D.C. Circuit, a court that was recently packed by Obama through Harry Reid’s nuclear option, totally disregards the meaning of material cooperation as our Church teaches it. No doubt, contraception is a sacrament of the secular left, and this decision, which was authored by one of the recent Obama-appointed judges, is a tribute to it. Make no mistake, this battle is not over. We will continue our fight for religious freedom by challenging this decision in the U.S. Supreme Court.”

For more information on this case, on Priests for Life’s response, and what you can do, see IStandWithPFL.com.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Make Plans Now to Attend Nation’s Premiere Pro-Life Prayer Service

November 12th, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 12, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

National Memorial for the Preborn is on morning of March for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The best way to begin the March for Life is with prayer, and for the last 20 years, the best place to pray has been at the National Memorial for the Preborn and Their Mothers and Fathers, an interfaith service of worship, preaching and song sponsored by the National Pro-Life Religious Council (NPRC), Faith and Action, Priests for Life, and other religious groups.

The 2015 National Memorial will take place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 22 – the morning of the March for Life – at DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D Street NW, at 18th Street.

“The National Memorial is the nation’s premiere pro-life prayer event, bringing nearly a hundred clergy and thousands of laity together from dozens of denominations to pray for an end to abortion,” said NPRC President Father Frank Pavone. “Few things bring the followers of Christ together more effectively across denominational lines than the pro-life effort. This event gives collective witness to our society that we stand together on the biblical historic teaching on the sanctity of life and that we stand together in the trenches to actually achieve that victory in practice.”

The prayer service, organized by the NRPC, the National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill, Faith and Action, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries, is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required and because of the size of the historic and beautiful Constitution Hall, the event is perfect for large groups.

For the convenience of Catholics in attendance, Mass will be celebrated at 7:30 a.m. For information, go to NationalPrayerService.com

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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The Death of Dr. and Mrs. Myles Munroe Is Tragic

November 10th, 2014

141110 blog image - Dr. and Mrs. Myles Munroe The shocking and tragic news of the loss of Dr. Myles Munroe, his wife and daughter has rocked the faith community.

Our sympathies are extended to his family, church fellowship, The Global Leadership Forum, and to all the faithful who have been impacted by the life and often controversial “kingdom prosperity” global ministries of this prominent family.

Dr. Munroe’s departure from “the message of The Cross [of Christ 1 Corinthians 1:18-25]” during his lifetime causes me to pause and pray that we will all remember The Gospel and Blood of Christ during this time and moving forward.

2 Peter 2:1-3 reminds us that we must be sure to stay on course; because we are indeed living in troubled times. This loss of the Munroes teaches us that we must soberly examine our own lives because no one except God knows our appointed times of departure from the earth.

The Bible teaches us this: “Touch not my anointed, do my prophets no harm.” Even David, God’s appointed king understanding his own weaknesses and God’s faithfulness did not seek to rail at and judge King Saul. He left that to God.

I’ve often wondered if David’s attitude towards King Saul is part of what, in spite of his own sins, helped David to remain “pleasing in God’s sight.”

As to the departed Munroes, May God rest their souls as we all continue to work out our own salvation in fear and trembling.

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Lest We Forget Who Is Really in Charge…

November 7th, 2014

141107 blog image - we the people

Who gets the “credit” for the surprising neck in neck and even in some cases landslide victories in the elections for United States Congress this week? Who is “in charge” of America now? Well, while many may be seeking the credit for the strategizing, voter motivation, turn of events, etc. why don’t we give the real credit and the real glory to God who is in charge of current and eternal events? Lest we forget how bleak things were looking before the past election day, let us pause and give thanks to God for the victory!

“May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the LORD answer all your prayers.” Exodus 15:2 (NLT)

Yes, there has been a “cataclysmic shift” in the political realm. Cataclysm generally means a sudden and violent upheaval or disaster that causes great changes in society. Well, the 2014 midterm elections fall into such a category. Where is the danger in the outcomes of yesterday’s election one might ask?

The danger is that we may forget how the victories were won. We may think that our political savvy did the job. We may be glorifying politics rather than the God of all creation. I have to admit that I was very tempted to gloat when I started reading all of the reports about the valiant pro-life candidates who were elected this cycle.

For a moment, my head swelled up at the exit poll results that prove that many people heard our pleas and voted “pro-life” this time around. I wanted to take a little credit for all the hard work and sacrifices that many of us have made to deliver the message of voting our values, voting for life, voting for marriage God’s way, voting for jobs and not handouts, voting for constitutional freedoms, and on and on. Yes, I wanted to feel that I had played at least a small part in making all of this happen. But thanks be to God that I came to my senses. To God be the glory, let no human being glory in HIS presence. Friends, I repent, and I ask God to let me never forget to whom the glory belongs.

Let us never forget: God’s mercy transcends the political realm. Let us not raise banners of victory in the name of a political party, but rather in the name of The Lord. For the battle is not ours, but is The Lord’s. This of course does not mean that we should not acknowledge the brilliant and often sacrificial work that went into bringing forth the efforts and energies required to help these victories to be made manifest.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Yes, key, first and foremost the winning elements have been and will remain faith, hope, love and righteous prayer. As we follow this path, we will discover that all human beings, regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic status and other distinguishing characteristics, we will discover that it is truly stated that we are all created of one blood, being one human race, having similar needs and desires.

Jobs – Let the PEOPLE work!
Life – Let the PEOPLE live long and prosper!
Family – Let the PEOPLE [SPIRIT, SOUL and BODY] heal!
Education – Let the PEOPLE know.
Security – Let the PEOPLE pray.
THE WORD – “Let my PEOPLE go!”
WE ARE THE PEOPLE!!! Pray for Righteousness, Peace and Justice

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Fr. Pavone – This Election Was a Rejection of the Most Pro-Abortion President in History

November 5th, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 5, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today described the Senate election results as a call for Congress to counter President Obama’s pro-abortion agenda.

“This election was a rejection of the most pro-abortion president in history,” said Fr. Pavone. “I am grateful to so many leaders and activists with whom we were proud to partner in order to register, educate, and mobilize voters to get to the polls. Now it’s time for the Senate to join the House not just in pushing back against Mr. Obama’s anti-life proposals, but also in moving forward on pro-life measures such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

“The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would spare babies of 20 weeks or more who we know can feel pain from the agony of having their limbs torn from their bodies,” stated Fr. Pavone. “Polls show that overwhelming majorities of Americans support the measure, but the Senate Majority Leader hasn’t even allowed it to receive a committee vote. The outgoing Senate leadership doesn’t care what the American people want – that’s why they’re the outgoing Senate leadership.”

Fr. Pavone also congratulated all the pro-life candidates who were elected, and all those who worked so hard to elect them.

“Throughout this election cycle, as in every election cycle, we insist that the people of God need to elect public servants who know the difference between serving the public and killing the public. We thank all our fellow citizens who had heeded that message, and made possible so many victories last night. Now it’s time for the work to continue.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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“Brittany’s Death Was Not a Victory for a Political Cause”

November 3rd, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 2, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK, NY — Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement after learning of the suicide of Brittany Maynard, a young woman in Oregon who decided to die under the state’s Death with Dignity law rather than continue to battle an aggressive brain cancer.

“We are saddened by the fact that this young woman gave up hope, and now our concern is for other people with terminal illnesses who may contemplate following her example. Our prayer is that these people will find the courage to live every day to the fullest until God calls them home. Brittany’s death was not a victory for a political cause. It was a tragedy, hastened by despair and aided by the culture of death invading our country.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Fr. Pavone to US Senate Candidates: Do You Support Painful Dismemberment or Not?

November 3rd, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMIDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Washington, DC – In a strongly worded statement on the day before the midterm elections, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, called today on candidates for the United States Senate to take a clear position on a piece of legislation that would protect children in the womb from five months and older from procedures that dismember and decapitate them.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, already enacted in various states, is based on the scientific evidence that by the time they reach 20 weeks of development in the womb, children can feel pain, and that therefore the state has an interest in protecting them from abortion procedures that tear off their arms and legs and crush their heads. The US House of Representatives passed this measure on the federal level. It was introduced in the US Senate, but the leadership did not bring it to a vote.

“If there had been a vote,” Fr. Frank said, “those already in the Senate and now asking for our votes would have gone on record regarding this legislation, which the majority of Americans support. By avoiding a vote, Senate leadership has given candidates cover from this uncomfortable question. But we should not. Every candidate for US Senate should be asked a simple question: Are you in favor of protecting children in the 5th month of development and beyond from painful dismemberment?

“Now there are those who will claim that the highest virtue in the political debate is civility and the best tactic is dialogue. But even if one takes that approach, one must admit that a civil dialogue begins with honesty stating your position on the issues. The problem with so many of these candidates is that they will not even take the first step toward civil dialogue. On the most important issue of life and death, they are mute.

“Some of the Senate candidates have indeed made it clear where they stand on the Pain-Capable bill. Others have run away from the issue. The failure to address such a basic question of life, death, and decency is already a failure of leadership. If a politician can’t respect the life of a little baby, how is he or she supposed to respect yours?”

Click here to see what US Senate Candidates have and have not said about the Pain-Capable Bill.

Click here to see the medical diagram (Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.) of the procedure from which this legislation would protect these children.

Click here for more information about these procedures.

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Really Senator Landrieu?

October 31st, 2014

Senator Mary LandrieuU.S. Senator Mary Landrieu paints a very sad and gloomy picture for southern Blacks, and indeed for all Americans. She is basically saying that the south isn’t friendly to African Americans. So she recently said in an interview: “I’ll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader.” Wow, there it is again; nothing about content of character. Just that skin color is the problem.

Sadly, Ms. Landrieu is out of touch with the needs of our nation, and of the 21st Century South. As co-founder of the www.restorethedream2014.com campaign, I know firsthand that racism is still a problem in America. I was born in Georgia at a time when there were segregated hotels, restaurants, restrooms, and only God knows what else. Now I live in a Georgia where many people of all ethnicities, socio-economic levels, and religious beliefs voted for our first Black President. Many admit now that they voted for the president because of the color of his skin. Maybe some even believed that skin color would make a difference.

Yes, that was a first, but things didn’t get better as many hoped. So once again I’m appealing to people to seek answers for the racial divide and indeed all of our problems by looking at God’s Word and God’s Love in Black and White. There we will discover that no matter what our ethnicity is, we are bound by the human denominator of Acts 17:26. We are all one blood, and we share common needs.

Today, beyond divisive skin color arguments like those being spouted by Ms. Landrieu, southern Black people need the same opportunities that everyone needs; good jobs, safe borders, health care that won’t kill babies and women, good education, freedom of faith in the public square; those types of uplifting and empowering blessings. Ms. Landrieu’s platform and actually her party platform doesn’t offer this type of freedom; rather she is defining a divisive agenda that won’t help the south or the nation. We need to pray for her while we are voting for an end to the moral bankruptcy that she and her politics support.

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Right-to-Die Movement is a Stain of Violence on our Society

October 30th, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 30, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK, NY — Priests for Life Executive Director Janet Morana this week published a column for the National Catholic Register about a young woman with terminal brain cancer who publicly announced plans to kill herself Nov. 1 using lethal drugs obtained under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. The column can be read here:

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/JMorana/glen-campbell-and-brittany-maynard-face-their-mortality-very-differently

Mrs. Morana released a new statement today regarding the young woman’s public statement that Nov. 1 might not be the right time:

“In a video recorded two weeks ago and released over the last day, Oregon resident Brittany Maynard says Nov. 1 might not be the right time to take her own life. That’s wonderful news, and I hope she never takes those lethal drugs. But the damage has already been done. She is still actively promoting the right to die, when we have no such right. It’s a lie and a stain of violence on our society. I pray to God she decides not to kill herself and instead goes to a hospice program and leaves this earth when God wants to call her home. But the point is not whether and when she decides to end her life. Oregon’s law helped this woman to despair, and will help other families push inconvenient people out of the way. That damage won’t be undone even if she decides not to end her own life.

“If you think gay marriage hit this country like grassfire, then stand back and watch how this illegitimate right-to-die movement snowballs. We need prayer, right now.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Fr. Pavone: Let the Pulpits Thunder!

October 30th, 2014

PriestsForLife

Washington, DC: Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today and sent it to every parish in the nation:

“This weekend is the final push to turn out voters for Election Day. All of us at Priests for Life want to thank in advance the countless priests whom we know will let their pulpits thunder as they remind their people of what is at stake in this election and urge them to get to the polls. The best tool to use for preaching this weekend is the US Bishops’ document Living the Gospel of Life (1998). It makes very clear what so many people want to confuse or hide, namely, that the right to life is the foundational issue in any election.

“We urge every preacher this weekend to emphasize the following words that come from that document:

“Any politics of human life must work to resist the violence of war and the scandal of capital punishment. Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing, and health care. Therefore, Catholics should eagerly involve themselves as advocates for the weak and marginalized in all these areas. Catholic public officials are obliged to address each of these issues as they seek to build consistent policies which promote respect for the human person at all stages of life. But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as the “temple of the Holy Spirit” — the living house of God — then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation. These directly and immediately violate the human person’s most fundamental right the right to life. Neglect of these issues is the equivalent of building our house on sand” (LGL, n. 23).

“Moreover, Priests for Life urges Churches to remind their parishioners to get to the polls on Election Day, and to assist with transportation where necessary.

“Furthermore, it is important this weekend not to get bent out of shape if people show up in the parking lot to distribute voter education materials. First of all, Churches should be handing out non-partisan voter guides to their people inside the Church. Secondly, no Church is going to get into trouble with the IRS because an outside group organizes and pays for literature distribution on the cars in their parking lots, even if that literature is highly partisan. In fact, I will guarantee it. Pastors and Churches should be more concerned about the trouble they might get into for interfering with citizens’ rights to mobilize and educate voters than the trouble they may have been told they will get into for simply ignoring it.

“Again, we honor and thank the many priests who will step up to the plate this weekend and help citizens elect pro-life candidates.”

For more information, see www.PoliticalResponsibility.com.

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