Legal abortion must be eradicated, speaker says

Father Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, delivers a homily at St. Paul's in Hingham June 4. Father Pavone gave a talk on abortion later that day. Pilot photo/Edward Boylan

HINGHAM -- Pro-lifers will not rest until abortion is "eradicated completely without exception," Father Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, said at St. Paul School in Hingham on June 4.

"We will see the end of legal abortion in the United States," he proclaimed to a crowd of 230.

Father Pavone added that it is essential for the movement to strategize in order to reach that goal as quickly as possible. He said the movement has had success by leading people to oppose abortion in cases where it is more obviously wrong and then work toward less obvious cases.

Politicians need to understand that their first duty is to defend life. If they cannot distinguish between serving vs. killing the public, they must be voted out of office, he said.

Father Pavone said the greatest pro-life victory since Roe v. Wade -- the 1973 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that women have a "right to privacy" with regard to having an abortion -- is the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. The law, enacted in 2003, marked the first time the United States Congress banned an abortion procedure. It was later upheld by the Supreme Court even though it did not contain a health exception.

Groups that support abortion argued that the law was overbroad and could cause abortionists to be unsure about what other similar procedures would still be acceptable under the law. Before Congress, they testified about Dilation and Evacuation (DandE). During the process, an abortionist administers medication to dilate the cervix, and then tears the fetus apart before vacuuming the dismembered body out of the womb.

Father Pavone said that testimony will help the pro life movement outlaw DandE, a step that Priests for Life is already looking in to.

Most Americans, even those who support legal abortion, do not support the dismemberment of fetuses, but no pro-life group is mobilizing those who identify as pro-choice to fight abortion, he said.

"They're not as against us as we may think," he added.

Another pro-life advance is the new wave of state laws that ban abortion after 20 weeks based on research that indicates a fetus can feel pain. The first fetal pain law was enacted in Nebraska in April of last year.

Father Pavone said these laws strengthen the authority of states to enact laws restricting abortion, and they are educational to the general public. So far none of them have been challenged despite the abortion lobby's immediate court action in almost every state that restricts abortion.

"They're afraid," he said, explaining that such laws could be upheld by the Supreme Court and cause more Americans to rethink their position on abortion.

Father Pavone encouraged everyone to continue to work for the pro-life cause and pointed them to the free resources available on their website, Some of those resources are specifically aimed to help priests address abortion from the pulpit.

While in Massachusetts, Father Pavone also prayed outside Planned Parenthood in Boston, visited Friends of the Unborn, met with former ambassador to the Vatican Ray Flynn, celebrated all Sunday Masses at St. Paul Parish in Hingham and attended the Milton Pro-Life March.

William and Nancy Wise, parishioners at St. Paul Parish in Hingham, said they invited Father Pavone to speak at their parish because his message affirms that the pro-life movement has meaning and is effective.

"He's energizing the base," William said.

Kelsey Gallagher, 16 and a student at Montrose School in Medfield, said she was encouraged to hear about the gains made in state fetal pain laws.

"I thought it was very uplifting to know the pro-life movement is going somewhere," said Gallagher, who attended this year's March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Lorraine Loe, parishioner at St. Mary Parish in Dedham said that encouragement to keep fighting for the pro-life cause is necessary.

Loe has been a sidewalk counselor outside Planned Parenthood for decades.

"Your heart just bleeds for those girls," she said of the women who enter the clinic. "A save is the greatest thing for us as well as them."

Loe has been arrested four times for sitting in front of clinic doors in order to block entry. She compared her actions to the peaceful protests of civil rights activists. All four times law enforcement had to drag her away from the clinic, and she said that her time in prison was "like a retreat."

She and the others who were arrested shared experiences, sang hymns, read from the Bible and praised the Lord all night long. They became so close that the others were like family to her, she said.

Father Pavone said after the event that those who are pro-life must deliver that message with love. Information about the true nature of abortion often disturbs people. If they have been touched by abortion in their lives, they may feel like they are being knocked down and that no one will catch them. They need to hear that God forgives.

The number of surgical abortions that occur each year has been declining, but those are not the only abortions to be concerned about, he added.

The Guttmacher Institute, a research organization founded by Planned Parenthood, estimates about 3,400 surgical abortions occur each day, but those numbers do not include statistics from every abortion facility. Father Pavone said the rate of surgical abortions is likely closer to 4,000 per day, and that figure does not include the many children who are killed by chemical means.

He said that there is a "new kind of pastoral need" to educate the faithful about abortions that occur as a result of abortifacient medications, which include some birth control pills.

"There is a whole world here of life being taken that is incalculable," he said.

Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...

Addicts and their loved ones talk about life with opioid addiction

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- It was a Saturday night, and Billy was eating pizza and watching a sporting event in the basement bedroom of his residence, a ...

Signers of letter hope Vatican meeting will bring needed steps on crisis

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Signers of an open letter from Catholic women to Pope Francis urging "truth" and "transparency" on the growing sex abuse crisis expressed ...

Community 'overwhelmed and shell-shocked' after gas explosions, says pastor

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Down to earth: Vatican brings together world's meteorite curators

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Rocks, mineral debris and even dust from space are kept in special collections, museums and laboratories all over the ...

Algerian martyrs to be beatified in Algeria Dec. 8

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The beatification of 19 martyrs of Algeria, including the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, will be celebrated Dec. 8 in Oran, ...

'Anything but a picnic' - Cardinal Dolan on the Church's summer of scandal

New York City, N.Y., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Cardinal Timothy Dolan has spoken about how the extended sexual abuse scandals facing the Church have taken a ...

Restoring and reimagining: Transformation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

BOSTON -- Considered by many to be the heart of the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Catholic church in New England, ...

Archdiocese says Cardinal O'Malley will personally review all abuse letters

BRAINTREE (CAN) -- The Archdiocese of Boston has announced changes to the way it will process and respond to letters addressed to Cardinal Séan P. ...

CM receives $2.5M grant from Yawkey Foundations

West Roxbury -- Catholic Memorial, a college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 to 12, announced Sept. 5 that they have received a $2.5 million grant ...

Father Christian Ohazulume removed from ministry

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese announced on Sept. 11 that it had removed a priest from ministry after receiving an allegation that he sexually abused a ...

From Cardinal Seán's blog

This week I am in transit to Rome in anticipation of the next meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals. So, I have asked Vivian Soper to share some reflections ...

Kavanaugh's birth control comments spur controversy -- What did he say?

Washington D.C. (CNA) -- Opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh have suggested that a reference to birth control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs" during ...

Missouri to enforce abortion regulations in wake of appeals court ruling

Jefferson City, Mo. (CNA) -- Missouri's health department announced Monday that it will immediately being enforcing state laws regulating abortion clinics ...