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Message from Fr. Frank Pavone

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1 Message from Fr. Frank Pavone on Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:48 pm


We are blessed to work alongside and learn from Fr. Frank Pavone and Pope Benedict XVI.

July 13, 2009

Dear Cyndi,

Priests for Life is spearheading a number of key pro-life initiatives in the coming months, including the Freedom Rides, about which I'll have more to tell you shortly.

Meanwhile, however, the pro-life movement has been blessed with Pope Benedict's new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, and that is the subject of my regular column today.

Before you read it, let me say one more thing, and it regards Facebook. Priests for Life has already been using this popular social networking site for a long time. But in the coming month, we will be drastically expanding the ways in which we use Facebook for the various aspects of our ministry.

Therefore, so that you don't miss out on the fun, please be sure to set up a Facebook account if you don't already have one. It's free, and only with an account will you be able to take advantage of the many things we will be announcing in the coming weeks! Go to www.Facebook.com to get started!

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. Fr. Frank will be her guest on Thursday, July 16th from 9:15-9:30am and Janet Morana will be her guest on Friday, July 17th from 9:10-9:30am ET. Call-in to the live show with questions for Fr. Frank or Janet at 877-573-7825. 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.

Weekend of July 17: From N.O.W. to New Life
Weekend of July 24: The Fruits of Sidewalk Counseling

Gospel of Life: Watch on Angel one Channel 101 on Sky Angel IPTV and on Dish Network channel 262, every Monday at 6:30am ET. Watch on Catholic FamilyLand, every Sunday at 1am, Monday at 9am, Wednesday at 3:30am and Thursday at 11:30pm (All times Eastern). Watch on the National Religious Broadcasters Network (NRB), every Wednesday at 6pm ET. The NRB Network is included in DIRECTV’s base package, TOTAL CHOICE, on channel 378. Listen to Gospel of Life episodes on the web at www.gospeloflife.com/tv.

Playing on NRB
July 15: Former Abortionist repents
July 22
: Why Abortion Clinics are Harming Women

Playing on SkyAngel
July 13
: Fr. Frank Preaches on the Fourth of July
July 20: Laborers in the Vineyard

Playing on Catholic FamilyLand
Week of July 12: A Conversation with Wesley Smith
Week of July 19: An Interview with Melba Moore

Please tune in and spread the word! In fact, you can help us - and your whole parish -- by asking your pastor to place in the parish bulletin an announcement about our TV shows. Thanks in advance!

Blessings and prayers,
Fr. Frank Pavone

Praise for our Work

Dear Jim [Pinto, National Coordinator of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life Lay Associates]: Thank you for your note, and all your correspondence to encourage all of us! I truly hope we get to meet you and your family one day soon… We are hoping to make our promises at EWTN this October, when we will have completed our year of formation. Becoming an MEV is a fulfillment of a life-long dream for me, as I knew even when I was a child that I would spend my life one day defending the little ones in the womb...Also, the teleconferences have been wonderful and encouraging. Thank you for guiding all of us!

The Pope's Gift to the President and to Us

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director

At Pope Benedict’s meeting with President Obama, the Pope gave the President two gifts: the new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, and the recent document on bioethics, Dignitas Personae. The latter gift was apparently a last-minute addition. Upon leaving the meeting, the President said to the Pope, “I’ll have some reading to do on the plane.”

The timing was perfect, because these two new documents have much to say to the current administration, and to the wider culture, both within and outside the Church.

The new encyclical is an addition to the rich body of the social teaching of the Church. Social doctrine is just as much a part of Church doctrine as are the teachings on the Trinity and the sacraments. And one of the new encyclical’s key points is that a proper understanding of true human and social development is possible only in light of the revelation that comes in Christ.

Another key point is this: social justice cannot advance unless the right to life is protected. And this is where pro-abortion politicians and parties so often get it wrong. They trumpet support for human rights, human development, and social justice, but also think that abortion belongs to those categories.

The Pope has affirmed again that just the opposite is true. Here are two of his key quotes:

"The Church forcefully maintains this link between life ethics and social ethics, fully aware that 'a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized'" (n.15).

"Openness to life is at the centre of true development. When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man’s true good. If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away" (n.28).

Pope Benedict refers explicitly in the new encyclical not only to previous "social encyclicals," but also to the "life encyclicals," Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae, as he seeks to erase the unnecessary gap that often exists between social awareness and awareness of the rights of the unborn.

And he asserts that those rights do not come from government and are not negotiable:

"If the only basis of human rights is to be found in the deliberations of an assembly of citizens, those rights can be changed at any time, and so the duty to respect and pursue them fades from the common consciousness. Governments and international bodies can then lose sight of the objectivity and "inviolability" of rights. When this happens, the authentic development of peoples is endangered" (n.43).

I hope the President did his reading on the plane. Let’s be sure to do ours as well.

For the texts of these all the Church documents on life, visit www.PriestsForLife.org

Comments on this column? Go to www.askfrfrank.com
This column can be found online at www.priestsforlife.org/columns/columns2009/09-07-13-popes-gift.htm
Click here to listen to this column in MP3 format
Fr. Frank's Columns are podcast, see www.priestsforlife.org/podcast

El regalo del Papa al Presidente y a nosotros

Durante la audiencia del Papa Benedicto con el Presidente Obama, el Papa le hizo dos regalos al Presidente: la nueva encíclica, Caritas in Veritate, y un documento reciente sobre bioética, Dignitas Personae. Aparentemente éste último regalo fue añadido a último momento. Cuando se retiraba de la audiencia, el Presidente le dijo al Papa: "Voy a tener que leer en el avión."

Fue una ocasión perfecta, porque estos dos nuevos documentos tienen mucho que enseñarle a este gobierno y a la cultura en general, tanto dentro como fuera de la Iglesia.

La nueva encíclica se agrega al rico cuerpo de doctrina social de la Iglesia. La doctrina social es parte integral de la doctrina de la Iglesia como lo son las enseñanzas sobre la Trinidad y los sacramentos. Uno de los puntos clave de la nueva encíclica es que una comprensión adecuada del verdadero desarrollo humano y social sólo es posible a la luz de la Revelación que se ofrece en Cristo.

Otro punto clave es éste: no puede promoverse la justicia social si no se protege el derecho a la vida. Ese es precisamente el error más común de los políticos y partidos pro-aborto. Declaman con gran alharaca su apoyo a los derechos humanos, el desarrollo humano y la justicia social, pero piensan que el aborto se encuadra en esas categorías.

El Papa afirma nuevamente que exactamente lo opuesto es verdad. He aquí dos citas clave:
"La Iglesia propone con fuerza esta relación entre ética de la vida y ética social, consciente de que «no puede tener bases sólidas, una sociedad que - mientras afirma valores como la dignidad de la persona, la justicia y la paz - se contradice radicalmente aceptando y tolerando las más variadas formas de menosprecio y violación de la vida humana, sobre todo si es débil y marginada»"(15)

"La apertura a la vida está en el centro del verdadero desarrollo. Cuando una sociedad se encamina hacia la negación y la supresión de la vida, acaba por no encontrar la motivación y la energía necesaria para esforzarse en el servicio del verdadero bien del hombre. Si se pierde la sensibilidad personal y social para acoger una nueva vida, también se marchitan otras formas de acogida provechosas para la vida social." (28)

El Papa Benedicto se refiere explícitamente en esta nueva encíclica no sólo a las "encíclicas sociales", sino también a las "encíclicas sobre la vida", Humanae Vitae y Evangelium Vitae, tratando de eliminar la brecha innecesaria que existe entre la conciencia social y la conciencia de los derechos del niño por nacer.

Y afirma que esos derechos no proceden del gobierno y son no negociables:

"Si los derechos del hombre se fundamentan sólo en las deliberaciones de una asamblea de ciudadanos, pueden ser cambiados en cualquier momento y, consiguientemente, se relaja en la conciencia común el deber de respetarlos y tratar de conseguirlos. Los gobiernos y los organismos internacionales pueden olvidar entonces la objetividad y la cualidad de «no disponibles» de los derechos. Cuando esto sucede, se pone en peligro el verdadero desarrollo de los pueblos." (43)

Espero que el Presidente haya hecho sus lecturas en el avión. Asegurémonos de hacer las nuestras también.

Para encontrar los textos de todos los documentos de la Iglesia sobre la vida, visite www.priestsforlife.org

Esta columna se puede encontrar en la página de Internet www.priestsforlife.org/spanish/09-07-13span.htm

Lord, you pour out blessings and lovingkindness on me before I can even ask. And you offer more than I could even conceive of asking. -King David, Psalm 21

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