Fr. Frank Pavone Back on the Front Line of the Fundamental Human Rights Movement of our Age: The Right to Life
Courageous men put their lives on the line. They never back down from speaking the truth! Fr Frank Pavone is such a courageous man
When the official history of the great human rights movement of our age is written - and make no mistake it will be written - there will be several women, men, associations, movements and organizations holding a deserved place of honor. Right at the top of that list will be an indefatigable Catholic Priest and Champion for Life named Fr Frank Pavone and the vital association which the Lord of Life called him to found, Priests for Life. I recently had the joy of speaking at length with my friend of many years. I asked him about the events of the last several months and have incorporated his responses in this article.
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - When the official history of the great human rights movement of our age is written - and make no mistake it will be written - there will be several women, men, associations, movements and organizations holding a deserved place of honor. Right at the top of that list will be an indefatigable Catholic Priest and Champion for Life named Fr Frank Pavone and the vital association which the Lord of Life called him to found, Priests for Life.
Let me explain. The great human rights movement of our age is the struggle to restore to the Civil and positive law of this Nation - and the rest of the nations - the legal recognition of the fundamental Human Right to Life. This Right to Life informs the foundation of all other rights and is revealed by the Natural Law which can be known through the exercise of reason. The Natural Law is binding upon all men and women.
Without recognizing this first Right to life there can be no recognition of any other derivative rights. In fact, the entire infrastructure of human rights is placed at risk. All true Human Rights are goods of human persons. When there is no human person there can be no rights endowed upon them or exercised by them.All the "rights talk" in the world will not change that.
Every procured abortion is intrinsically immoral because it takes an innocent human life. It is always and everywhere wrong to take innocent human life. Medical science confirms what our conscience has always known, the child in the womb is one of us, our neighbor. No positive law can change that fact. When they seek to do so they are unjust laws which are not law at all. The great civil rights movements of the past two centuries have depended upon the recognition of an objective truth; every human being, at at every age and stage, has human dignity and a right to life.
Civil Rights are those human rights which are first recognized - and then properly protected by - civil government. The American founders stood in the trajectory of Western civilization in their insistence that human rights are not given or bestowed by government but by the God in whose Image we have all been created. Truly just governments are instituted precisely to secure these human rights. The first among them is the Right to Life.
There is no more urgent work in the contemporary culture than the work of the movement called "Pro-Life". That is precisely because the Right to Life movement is the foundational human and thus civil rights movement. We have failed to hear the cry of our youngest neighbors in the first home of the whole human race. When we allow their killing for any reason and by any means - and then actually call it a "right" - we profane the very word. We also place our future survival as a Nation at risk.
When we allow their innocent blood to be shed and then protect the evil act with the Police Power of the State we betray our claim to being a civilized people. When we deny them the Freedom to be born we undermine the very understanding of ordered liberty upon which our Nation was founded. Those engaged in the Pro-Life movement assert with the American founders that there are truths that are self evident - such as our equality before God - and rights which are inalienable - such as the Right to Life.
When we are victorious in this monumental struggle - and we will be victorious - there will be many heroes whose sacrifice and courage will be recounted in our history books. They will be celebrated by our children and grandchildren as Champions of Life who overcame the current culture of death, replacing it with a new Culture of life. When recognition of the fundamental Human Right to life is restored to the Civil and Positive law, these heroes will be remembered, honored and imitated.
Right at the top of that list will be a Catholic Priest named Fr. Frank Pavone. He may be of small physical stature, like David of the Old Testament story, but he has a heart which is huge and the courage of a spiritual warrior. Fr Frank Pavone has wielded his small smooth stones and sling mightily in the battle against the Goliath of the contemporary Culture of Death and that giant staggers as a result.
I have had the privilege of calling Fr Frank my friend for several decades. In all that time I have always found him to be a faithful Catholic Priest of genuine holiness, simplicity of life and heroic virtue. That is why I am happy to report that this great man is back on the front line of the Pro-Life battle. I recently had the joy of speaking at length with my friend of many years. I asked him about the events of the last several months and have incorporated his responses in this article. However, as always, his actions speak the most loudly.
For example, on Friday, July 27, 2012, Father Frank issued the following statement about ...
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