January 13, 2014
Below is my latest column, We Won’t Kill Anybody: Overcoming the Civil Rights Disconnect, but first let me give you some other important updates.
A very busy two-weeks has just begun. Stay tuned to our website, PriestsForLife.org, our FB page, Facebook.com/ProLifePage, and my Twitter account @frfrankpavone for all kinds of updates, press releases, action items and other developments and announcements!
With all the pro-life events taking place in the coming days, I want to provide you, your churches, and your groups with some special prayers for pro-life rallies, gatherings, and marches. See PriestsForLife.org/Prayers.
On January 20 we celebrate one of the greatest civil rights activists, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. and I will be in Atlanta with Dr Alveda King and her family for the national commemorative service. Alveda is the niece of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. and fulltime Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life. I will also preach at Alveda’s Church on Sunday; if you live in the area, please join me at Believer’s Bible Christian Church on Campbellton Rd, SW, Sunday, January 19 at 11a.m.
The March for Life will take place next week and Priests for Life will be involved in many of the great events surrounding the March in Washington, DC.
On Tuesday, January 21, Bryan Kemper, Janet Morana, Alveda King and I will speak at the March for Life Youth Rally in the Regency Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency hotel, from 2:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. Our Youth Department has organized this event again this year.
Stop by the Priests for Life and Stand True Youth Outreach booth at the March for Life Exhibit Hall. The Exhibit Hall will be located on the lower lobby level of the Hyatt Regency hotel. The hours of operation are 9a.m.-8p.m. on Tuesday, January 21 and during the times of 8-11a.m. and 3-7p.m. on Wednesday, January 22.
On January 22, the morning of the March for Life, join me, Dr Alveda King and our Priest Associates for the 20th Annual National Memorial for the Preborn and Their Mothers and Fathers from 8:30-10:30a.m. at DAR Constitution Hall, Washington, DC. I will be joined by clergy from across the country and across denominational lines. There will be a Mass before the event at 7:30a.m. at the same location. The event is free, no tickets are required and large groups are welcome. For more information see NationalPrayerService.com.
Immediately following the March for Life on January 22, please stay for the gathering of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign at the steps of the Supreme Court, starting at approximately 2:30p.m. Come and support these brave women and men who will give their testimonies in public. Even if you can’t be there please listen to the testimonies, pray with the group, and spread the testimonies to others, see SilentNoMore.com.
Men and women who have lost children to abortion and have found healing are invited to share their testimonies as part of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in both Washington, DC and San Francisco for the West Coast Walk for Life on January 25. See SilentNoMore.com if you are interested! Janet and Georgette Forney and I will also be part of the West Coast Walk for Life.
Finally, join us for a Novena in Reparation for Roe vs. Wade from January 14-22. Find the prayer at prayercampaign.org.
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Praise for our Work: Fr. Frank: Just a quick note to thank you for being my Champion for all the wonderful work you do in support of LIFE! Your guidance, teachings, and your being “out there” on the front lines, has been an inspiration to me. Marie
We Won’t Kill Anybody: Overcoming the Civil Rights Disconnect
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Our nation again approaches the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, and I will again be with Dr. King’s family on that day.
Many people understand the connection between the civil rights movement and the pro-life movement thanks to the work of Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. Her father, Rev. A.D. Williams King, was Martin’s brother. She began working with me fulltime at Priests for Life as our Director of African-American Outreach in 2004.
She and I have been together with her family at many events both happy and sad, including the annual observances of the national Martin Luther King Jr. holiday at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and the 50th anniversary celebration of the “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. On these occasions, we have been privileged to enjoy some of the most soaring oratory of our day, and some of the most articulate speeches about civil rights, justice, equality and freedom that one can ever hear. Time and time again, I have been energized and inspired by these speeches, and moved to recommit myself to the pursuit of justice and equality for every human being.
But therein also comes the pain and a glaring disconnect. The deepest human emotion and commitment to justice is evoked as speaker after speaker decries violence in the streets, senseless shootings, vast numbers of young people in prison, social inequities and economic injustices, and the horrors of war — to mention a few. But what is never mentioned is the violence of abortion, and the need to secure justice and equality for the child in the womb. Alveda and I have both felt the disconnect so intensely at these gatherings that, amidst the loud applause, we sometimes say out loud, “And the children too! Don’t forget the children in the womb!” We were indeed gratified when, on a single occasion (the MLK Holiday observance at Ebenezer in January of 2013), the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, in his keynote address, mentioned the need to protect all life, including the womb.
That is the kind of consistency that then gives credibility to the cry for justice and equality in all the other contexts that are mentioned.
At that recent 50th anniversary celebration, we heard the assertions, “There are still too many lives taken by violence… I dream of a world that does not hold anyone back…We can’t move ahead while some people are falling behind…We must protect the most fundamental rights we have…” No reference was made to the right to life of the youngest children.
And hence the pro-life movement declares today, “There are indeed too many lives taken by the violence of abortion… We dream of the world that does not hold the unborn back…We can’t move ahead while children in the womb are falling behind…We must protect the most fundamental right we have, the right to life.”
On Christmas of 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. preached the following words: “The next thing we must be concerned about if we are to have peace on earth and good will toward men is the nonviolent affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. Every man is somebody because he is a child of God…Man is more than …whirling electrons or a wisp of smoke …. Man is a child of God, made in His image, and therefore must be respected as such….And when we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won’t exploit people, we won’t trample over people with the iron feet of oppression, we won’t kill anybody.”
Indeed, we won’t kill anybody, including the children in the womb.
Read and listen to this column online at priestsforlife.org/columns/4831-we-wont-kill-anybody-overcoming-the-civil-rights-disconnect
Comments on this column? Go to Askfrfrank.com
Fr. Frank’s columns are podcast. See Priestsforlife.org/podcast
Remember to support our work at Priestsforlife.org/donate
Upcoming Special Appearances in the Media
Fr. Frank will be on with Teresa Tomeo on January 15 at 8:35a.m. Call-in to the live show with questions at 877-573-7825. For more information and to listen to the live show on the internet, go to avemariaradio.net/hosts/teresa-tomeo
Bryan Kemper will be on with Teresa Tomeo on January 20 at 9:15a.m. Call-in to the live show with questions at 877-573-7825. For more information and to listen to the live show on the internet, go to avemariaradio.net/hosts/teresa-tomeo
On January 21, Dr. Alveda King will be on In The Market with Janet Parshall from 6:30 – 7:00p.m. ET. Listen online at moodyradio.org/inthemarketwithjanetparshall
On January 23, Janet Morana will talk about “Recall Abortion” with Tim Wildmon and Ray Pritchard on American Family Radio. The interview begins at 11:30a.m. Listen live at afr.net.
On Thursday, January 30, Bryan Kemper of Priests for Life Stand True Youth Outreach will be on EWTN’s Life on the Rock at 10:00p.m. ET.