Monday, June 01, 2009

Fr. Frank Pavone: Pro-lifers must not give in to fear and self-doubt

Julie Culshaw transcribes Fr. Frank Pavone's exhortation to pro-lifers. The highlights::

The biggest danger right now to our movement, in the light of the killing of Dr. Tiller, is the enemy within. I'm talking about the fear, the self-doubt, the little voice inside of us that makes us feel guilty now for saying that abortion is murder, that might make some people feel guilty for being too aggressive in the effort to stop the killing of children, maybe make them afraid of going out in front of the abortion facilities to intervene peacefully for the lives of those children. The enemy within that would make some people believe what the other side is trying to say, that somehow we in the pro-life movement are responsible for this violence because of our violent rhetoric and because of our decades of efforts to expose the reality of what abortion is.

But the fact of the matter is, as the Gospel of Life written by Pope John Paul the Second says, that we have to look evil in the eye and call it by its proper name. Abortion is a holocaust, it is the killing of children, it is murder and it's happening on a massive scale precisely because so many of our fellow citizens are blind to it.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the letter from the Birmingham jail in response to a group of clergy who told him that his tactics were too extreme, and that, in fact, he and his colleagues were responsible for fomenting violence. And he said that's a ridiculous argument; it's like saying the fact that someone possesses money is inciting the robber to commit an act of robbery; or that Jesus preaching that He was God is what provoked the crucifixion, that He is somehow responsible for that.

Brothers and sisters, we are not responsible for the violence that is done. We are a movement of non-violence and as Dr. King and, as Gandhi before him, taught and as we teach: non-violence is neither passivity nor obscurity. It does not sit back in the face of evil and it doesn't try to cover up the face of evil. Non-violence is a force that confronts violence in whatever form it takes. And it does so courageously and boldly and unapologetically.