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Home Hotline Blog Archives

Hotline Archive: The Church

Humanae Vitae: Still Right After All These Years

Posted by John Jansen (July 25, 2014 at 10:57 am)

Pope Paul VI

On this day in 1968, Pope Paul VI, of happy memory, issued his landmark encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which reiterated the Catholic Church’s 2,000 year old teaching that artificial contraception is sinful.

At the time, and perhaps even more so 46 years later, many people — Catholic and otherwise — are gobsmacked that at precisely a time when the winds of change were gale force, the Church vowed that she would cling to such an allegedly “outmoded” view of sexual morality.

Yet, the fact that Paul VI would reiterate the Christian condemnation against contraception is hardly a surprise, considering that no pope has the authority to change Church doctrine, much less natural law.

Grave Consequences Predicted in 1968 Have Come to Pass

I first read Humanae Vitae during my sophomore year in college. I was prompted to do so because at the time, I had what might be called “issues” with the Church’s teaching against contraception. I had always been strongly against abortion, but I also believed that birth control could be helpful to the pro-life movement’s goal of eradicating abortion. (That, and at the time, I gullibly believed that “overpopulation” was a problem.) [Continue reading ...]

Tags: , , . Posted in Contraception, The Church, The Culture War | 1 Comment »

Is It Un-Christian to Show Photos of Abortion Victims?

Posted by John Jansen (July 7, 2014 at 9:00 am)

On our website is a page that addresses the most common objections we hear during our “Face the Truth” Tours, when we show pictures of abortion victims out on the streets—as we’re preparing to do at 24 sites in and around Chicago starting this Friday.

But in this post I’d like to focus on another objection that I must admit I find it hard to get my head around. Namely, the charge that showing abortion victim photos in public is uncharitable—and yea, even un-Christian—especially because of the supposedly damaging effects it has on children.

Personally, I find it understandable that the average secular person might get angry upon seeing a display of pictures of abortion victims.

But I’m gobsmacked when Christians try to claim that showing the victims of abortion in an effort to awaken people’s consciences is actually contrary to our faith.

Showing the Victims of Abortion: Unpopular, But Necessary

As Christians, we know that on that first Good Friday, Our Lord Jesus Christ allowed Himself to be mercilessly scourged, crowned with thorns, and forced to stumble — battered, bloodied, and grotesquely ignominious — through the streets of Jerusalem before being nailed to the Cross. It’s surely safe to assume that there were children among the crowds that day — these were public streets, after all, and the city would have been teeming with families who had come there on pilgrimage for Passover. [Continue reading ...]

Tags: , . Posted in Face the Truth, Pro-Life Activism, The Church, The Culture War | 0 Comments »

“Rosary of the Unborn”: Heaven Sent or Hoax?

Posted by Matt Yonke (May 13, 2014 at 10:00 am)

Rosary of the UnbornHere at the Pro-Life Action League, we often receive inquiries about pro-life ministries or devotions from people around the world.

But the post on our blog that has received more comments than any other over the years is a post about the “Rosary of the Unborn,” a rosary produced by Holy Love Ministries in Elyria, Ohio that claims to bear certain promises from the Blessed Virgin Mary through messages given to purported visionary Maureen Sweeney Kyle.

Specifically, Maureen was allegedly promised that “. . . each Hail Mary prayed [on a Rosary for the Unborn] from a loving heart will rescue one of these innocent lives from death by abortion.”

It’s not hard to see why people of faith, especially Catholics, would be attracted to such promises. But the sad truth is that the Church has declared that these promises do not have a supernatural origin.

Since we continue to receive inquiries about this devotion, we thought it would be helpful to link our readers to our exhaustive examination of the Rosary of the Unborn and the Catholic Church’s response to it. [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Pro-Life Activism, The Church | 1 Comment »

Pro-Life Good Friday Way of the Cross Draws Record Crowds

Posted by Matt Yonke (April 24, 2014 at 9:58 am)
Way of the Cross in Aurora, IL

Pro-lifers pray the Way of the Cross on Good Friday at Planned Parenthood, Aurora, IL [Photo by Matt Yonke]

For the last seven years, the Pro-Life Action League has called on pro-lifers to join in a “Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion” on Good Friday at their local abortion facility.

This year, the event drew record participation with services held in 45 cities in 25 states!

We at the League have always found this service to be a great blessing and an anchor of our Holy Week reflections, so we’ve been thrilled to see others around the country sharing this experience. [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Abortion, Pro-Life Activism, The Church | 0 Comments »

Christ Is Risen!

Posted by John Jansen (April 21, 2014 at 11:25 am)

paschaIndeed He is risen!

During this Easter Week, we take special consolation in the celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. Not only is it the central event of our faith life, but it also provides us with great encouragement in our ongoing battle against abortion.

By conquering death, Jesus has also conquered abortion. As a result, we know that the outcome of the struggle that we carry on — this seemingly endless conflict between life and death — has already been decided.

We have, so to speak, been allowed to read the book’s final chapter before we actually get to it. We know that in the end, Life will be victorious.

From time to time, all of us need to remind ourselves of this, lest we lose heart.

Posted in The Church, The Culture War | 1 Comment »

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman: An Instructive Gospel Passage for Pro-Life Activists

Posted by John Jansen (April 17, 2014 at 11:24 am)

St. PhotinaDuring Holy Week last year, Relevant Radio’s Sheila Liaugminas interviewed Pro-Life Action League executive director Eric Scheidler about the Good Friday Way of the Cross for Victims of Abortion, which is being held again this year outside abortion clinics across the country. (See the list of locations here.)

In the course of the wide-ranging interview, Eric also shared his thoughts about one particular Gospel passage that we as pro-lifers should spend some time reflecting on:

I think that the guiding Gospel passage for me as a pro-life activist…is Jesus with the Samaritan woman [John 4:4-42]. Here is Our Lord stopping along the way, to reach out to somebody from an outcast group, the Samaritans. He was not afraid to speak to her about her sin, He was not afraid to expose her to her own sin, but all of it done through tremendous gentleness, through intimacy, through a one-on-one conversation, finding her where she is, speaking to her in language she understood, and filling her heart with a sense of her own worth and hope so that she not only felt like she was loved and cared for and would receive the waters of eternal life, but she felt inspired to share that good news with her whole community, running out to tell everyone about it.

We have to be Christ at the well with that Samaritan woman in these kinds of encounters that we have at the abortion clinics.

You can listen to the entire interview below.

Eric Scheidler on “A Closer Look with Sheila Liaugminas”

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Tags: , , , , . Posted in Pro-Life Activism, The Church | 0 Comments »

Eric Scheidler speaks at Rally for Hobby Lobby outside Supreme Court

Posted by Eric Scheidler (March 26, 2014 at 4:52 pm)

It was my great honor to speak at a rally yesterday held outside the Supreme Court as oral arguments were being heard in the Sebelius v Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v Sebelius HHS Mandate cases. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are challenging the mandate, enacted under Obamacare, which compels them to provide free abortion-inducing drugs through their employee health plans.

Other speakers at the rally included Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life, Lila Rose of Life Action and Meg McDonnell of Women Speak for Themselves, and several more articulate, outspoken women. The only men to speak were Fr Frank Pavone and me—a point I remarked on in my comments, which you can hear in full in the above video.

Father of Six Daughters Speaks Out

After declaring that women’s wellbeing is especially important to me as the father of six daughters, [Continue reading ...]

Tags: , , , , , . Posted in Contraception, Law and Politics, The Church, Videos | 6 Comments »

Day 9: Interfaith Novena to Stop the HHS Mandate

Posted by Matt Yonke (March 25, 2014 at 7:30 am)

CrucifixToday is the day.

The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, and the Hahn family, owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties, will represent all of us people of faith as they petition the Supreme Court to allow them to follow their consciences in how they run their businesses.

The need for prayer has never been greater.

Join us in praying the final day of this Novena, and if you’re in the Washington, DC area, join the rally and prayer vigil at the Supreme Court in support of these brave families starting at 9:30 a.m.! [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Resources, The Church, The Culture War | 0 Comments »

Day 8: Interfaith Novena to Stop the HHS Mandate

Posted by Matt Yonke (March 24, 2014 at 9:57 am)

Candle-lit PrayerTomorrow the highest court in the land will hear two of the most important cases on religious freedom in our nation’s history: Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius, and it’s crucial that we surround this day in prayer.

Please join us in praying day 8 of the Novena to Reverse the HHS Mandate. [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Resources, The Church, The Culture War | 0 Comments »

Day 7: Interfaith Novena to Stop the HHS Mandate

Posted by Matt Yonke (March 23, 2014 at 9:00 am)

Christ PrayingThere are only 3 days to go until the first HHS Mandate cases, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, reach the Supreme Court! Help spiritually prepare the soil for this crucial day by joining the Novena to Stop the HHS Mandate.

This is Day 7 of the Novena to Reverse the HHS Mandate. Find the previous days’ prayers here. [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Resources, The Church, The Culture War | 0 Comments »