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Hotline Archive: The Church

Candlelight Vigil Marks Seven Years of Pro-Life Ministry in Aurora, Illinois

Posted by John Jansen (October 3, 2014 at 2:58 pm)

auroravigil1Not to be deterred by unpleasant weather conditions, a crowd of 50 pro-lifers gathered last night outside Planned Parenthood in Aurora, Illinois to mark the seventh anniversary of the day the “Abortion Fortress” opened its doors.

Reflections were shared, songs were sung, candles were lit, and the faithful came together to mourn the babies and mothers hurt by abortion as well as to thank God for his ongoing kindness to the pro-life movement in our struggle against this facility.

Following introductory remarks by Pro-Life Action League executive director Eric Scheidler, Father Michael Miller of St. Therese Parish in Aurora offered a reflection, drawing particularly on words of Pope Francis in his encyclical letter Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”): [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Clinic Witness, Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life Activism, The Church | 0 Comments »

Pregnant Women in Crisis Need Authentic Compassion—Not Abortion

Posted by Ann Scheidler (October 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm)

compassionThe Chicago Tribune ran a column by columnist Robin Abcarian earlier this week in which she begins by asking, “Have you ever wondered what a world without abortion might look like?”

Abcarian falls into the all-too-common modern practice of equating women’s equality with a right to abortion. This attitude is disingenuous and, frankly, condescending to women. Women do not need the right to kill their own children in order to assume their proper role in society.

She reports on a study from Amnesty International, with a heartrending story of a woman pregnant with an anencephalic baby. All the attention is directed to the woman who has some health issues of her own and how abortion is the only solution to her problems. There is no thought of the poor baby with a condition that would result in his death—unless he can be killed first. [Continue reading ...]

Tags: , , , . Posted in Abortion, Health Care, Law and Politics, Our Opposition, The Church | 2 Comments »

Humility Is Essential for Pro-Life Activists

Posted by John Jansen (September 30, 2014 at 9:00 am)

life witness prayer bookAn article appeared recently on the Pro-Life Action League website encouraging anyone participating in 40 Days for Life to get a copy of our Life Witness Prayer Book, a resource to help make prayer time outside abortion facilities as constructive and focused as possible.

Since that time, we’re pleased to have filled orders for hundreds of these prayer books—and we hope to soon fill hundreds more.

The other day I was praying some of the prayers in the book outside of the Albany Medical/Surgical Center abortion facility near our office on Chicago’s Northwest Side, one of hundreds of abortion clinics across the country and around the world where 40 Days for Life vigils are currently being held.  One prayer, the Litany of Humility, I found particularly hard to pray.

Praying for Deliverance from…the Desire of Being Loved?

The first part of the prayer consists of several intercessions, each of which is followed by the plea, “Deliver me, Jesus”: [Continue reading ...]

Tags: , . Posted in Clinic Witness, The Church | 0 Comments »

Obama Administration Shell Game on HHS Mandate Continues

Posted by Eric Scheidler (August 27, 2014 at 4:29 pm)

Shell GameAfter losing in the Hobby Lobby v Burwell Supreme Court case earlier this summer, the Obama administration has just issued new rules for the notorious “HHS Mandate,” the Obamacare provision that requires all employee health plans to include free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.

This marks the eighth time the Obama administration has modified the HHS Mandate. Once again, they’re refusing to listen to the American people—or even the U.S. Supreme Court—and truly respect the employers’ conscience rights.

The new rules are nothing more than a slight variation of the so-called “accommodation” first announced in February 2012, whereby some “third party” will provide the objectionable services. I called that scheme a shell game at the time, and the description still fits. Others have called it an “accounting gimmick.”

All that’s changed is the paperwork involved in the process, which still requires employers to cooperate in providing contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans—or face annual fines up up to $36,500 per employee for refusing to go along. [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Contraception, Law and Politics, Our Civil Rights, The Church, The Culture War | 0 Comments »

Follow the Holy Father’s Lead and Join the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children September 13

Posted by Eric Scheidler (August 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm)

Pope Francis prays at the gravesite of aborted children in S KoreaLast week, Pope Francis made what I consider to be the most profound pro-life statement of his pontificate to date by praying at a gravesite in South Korea where abortion victims are buried. The cemetery is on the grounds of Kkottongnae Home, a Catholic charity that serves the elderly and disabled.

The Holy Father’s visit to this cemetery for the aborted unborn comes only a month before the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children is set to take place here in the United States, of which the Pro-Life Action League is a major sponsor.

On Saturday, September 13, solemn memorial services will be held at more than 40 gravesites throughout the United States where abortion victims have been mercifully interred by pro-life activists. Vigils will also be held at dozens of other memorial markers dedicated to these children.

As one of the main organizers of this event, I find it both gratifying and inspiring to see Pope Francis doing exactly what thousands of pro-life Christians—both Catholic and Protestant—will be doing in just a few weeks: mourning for the victims of abortion, right where their tiny bodies are buried.

Mainstream Media Refers to “Aborted Children”

The power of this kind of pro-life witness was illustrated in some of the mainstream media coverage of the Pope’s visit to the grave. The ABC News story on the visit actually used the words “aborted children” to describe who was buried there! [Continue reading ...]

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

A Lesson from the Catacombs

Posted by Eric Scheidler (August 18, 2014 at 5:16 pm)
Eric at the catacombs

Eric Scheidler visits the Catacombs of Callixtus, June 2014

If you ever visit the ancient Christian catacombs scattered about the outskirts of Rome, you’ll see countless small tombs dug into the walls, only a foot of two across. These are the burial places of infants, cast out of their pagan homes and left to die of starvation and exposure. Though abortion was practiced in the ancient world, this form of infanticide was a far more common way to get rid of an unwanted child.

Many of these rejected children were rescued by Christians, nursed back to health and given homes, in obedience to Christ’s command to serve the least of his brothers and sisters. But all too often, the only act of love the early Church could offer these children was to bury their little bodies and offer prayers of mourning for them.

Continuing the Work of the Early Church

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to visit the Catacombs of Callixtus while on a pilgrimage to Rome with my wife April. As we walked through the cool, musty corridors of the underground complex, I was struck by the thought that we Christians today are carrying on this work of mercy—rescuing the bodies of abandoned, unwanted children and giving them the only gift we can, the gift of a proper burial.

Again and again, pro-life activists have found the bodies of these children in trash dumpsters, or on the loading docks of medical waste facilities. And just like the early Church, they have spoken out against the injustice, solemnly buried the victims, and mourned over their bodies.

These burial places can be found throughout the United States. In all, there are some 43 gravesites of the aborted unborn, from the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, where four aborted children are buried to the grave of over 16,000 abortion victims at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Los Angeles. [Continue reading ...]

Posted in Abortion, Abortion Aftermath, The Church | 0 Comments »

Pope Francis to Visit Memorial for Aborted Children During Trip to South Korea

Posted by John Jansen (August 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm)

Cemetery for Aborted Children in Kkottongnae, South Korea

Cemetery for Aborted Children in Kkottongnae, South Korea [Photo via Catholic News Agency]

Over the weekend Catholic News Agency announced that Pope Francis will visit a “Cemetery for Aborted Children” at the Kkottongnae Home for the Sick during his trip to South Korea later this week.

As a Catholic and as a pro-life activist who is assisting with the preparations for the second annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children on September 13, I was doubly thrilled to see, yet again, the Holy Father leading by example. Clearly, he understands the importance of visiting — physically, in person, visiting — sites that serve as memorials to aborted children, and so must the rest of us.

“Blessed Are They Who Mourn”

The motivation for the National Day of Remembrance is inspired by the words of Jesus, “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” and the realization that we have an obligation to mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters who have been killed by abortion. [Continue reading ...]

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

Humanae Vitae: Still Right After All These Years

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

Pope Paul VIOn 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 | 0 Comments »

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 ...]

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