Ed Peters and Al Kresta on the Pavone-Zurek standoff

There’s a lively and intelligent debate about the Pavone-Zurek standoff simmering in a couple corners of the blogosphere, with broadcaster Al Kresta and canon lawyer Dr. Ed Peters staking out very different opinions on the matter.

After Kresta interviewed Fr. Pavone for his radio show, Peters offered some pointed criticism.  And yesterday, Kresta responded:

Calling the interview an “infomercial” is silly. It was not a hostile interview. Why should it have been since the diocese of Amarillo doesn’t allege any wrongdoing and he is a priest in good standing? Why should it have been an interview which tested Fr. Franks’ grasp of canon law when in fact I don’t pretend to be a canon lawyer? This was an interview with a friend who is loved and appreciated and quite familiar to many in our audience who wanted to give people a chance to ask clarifying questions. You can’t complain that a bowling league isn’t a chess match. These are different things.

I’ve done one interview on the topic. Ed has made 12 posts on his public blog without interviewing Fr. Frank or his canon lawyer or Bishop Zurek. Fr. Frank’s canon lawyer has published a public statement. Since Ed seems so interested in keeping this in the public eye why doesn’t he interview? So I’m going to invite Ed to debate Fr. Frank’s canon lawyer. They’ve both gone public on this. Canon law issues are not above the head of the Kresta in the Afternoon listener. And I, for one, look forward to it.

That prompted this reaction from Peters:

1. I have listened to the entire Kresta-Pavone interview, now, and, in my view, Pavone turned several key questions to suit his answers, while some obvious follow up questions were not asked by Al. Perhaps time will permit me to parse the interview in the detail in deserves, though remember, blogging is not my day job, even if radio is Al’s.

2. Al’s criticism of me for not having “interviewed” Zurek or Pavone is misplaced; I am not a news reporter, and I don’t need ‘sources’ for my analysis of what’s already news to stand. I comment, when I can, on canonical and theological matters that others have put in the public arena.

3. Similarly, what exactly does Al think there is for me to debate with Fr. Diebel (Pavone’s canon lawyer)? I don’t represent one side or another, and I am indifferent as to how (among many ways) this matter resolves. My concern is that canonical and theological errors (and some blunders, as I have pointed out for both sides) be corrected, lest the public take the wrong lessons from the conduct of the principals in this case. But Diebel has made no mistakes and my few remarks in his regard have been supportive!

4. Finally, I don’t keep bringing this matter to the public. The two sides (though lately, mostly Pavone et al.) keep bringing it to the public in a way that, in my opinion, requires correction by one who knows what the rules are, and how they apply to both sides. I strive to point out these things objectively.

So, okay, Al Kresta and I disagree strongly on the in/appropriateness of his Pavone interview. Whether Al comes round to my view of this as essentially a disciplinary matter to be resolved internally, or whether I come round to his view of it as a news story to be reported from both sides, remains to be seen. But, while we disagree on this matter, this matter is all we disagree on. If a canonist may put it canonically, our communion per Canon 205 is untouched by our differences on this matter.

And I find that a source of consolation in this too, too divided world.

There’s much more at both blogs.  Visit Kresta in the Afternoon and In the Light of the Law for more.

Meantime, the man at the center of the story, Fr. Frank Pavone, urged his supporters to be respectful and prayerful.  Read about that here.

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35 responses to “Ed Peters and Al Kresta on the Pavone-Zurek standoff”

  1. Pavone quote from the article:

    “Be assured we are neither organizing nor endorsing public protests of any kind.”

    There’s the cute little game that will ultimately alienate large numbers from Fr. Pavone. While he is not organizing or endorsing the protests, the assault on the children of that school, he will not ask the plane and trucks to stand down.

    He is a priest of that diocese and those children are being traumatized in his name, and he does not publicly repudiate the tactic. It’s stomach-churning.

    If it will help, here’s the press release that will work:

    “I have today asked that the truth trucks return home and that the plane remain grounded. Furthermore, I ask that all who intend to come to Amarillo please redirect your energy to praying outside of your local abortion clinic. My bishop and I need a safe, quiet, and respectful space in which to resolve the differences that have led to this action. Please respect this relationship, pray for us both, and refrain from any more publishing of harsh words for any of our bishops.

    “Priests for life has been as successful as we have been precisely because three of my bishops, as well as every bishop who has sent us a priest, has consented to this ministry and want us bringing the heart of the Church to the pro-life movement. They are good men who cannot spare a man in their respective diocese, yet have done so generously. Honor that.

    “For now, please don’t become distracted from your great work or your prayers. Continue to do God’s will, and trust in His leading.”

  2. Is it really traumatizing young children? I don’t know. I’ve been seeing those photos outside abortion centers since I was very young and it did not traumatize me. I just wondered what was being done to these tiny babies. On the other hand, I’m fairly positive that seeing those photos has resulted in more than a few wavering pregnant women to refrain from aborting. If the pro-choice forces are so proud of the alleged “right” to an abortion, so ready to criminalize opposition to it, it would seem only fair that the consequences of the right be visible.

    In any case, let’s send Obama packing in 2012 and get someone in the White House who respects life.

  3. It is traumatizing to children, Kevin. It also opens the door to a host of fears in children’s minds.

    I pulled my children out of Catholic school and home school them in part because my children’s third grade teacher decided to teach them about abortion, that it’s when a mother murders her baby with the help of a doctor. Perhaps not you, but many children see the world from their perspective, and for weeks, my children were terrified. Loved as they are by my wife and me, they consider that the norm for all children.

    Enter Bozo the Clown and her great educational oratory. Processing her lesson through the only filter they know, namely us, our children couldn’t grasp how love could turn deadly for a child. Beth asked, through sobs, if that could ever happen to them. She couldn’t comprehend how a mother could murder her own child, having my wife as her sole example of mother (and a perfect one at that, I might add). Add to that the reality that my son was still fairly gripped by the limitations of his autism, and we were left with a real mess to clean up.

    If it’s okay to do this to children with abortion, then I really don’t want to hear pro-lifers bellyache when the public schools whip out the sex ed in first grade, as has just been mandated in NYC.

    What Father Pavone is countenancing with his silence is absolutely putrid.

  4. It is also interesting to note, that while Fr. Pavone states he does not condone these demonstrations – he has listed on his web-site the freefrfrank link, and has posted on his facebook page – the planes and buses are arriving in Amarillo. hmmm?

  5. Father seems to have struck a very deep chord with those in the Catholic community and the pro-life crowd who have become desparate to hear more from the pulpit about LIFE. Many of us long for more strength from the pulpit about the issue. Lately, though, I have found his rhetoric more and more frantic and aggressive. Why the hysteria, Father? God’s in his Heaven, all is right with the world!

    Pro-life IS the ultimate human right issue of our time. Yet, even that truth depends on clarity and calm reason as the best way to solve this crisis in culture. I see no calm or reason in the fight to save Fr Frank!

    All this frantic noise about the babies dying, by both Fr Frank and his followers, who all claim to trust God’s plan, but seem to forget that the babies, even those that die from abortion are always in God’s hands. We do not need to be afraid for them, even as we are called to work for justice for them. we work to change the law because it is unjust! At the end of the day the babies are with the God that made them, regardless. We should find peace in this hope, while working hard to save them! (Evangelium Vitea)

    I said the last part as a mother who rejected the gift of life many years ago, and who found mercy and peace through the help of an annonymus priest in a confessional. I thank God to this day for his compasionate and truthful ways. He started me on the path back to my faith and no one will ever know his name!

  6. Children being traumatized now? Tell that to the Blessed Mother when she chooses to show hell graphically to the most innocent, vulnerable little three (and others throughout history). Since that time many have viewed that place (that so many would like to deny) through their frightened little eyes and been moved to behavior that would prevent them from experiencing that place forever themselves.

    And…uh oh:
    “Big News!

    After nearly a decade at this URL, Catholic and Enjoying It will be moving to the Patheos site (alongside such fine folk as Elizabeth Scalia, Deacon Greg Kandra, Frank Beckwith and Max Lindenman).”

    Another relentless person attacker – more often without all the known facts, thus any real depth of knowledge at the time – preaching what the Christian (Catholic) attitude ought to be to the masses. Yes, an “apologist” too …. apologizing again and again afterwards for going too far in just that “calling” but seemingly unable to control that bad habit himself with any believable remorse! Sad. Again, recalling what the good elderly priest recently removed for preaching exactly what the Church teaches, but not with the current PC apologizing “pastoral” approach, said afterwards….we are destroying the Faith from within.

    Rather hilarious to link Fr. Frank, the worker stopping the ripping apart of little bodies, to somehow “traumatizing” children. Go figure.

  7. Fr Pavone needs help from bishop Yanta and Cardinal Renato.They,claimed Pavone, established his religious order,so that he was incardinated everywhere.”Inherit Ossibus” is the canonical Latin.

  8. Ed Peters Comment 1: “2. Al’s criticism of me for not having “interviewed” Zurek or Pavone is misplaced; I am not a news reporter, and I don’t need ’sources’ for my analysis of what’s already news to stand. …”

    His statement is an admission to the fact Al Kresta is a news reporter or involved in someway with the role of reporting.

    Ed Peters Comment 2: “…I comment, when I can, on canonical and theological matters that others have put in the public arena.”

    He has a second admission to the fact which Kresta himself appeals to in the same way (i.e. Kresta is a news reporter and Peters is a Canon lawyer.) Both of them don’t bring it to the public arena, so-to-speak. They both encounter the same subject in the public arena from two different approaches (that of a lawyer and that of a news reporter.)

    Ed Peters Comment 3: “4. Finally, I don’t keep bringing this matter to the public. The two sides (though lately, mostly Pavone et al.) keep bringing it to the public in a way that, in my opinion, requires correction by one who knows what the rules are, and how they apply to both sides. I strive to point out these things objectively.”

    Peters comment is a suggestion about Al Kresta bringing up the issue to the public arena (by interviewing Pavone.)

    I think Ed Peter’s comments are sound advice. And in particular, the advice makes a lot of sense in the case as Fr. Corapi’s. Whereas Pavone’s case, canonical law is not an issue because the interview (as Al Kresta commented) is not with a priest who has his faculties removed nor with a priest who is not in good-standing. The canonical view does not apply to Kresta’s interview. That being said, Ed Peters does have prudential advice from the standpoint as a Canonical lawyer (in a general view since I don’t much about Canon law nor much about news reporting. My observation is taken from both Peters and Kresta’s comments in so far as they know more than I do.)

    Ed Peters Comment 4.: “3. Similarly, what exactly does Al think there is for me to debate with Fr. Diebel (Pavone’s canon lawyer)?”

    If the debate will become much more divided or cause scandal, then Ed Peters is being prudent. The debate could flare up a lot of things on the radio. Unless Diebel and Peters debate without a sort of seesaw fiasco on the topic of Canon law and avoid drawing any heated discussion which may rally support for each side from the listeners. I think Al Kresta has the capacity to interview. And, I think Peters has the capacity to simply write comments as he’s done without too much of a public debacle.

  9. I think the reasons given not to have an open debate on canon law around the obligations of priest and bishop would provide education to Catholics and non Catholics as well. To me this is a teaching moment. in today’s age, when the priest seems to have many of the rights removed without ever being thought of as a criminal, I think a conversations around this would be beneficial.

    I also think it would be good to try to understand the bishops position and the rights and responsibilities of a bishop.

    I also do not think it would make much difference to many of Father Frank supporters if he did come out with the statement suggested above. During the civil rights marches, many black ministers opposed the actions of MLK and evern where MLK did try to pursuade those who were demonstrating, he was largely ignored. He did this twice for fear of violence to those involved while he was in jail and when he could not be in the city to march with them especially after some church bombings. That was when he went to JFK who had not been doing much from MLK point of view for fear of losing the democrats in his base. Forced by MLK, JFK acted and in fact was trying to mend fences with segregationist democrats in the south when he was shot.

    The reason for this is that those who support Father Frank do so because he has been a good and faithful battler for life and for many, this is their number one mission and battle. It is certainly mine for the months I have yet to live. The pro life folks are not going to stop the trucks, planes, or anything else within reason to support someone who is on the front lines with us any more than a group of soldiers would abandon another soldier who they see as wrongly being attacked. We have our rights to express our support and anger over this attack. We see it as the same as a priest in Nazi Germany dedicated to stopping the holocaust being silenced by his Bishop over some money concerns and rather than allowing the battle for life to continue full force by this soldier and working things out over time, he chooses to pull the soldier out of the fight and then leave him on the side lines while he goes out of the country. And of course many will not forgive the use of the word “suspended” and the call not to support PFL in that idiotic letter to hundreds of dioceses. The mission to get this fixed right now and get Father Frank full time on the mission of PFL, which includes the Mass and sacraments at each stop and each day of his life in this battle, will not stop or diminish if Father Frank now says something like “I have today asked that the truth trucks return home and that the plane remain grounded. Furthermore, I ask that all who intend to come to Amarillo please redirect your energy to praying outside of your local abortion clinic.” The soldiers would not stop until the matter is resolved.

    some say that we are acting like he is indispensible. I prefer to think as stated above we are defending one who has been in the front lines with us and has dedicated his time and great talent to winning this war on total evil in our country far in excess of what the Nazi’s were able to acomplish called the culture of death, the holocaust of abortion. Jesus will ask all of us what we did personally to end this holocaust and behind him will be the millions of those killed seeking justice.

    I once read a quote by Simon Wiesenthal about those who wanted him to stop hunting down the now aged nazi butchers. I made a promise and will listen to no one who suggests I stop or I take a rest or that more good can come in the future if we be silent and try to get along. Mr Wiesenthal lost 89 members of his family in the Holocaust but survived to become the conscience of a post-war world.

    I only lost my granddaughter to the holocuast along with my great granchild. I know how he feels and that is why I will not stop until we get this valued soldier back in the fight. I have her picture by my bed so I remember in the morning prayers and in the evening prayers. I light a candle at mass each day for her and the child. I have a mass said for her each week and will until I die which is coming soon. It might be a game to many, but it is not to me and never will be. I know I will not see the end of this war, but my children and grandchildren are all soldiers in this battle. I never want to see another parent get a call that their daughter is dead. I never want to listen to the many stories from abortion victims who as mothers were part of the grave sin of having their child killed and have lived with the pain ever since. I do not want to stand before God and say I failed to try to get Father Frank back on the front lines Lord because I thought he should be obedient or silent while 4000 more babies died each day. No, he is not the only soldier, but he has shown that he is a good soldier and a solid worker in ending this holocaust who will not stop until it ends or he does. If only all Catholics made that pledge today, the holocaust would soon be over.

  10. Gerald,
    While I understand the idea of your point, seems to me that there’s no such thing as a “good” age for a child or teen to learn the truth about abortion. If your daughter or someone else’s kids are traumatized by it..praise God!! If they’re traumatized, that means the youngster’s conscience is kicking in and insisting that, no matter what society says, 2+2 does NOT equal 5!
    Sin seems to be like that. It creates all sorts of problems.

    Then again, why would we insist that kids learn about the birds and the bees if they’re going to learn about abortion? When Mom is pregnant with number 2 (or 3 or 4 or…), a couple usually winds up saying SOMETHING to number 1. Usually, it’s something like “Mom and Dad REALLY love each other and….”, and no further information need be offered.

    Abortion as murder, though we adults know it comes from a certain kind of behavior, can surely be understood by a kid without all the age-inappropriate mechanical stuff.

  11. John Flaherty wrote:

    There’s no such thing as a “good” age for a child or teen to learn the truth about abortion. If your daughter or someone else’s kids are traumatized by it..praise God!! If they’re traumatized, that means the youngster’s conscience is kicking in.

    You can’t be serious.

    Every parent should have the right to determine what kind of imagery a child can be subjected to, without having that imagery (particularly the violent or graphic kind) forcefully thrust upon the kid at an early age. And to “praise God” for traumatizing a child is unconscionable.

    We’re about to begin “Respect Life” month in our Church. How does forcing a five-year-old to see images of eviscerated, bloody babies respect the life of that child? It’s the moral equivalent of child abuse.

    What’s next? Cheering and applauding executions?

    Oh, wait…

    Dcn. G.

  12. Ending abortion is a spiritual journey which requires us to give up everything to follow Him. Right now it has turned into a political battle which is the way of the world with the same results–continued conflicts and violent rhetoric. A few hearts are changed with the illusion that this worldly way is working. There is another way and Fr. Pavone’s situation just may be a sign that it is now time to do the radical practice of faith in giving up everything to discover the spiritual path that Christ followed in His life. A heart changes through the observation of radical sacrificial love and not through political and judicial processes.

  13. I agree with Deacon Greg on parental control, but let’s make sure we don’t “normalize the exception,” a typical feature of the American mind.

    There is a concerted effort underway to prevent ANYONE from seeing those photos, not just young children. The concealment of the effects of abortion from the general public is a form of mass propaganda which would make Goebbels proud. What they eye doesn’t see the heart won’t grieve over, as they say.

    And children see no shortage of violence and carnage if they are left unsupervised in front of any TV for very long. Protect their eyes, by all means, but I am against efforts to throw a tarp over what happens in those “clinics.”

  14. Deacon Greg.. You couldn’t help yourself… had to add that little dig on the Republican debate could you..very off topic.

    So lets discuss the topic of imagery and children. Having a child see a poster of an murdered baby must be stopped. Is that your point? When I was a child, I saw images of a black man hanging from a tree outside our church. The Catholic Church at the time was pushing hard for anti lynching legislation being fought by FDR for political reasons. He did not want to upset his Democratic KKK base in the south. I remember those images. Was I traumatized and should they have been removed? My parents had to explain what was going on and to show me how evil some people were in the world. In our churches and schools, there was a massive letter writing campaign to try to get FDR to back the legislation which failed to pass because of his silence keeping the Democratic KKK terror campaign going for decades. My father never forgave FDR for this act of political fear.

    Soon we had images of WWII, although the government censored us seeing the full carnage to keep up support for the war. It gave us a great feeling that this war was just and thus war was OK to fight evil. Of course now some disagree. But we had the full backing of the Church on this war and soon in Korea. Of course we would lose that support of the Church in Vietnam and every war it seems since. What is good evil as opposed to bad evil that demands war? Should we cheer the killing of bin laden and the drone attacks killing other muslims? We had more today and it would seem like each killing comes with a lot of cheering and they did not have their day in court with years of appeal. Does the Catholic Church teach us to protest these killings or do they remain silent? Why was the president so happy to run out to announce “his” killing of bin laden? Was he certain he would hear a lot of cheers from the american people? Was it not a fact he sent a kill team in to get bin laden and not try to bring him back for trial? I have not doubt that if he had ordered bin laden be brought back alive for trial the team would have succeeded.

    But one point I thought about while reading your comment above Deacon. Why your anger now about the images being shown outside of a church of aborted children? They have been shown outside abortion mills for a very long time to allow the women going in a last opportunity to see what they are about to permit and which will become part of their long term memory. Are these wrong here in your mind? Should they ever be shown and where? If not, why?

    The Catholic Church shows Christ on a Cross which is certainly graphic. Each year we hear how He was beaten and crucified by the Romans with the Cheering of the Jews led by Jewish priests. Is this not a fact? It requires the parents to explain why the imagery is in our Churches. Should we shield our kids from this imagery and discussions now forced on the parents to explain? How does this differ in your argument other than right now it is support of Father Pavone and the work he is doing at PFL which is being stopped at this point. Finally, what about the crosses we will see on many of the catholic church lawns over the next month or so? Do they present imagery that will demand an explanation by the parents? Should they be banned as well?

    Interested to hear your answers as I try to grow in Christ and to do everything possible until my last breath coming up soon to end the holocaust in America which is slowing destroying the country.

  15. Ronald King, why has abortion turned into a political battle of the world, continued conflicts and violent rhetoric?

    It turned into a political battle when the left put people on the courts who legislated from the bench to gain the world they desired, but could not win in courts or through amendments to the constitution. People need to get their arms around why there is so much involvment by people of faith who once had the constitution protection and support. The left always wants faith silenced and put in a box or separated. The Founders all stated that the faith of the people was crucial to the way the country was established and believed that so much that they erected what they thought was a clear barrior to the government doing anything about it. The first words of the very first amendment are “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

    When the court lied and came up with the exact opposite in separation of church and state, the judges should have been impeached. It was the government putting religion in a box that would be used to remove prayer from schools and anything religious from our public sector. What could be worse to the country and the constitution and our freedom than this. One wonders why government is not working and there is so much anger? It really started with this and was required to prevent faith from battling everything else the left planned in its march to the pure socialist state without God.

    Soon after we had legalization of killing babies with another lie about the constitution adding words without bothering to add amendments they knew they could not pass. There is no privacy right to kill babies in the bill of rights. They would use the new freedoms to judge one person from another by the color of their skin with affirmative action creating more strain between races. The would attack the family by giving funds to behavior that would kill the family unit paying for unwed mothers to raise their kids which seldom leads to anything but jails and poverty. They would attack poor neighborhoods in the name of urban renewal often rewarding political cronies. And of course they would say one behavior needed legalization and protection with another lie about the purpose of the 14th amendment with gay special rights.

    So any attack on abortion become political because it is political decisions that keep this legal. Unless America puts in political leadership to reverse the lies, we are doomed to ever growing anger and evil. Pope John Paul II saw this evil growing up in Poland first hand. Socialsit that was anti God and anti religion. He partnered with Reagan and the American CIA to help stop it in Poland and warned of this evil because he knew first hand all about it. He saw the same thing going in every country that went toward the battle to keep God out of our daily life and our politics.

    For those eager to see less conflict in this country around politics? Lets reverse the bad decisions made and return to One Country UNDER GOD. Lets stop abortions by clearly labeling them evil and unlawful and teach our kids abstienence until marriage and that marriage has been and always must be between one man and one woman. Let make sure those who have the weakness of same sex attraction are taught to try to overcome it as we teach those with other weaknesses to overcome their thorn in their heal because of original sin. We all have thorns and trying to make one thorn legal and normal is not good for the person or for society who will want their thorn made legal and normal as well. We are already seening those who want to abuse children make that thorn legal. We see those with the thorn of greed want to make their thorn legal and a willing greedy political class who want to help them.

    So trying to sit and pray and see abortion end while beneficial to the cause, seems to cry out for action which the Catholic Church in my history started with the battle to get FDR to support the anti lynching legislation to save blacks from the terror of the Democratic KKK in the south. We failed here because of the cowardice of FDR. Let us not fail now in this battle to stop the killing of 4000 babies a day and the ongoing trauma of those mothers involved.

  16. Greta, I did not say to sit and pray. That is laziness. Just as standing and praying is insufficient. Now thousands of believers walking across the country praying the Rosary without violent rhetoric coming from their mouths certainly would be a light that could not be ignored. When you have 60 watt bulbs scattered all over the place and attempting to change every thing that upsets them there are just a bunch of dim lights. When you get thousands of those 60 watt bulbs together in one place the light becomes bright and when all of those 60 watters are willing to stay on the road and give up their comfort to heal and change hearts many more miracles will occur. But if your thinking is controlled by the methods of the world you will not see this. It is easy to pray in front of planned parenthood because you can go back to your nice comfort at home. Our Lord did not have a home for 3 years. If we are serious about the death of unborn children then give up everything and do what He did. Otherwise, it will go on and on with the same results and much more violent rhetoric and behavior.

  17. John Flaherty (#12):

    I can envision that, instead of having the “youngster’s conscience is kicking in” that a child could have some real anger issues against the group showing the pictures and maybe even the Church that caused them trauma. Hopefully, they would have the resources to deal with any trauma and not turn away from the Church entirely.

    There are many ways of being pro-life. A much better approach is showing pictures of fetus development in the womb. Powerful images and quite effective.

  18. I think the two page statements are tiring and I am not wasting my time reading them.

    Circling a school with those picture is sick and disturbing and we have Fr Pavone to thank for it.

  19. Greta …

    How would you feel if you were a parent with a six or seven year old child and was assaulted by those images while taking the child to church? Maybe the child gets upset and starts crying in terror. Maybe he’s scared and confused. Maybe he begins to associate those horrific images with the church. Maybe he’s afraid to go back there again. Maybe he gets nightmares and is afraid that will happen to him.

    It’s one thing to show them outside abortion mills; but it’s quite another to place them in other public areas, especially outside churches and schools — where you don’t expect to encounter graphic, bloody, dismembered body parts and where, in fact, we’re trying to encourage children to practice their faith.

    Maybe we should all think more carefully about unintended consequences when we launch crusades like that.

    Dcn. G.

  20. Decon Greg, A little disappionted that you ignored much of what I posted.

    First, I will answer your question. What would I feel like if I was a parent of 6-7 kids and they saw those pictures while on the way to church? If I had 6-7 kids, the oldest ones would be well aware of the holocaust of abortion. If they saw them on the way to church, I would advise that babies are being killed legally in this country and the pictures show of the victims of that crime. Our Catholic Church teaches us that this is a grave evil and that we are to pray and to do whatever we can to end this tragedy. Lets focus our prayers today to ask God to end this grave evil and to bring all those who are Catholic to turn to God in unity of purpose to end this legal slaughter of babies. But that is just me.

    By the way, this is what a father of 8 kids told his kids in unity after they had seen the same signs in front of an abortion mill. Some would call it a teaching moment. And why would we not want to make people aware on their way to see God of the consequences of those who vote to support abortion candidates? Over 50% Catholics seem to need to hear something from the Church that is simple and solid..do not do this or you are placing your soul in grave risk. Don’t leave weasal room. God did not say don’t kill innocent babies unless you can find a proportional reason.

    Couple of questions

    what about all the crosses in the lawn of the Church for abortion month? Do you not think these images bring abut the same questions? Do you think those should go away as well? No, they are not as eye catching as the results of what those crosses represent. Maybe the two should go together with first the crosses and then what happens as a result?

    What about teaching the very violent death of Jesus Christ to the 6-7 kids including much imagery. Why do you think the Church in fact uses imagery so extensively? Why not like protestants take Christ off the Cross and show the empty Cross?

    Why did Churchs once welcome the violent images of a black person being hung in the call for FDR to help stop his Democratic KKK members in the south from their terror campaign? What about images of the back of a black man who had been beaten? What about the military leaders who discovered the concentration camps insist on local Germans being forced to see the imagery of what was going on? Why do we see starving kids imagery? Why do we need to see evil in full force and color displayed? Why do those who do not want to fully face up to the connection between the Democatic Party and abortion so want to hide these type of images from being displayed? It brings it to some level of reality on the great evil being done to human beings. Seeing the bloody baby who has been butchered and looks certainly almost exactly like the little baby we brought home from the hospital takes away the lie that they are not real, not babies, not human.

    Ask yourself why these images are so disturbing and yet you approve of the use of all the other imagery as a social cause to end evil. It is kind of like the sermon that really hits home where we live in our sin and makes us squirm out for all to see.

    HMS, do not disagree that showing life pictures of a baby growing in the womb. I note you chose to use the term fetus. Never been to a fetus shower, but quite a few baby showers with the expecting mom. Maybe that is the point of showing the picture that it clearly is a baby and what has been done to them in their murder.

    Joseph W, No, don’t let anything in that might cause you to think or question what you have decided. And sorry, but Father Frank does not use this method in his protest of abortion nor does he control those who do use them. I do not personally carry a picture like this, but fight for the right of those who do and question why only this type imagery makes others so angry. Your kids in the schools probably see imagery of the black slave back who was beaten or the pictures of the dead from the concentration camps and it is shown routinely on TV. Why this one Joe..and why the anger at Father Pavone? Maybe its that old conscience within you trying to reach you…

  21. Greta…

    Read my post: I didn’t say six or seven kids. I said imagine being the parent of a six or seven year old child and encountering those images.

    I didn’t “ignore” much of what you posted. I only have so much time on my hands. Believe it or not, I do have other things to do besides spend hours crafting line-by-line responses to your long-winded comments. At last count, I had four full time jobs: executive editor, deacon, blogger and husband.

    My point: in my opinion, you’re wrong. Period. You’re not going to change my mind. I’m not going to change yours.

    I’m through arguing with you. Sorry. Don’t have time. If you think there’s nothing wrong with small children seeing bloody images of butchered babies, fine. God love you for it. We will have to agree to disagree.

    Dcn. G.

  22. Peters is lacking in imagination and in seeing the LAW as primary. Canon Law in the Church is an AID to fostering the LIFE of the Holy Spirit WHO IS the NEW LAW OF THE NEW COVENANT. According to this law there are provisions that can release a priest from his diocesan minsitry. What Peters misses is the possibility of a VOCATION WITHIN A VOCATION. The Bacon Priest after WWII, Fr. Marx founder of the Pro-Life movement are examples. THE KEY QUESTION IS NOT LAW, BUT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT CALLING SOME PRIESTS TO FULL TIME PRO-LIFE APOSTOLATE ON THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVEL? IF SO, CANON LAW WILL FIND A WAY TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN. The Holy Father just did that with the ANGLICANS. It did it with Mother Teresa. THERE IS NO GOOD REASON WHY THAT CAN NOT HAPPEN WITH PRIESTS LIKE PAVONE WHO ARE ALREADY MANIFESTING THE GOOD FRUITS. So he’s’ not an expert in finances;SO WHAT? That can be figured out. Peters looks at LAW FIRST AND NOT THE EVIDENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FIRST. That’s his problem in this case; perhaps a professional weakness. He forgets that the Church DOES NOT LIVE BY THE LAW AS LAW, but by the HOLY SPIRIT AS LAW AND LAW AS A SERVANT TO THE OPERATIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE CHURCH. TO TRY TO SQUEEZE LIFE INTO THE LAW IS NOT CHRISTIAN; IT IS THE SPIRIT OF THE PHARISEES.

  23. Deacon Greg, did not realize we were arguing. I thought I was putting out things for consideration and understanding. As an old woman, I love to learn and find I have picked up quite a bit from the internet as I cannot get around as easily with this damn illness as I like. I find it interesting to hear a point and pose some things to think about. We tend to be in a big rush today and do not take the time to think.

    It is not your job to educate this old woman and any others on why these points do not matter in your understanding of Church teaching or lifes ongoing conflicts or points of view. However, I also honor the fact that you are busy and so will end the discussion on this post. I would have loved to hear your explanations.

  24. I remember that when I was eleven or twelve I would go with a few of my school friends to a large museum.One day we discovered a small room containing a human life exibit. Each object was in a good size jar and floating in liquid.Everything had labels and names.Words like embryo and foetus were on the labels.The foo – tus object looked like a baby to me and the embryo started to show signs of a baby’s form.The foetus word was new to me and I thought that it was probably pronounced foo – tus.This exhibit made an impression on me.Later on in life abortion became legal and when I was free I would Join others in praying at abortion clinics.Some of which did thousands a year.There were people doing sidewalk counselling there and various images on display.some of which growups claim traumatize children.Children of all ages come by and look at the display. I’ve seen parents explain things to them.The kids at times ask us questions and we give them truthful answers.I’ve yet to see a traumatized kid in 21 years.It’s the grownups that complain.

  25. augustinehippo #27;

    Thank you. I guess you have just confirmed my comment:

    “There are many ways of being pro-life. A much better approach is showing pictures of fetus development in the womb. Powerful images and quite effective.

  26. Ronald King
    Are you referring to the Republicans that vote for legislation that attempts to curb abortions or the Republicans in the House that have started an investigation of Planned Parenthood.You need to write more clearly.

  27. Greta, you are spot-on correct. I and others sidewalk counsel every Sat morning in front of a Planned Parenthood. We use graphic images. It is the pro-aborts who go ballistic over them. The “pro-choice escorts” cover them up. Why? Because they know that women will be deterred by these pictures. Neighborhood pro-aborts not only object, but they try to vandalize and steal the signs. Their consciences are pricked, as well they should be – better that than their path to hell be unencumbered.

    The pictures are not “nice”. So what? “Nice” is a word not found listed as a virtue, either in Tradition or Scripture.

  28. HMS 28
    The objects I saw at the museum looked like the real thing to me.They probably were the real thing.I can expect that some grownups could complain that they were traumatizing.Over my 21 years outside in good and bad weather I find that kids are curious even about images that others claim cause trauma. It’s the grownups that complain. The US Supreme Court handed down a decision about 15 or so years ago dealing with public display of images of Aborted babies.The Court ruled that it was constitutional.

  29. HMS, it does not look like you and augustinehippo are agreeing on anything.

    Note he said that the pictures are ones “images that others claim cause trauma” and that when these are explained to kids, he has never seen them cause trauma. So if you were not trying to make a joke in very poor taste, you obviously did not read this correctly.

    Janet, you are 100% correct in that the pro aborts do not like pictures of babies who have been killed any more than the Germans liked pictures shown of stacks of dead who did not yet make the ovens or KKK Democrats liked wide exposure of their terror and lynching of blacks. Many who claim to want to avoid trauma want a neat clean protest that does not cause conflicts. When some wanted to have a protest with signs showing the impact of abortion on the victim at a local university prior to the election of the most pro abortion president (hardly a place where 6 or 7 year olds are running around) the pro abortion democrats on campus went nuts. Those who support slaughter do not like it to be seen in the light of day. Remember, the nazi’s went to great efforts to also hide what they were doing going to the extremes of inviting red cross to a camp that had spritzed up with no ovens and the few prisoners under orders to behave or die to cover their evil work.

    Showing the impact of abortion in its rawest form is important. I went to the movie “The Passion of the Christ” when it came out and left really understanding in a unique way what Christ had endured. Seeing the visual impact is always used by those who want to make the point to a public that in many cases is illinformed or in denial as were many of the German people. I can think of no cause where this has not been used so it must work. If showing these images saves a single life, is it not worth the effort and we know from testimony of many women who changed their mind that a lot of lives have been protected at the eleventh hour.

  30. Greta,

    I am displeased with Fr Pavone because he is not bigger then the cause that he is fighting for and he should tell everyone that. If this becomes about Fr Pavone the message is lost. The lunatics encircling the school in Texas are stating this is about me, all me, all Fr Pavone, and this is wrong. Dead innocent babies are the cause, nothing else.

    I have walked outside the killing mills and seen the pictures and yes they are very disturbing. They need to be shown but not in front of a Catholic school.

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