Fr. Frank Pavone

Today we gave names to Gosnell’s abortion victims. Why was this important?

Fr. Frank Pavone
Fr. Frank Pavone
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May 9, 2013 (PriestsforLife) - The trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell is about much more than the man himself. In a painful way, it brings America face to face with abortion, which, as the defense argued, is "bloody" and "real."

For those who have had abortions, it brings them again in touch with a pain that is never really far away, and it brings them in touch yet again with their need for healing. This is especially true when we see what the Gosnell case has confronted us with: bodies of babies in bags and cartons in the freezer, severed feet in jars, some 45 babies retrieved in a raid on the clinic and entrusted to the Philadelphia Medical Examiner.

As Pastoral Director of the world's largest ministry for healing after abortion, Rachel's Vineyard, as well as of the largest mobilization of those who speak out about their abortions, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, I have accompanied countless mothers and fathers on their journeys of healing. And I have presided over the burials of many aborted babies.

One of the key moments of that journey of healing after abortion is when the parents name their child. The moment is powerful and freeing. Up until then, the child was a victim of de-humanization. Before we can kill, we have to dehumanize. "This is not a child,” we lie to ourselves; or we say, "This is not a child for whom I am responsible right now.” In these or a thousand other ways, a veil of dehumanization covers the child; a chasm is introduced between that child's humanity and our awareness of our need to respond to it with an unconditional acknowledgement and acceptance. But the time is not right, the burden too great, and so we keep any semblance of the child's humanity as far away from our consciousness as we can.

And that is where the power of the name comes in.

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People have names. One of the first things we do when coming into the presence of another person -- or even learning about their existence when apart from their presence -- is to inquire as to their name. The name expresses the person, it invites the presence of the person, it both calls and welcomes the person, it acknowledges that there is something in common between the person and ourselves, and hence in receiving their name we offer our own.

In the case of Dr. Gosnell, we have heard of the 45 babies retrieved from the clinic. And we have read the Grand Jury Report and heard the witnesses speak of "Baby Boy A," "Baby Boy B," Baby C, D, E, F and G.

But now it's time, in our collective journey through this nightmare, to connect with these children more directly. It's time to name the children. We have no evidence that anyone else has given them a name or was interested in giving them a name. In fact, these babies were brought to an abortion facility to be killed and then thrown away. The fact that their parents abandoned them does not give us permission to do so. "Though father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me," Scripture tells us (Psalm 27:10). "I have called you by name, you are mine," the Lord says (Isaiah 43:1). As Pope John Paul II wrote, "God … has entrusted the life of every individual to his or her fellow human beings, brothers and sisters" (Evangelium Vitae, 76). From the point of view, then, that we are one human family called into being by God, these children are also ours. And that's why we can name them when nobody else has.

This is what Priests for Life has done. On Ascension Thursday, May 9, 2013, a simple ceremony was held in the chapel at the headquarters of Priests for Life in Staten Island, NY. We heard the Word of God, prayed for these babies, their families, and those who participated in their deaths. And we then named them. I chose the name "Adam" for "Baby Boy A," simply as a reminder that Adam, the first man ever created, reminds us that in each man -- and in each child -- all humanity is somehow represented, and that our response to that one person, whether acceptance or rejection, shapes our response to every person. I named "Baby Boy B" Michael, to remind us of the struggle between good and evil that rages in our culture and in our own mind and heart as we choose how we will respond to each person.

Most of the other names are gender-neutral, since we do not have information on the genders of most of the babies.

Moreover, the naming ceremony took place on this Feast of the Ascension, for on that day, the humanity that the Lord Jesus took to the heights of heaven is the same human nature shared by all of us -- rich and poor, healthy and sick, born and unborn -- and by all these babies. We remembered all the babies killed by Dr. Gosnell, well beyond those found in his clinic, as well as the over 50 million children killed across America since Roe vs. Wade declared they were not persons.

The names we gave to the 45 babies follow. We invite you to pray for them and their families, and for Dr. Gosnell and his staff. We look forward, once receiving permission of the Medical Examiner, to give these children a proper funeral and burial.

Names of the Gosnell Babies

From the Grand Jury Report: "The Philadelphia medical examiner analyzed the remains of 45 fetuses seized from the clinic. Of these, 16 were first-trimester; 25 were second-trimester, ranging from 12 to 21 weeks; 2 were 22 weeks; 1 was 26 weeks; and 1 was 28 weeks."

Baby Adam (Baby Boy A, aborted at seven and a half months, six pounds weight)

Baby Michael (Baby Boy B, killed at 28 weeks)

Baby Alex (Baby C, breathed for 20 minutes after delivery.)

Baby Chris (Baby D -- Was delivered into the toilet and was seen swimming there.)

Baby Andy (Baby E -- This baby was heard to whine.)

Baby Lou (Baby F -- This baby's leg jerked and moved after being delivered.)

Baby Pat (Baby G)

Baby Joshua
Baby David
Baby Ashley
Baby Sal
Baby Terry
Baby Sam
Baby Val
Baby Tony
Baby Ronnie
Baby Sarah
Baby Melanie
Baby Sandy
Baby Corey
Baby Drew
Baby Ryan
Baby Toby
Baby Sean
Baby Kelly
Baby Carroll
Baby Joseph
Baby Benjamin
Baby Stacey
Baby Gabriel
Baby Brett
Baby Julian
Baby Taylor
Baby Courtney
Baby Danny
Baby Kim
Baby Mandy
Baby Robin
Baby Austin
Baby Abel
Baby Michelle
Baby Lisa
Baby Shannon
Baby Nevin
Baby Connor

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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