.- The pro-life movement will soon have a new ally. Today, Fr. Frank Pavone, head of the group, Priests for Life officially announced that he is founding a new religious community, which will devote itself to the proclamation and spreading of the Gospel of Life.
Fr. Pavone said in a statement today that, “It has been a dream of mine for over a decade to form a community that can accept seminarians who want to devote their entire ministry to the defense of the unborn.”
“While there are religious communities that give special emphasis to the right to life,” he said, “the Church has no 'institutional' society of men whose exclusive focus is to protect innocent human life from the tragedy of abortion and euthanasia. It is time for such a community.”
The community will be based in the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, under the spiritual direction of Bishop John W. Yanta.
“I am grateful to Bishop Yanta for allowing me the opportunity to make this dream a reality", Fr. Pavone said.
The Bishop also expressed his enthusiasm over the initiative today. "I am excited about supporting Fr. Pavone in venturing forth, with and through the Holy Spirit, in the establishment of a Society of Apostolic Life for priests and seminarians dedicated to pro-life ministry--an immense need at this time in history,” he said.
Bishops worldwide have expressed their support for the new undertaking.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver said that, "Under Father Frank Pavone's leadership, Priests for Life has been a tireless and important national voice defending the sanctity of human life.”
In supporting Fr. Pavone's new initiative, Bishop Yanta and the people of the Diocese of Amarillo are offering a vital service to Catholics throughout the United States."
Likewise, Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis commended Bishop Yanta “for his pastoral vision and generosity in inviting Father Pavone to make the new foundation in the Diocese of Amarillo. I pray that God will bless abundantly Bishop Yanta, Father Pavone and the new foundation."
Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace noted that the new community may be “just what the world needs.”
“The call to protect life”, he said, “is not only a foundation of our faith as Catholics, but it is the very basis of our recognition of human rights and the right to life. The human dignity with which we have been endowed by God binds us together as members of the one family."