Priests for Life Restructures to Focus on Pro-Life Work Over Ordaining People

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 8, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Priests for Life Restructures to Focus on Pro-Life Work Over Ordaining Seminarians

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 8
, 2008

Staten Island, NY ( — Leading pro-life group Priests for Life has made the decision to reorganize its structure and is taking the focus away from ordaining its own seminarians and placing it back on direct pro-life work. Father Frank Pavone tells the goal is to make its pro-life efforts more effective.

Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, sought in 2005 to institute the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, a Society of Apostolic Life that would accept and ordain its own seminarians.

He told on Monday that the ensuing three years "brought discernment and discussions" to determine if having a separate society, which has been under the auspices of the Diocese of Amarillo, is the best direction for the group.

Pavone said PFL leaders conducted a self-evaluation and decided to bring the organization back to a complete focus on pro-life work because it believes the end of legal abortions is near.

He said the group has "undertaken a review of our pro-life strategies, the needs of the movement, and the best use of our strengths against the weaknesses of the abortion industry."

"The discernment, therefore, that had to be undertaken along the way, and into the present, was whether to conserve our energies and our focus on our abortion-related mission, fulfilling it through the Pastoral Team that had come together and could continue to expand in its current structure, or taking on the additional responsibilities of training men for priesthood and life in a community," he explained.

The change means Priests for Life will focus on training and educating priests and seminarians as opposed to ordaining its own.

Pavone said that, now, "the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life are not a community that accepts its own seminarians and priests. Rather, it will continue to encourage and assist priests, seminarians and laity in their pro-life commitment, consistent with its mission since 1991."

"Protecting the unborn and defending the most vulnerable in our society is at the very heart of the Church’s mission," Pavone said and he wants Priests for Life to retain that same focus.

By virtue of the decision, Pavone says Priests for Life will renew its commitment to "mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people into every facet of the pro-life movement."

That includes educating countless more through the media, building up the largest pro-life organization in the nation, fostering political responsibility among the People of God, healing women and men hurt by abortion and helping them speak out in organized ways, and inspiring and networking the clergy.

"We believe that this realignment will best assist us and our collaborators to more quickly and effectively reach the goal of restoring protection to unborn children," Pavone concludes.


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