. . . because action speaks louder than words.
. . . because action speaks louder than words.
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News and commentary from the Pro-Life Action League
Last 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.
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 ...]
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.
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.
But however staggering the numbers of children buried at some of these sites may be, they represent only a tiny fraction of the more than 56 million babies killed since the U.S. Supreme Court stripped unborn children of legal protection.
That’s why it’s so important that we visit these gravesites. So very few abortion victims have been buried. Those who have been deserve the special attention of pro-life Christians.
And that’s what the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children is all about. Solemn memorial services will be held simultaneously on September 13 at the gravesites of aborted children, as well as at other makers set up in their memory across the country.
I invite you to check out the list of gravesites and memorial sites to see if there is a Day of Remembrance memorial service scheduled in your area. If not, you may wish to consider organizing one.
Early Christians were despised for trying to rescue abandoned infants, and burying those they couldn’t save— just as Christians today are despised for trying to save babies from abortion, and mocked for burying them.
So when we visit the gravesites of aborted children on September 13, we’re not only standing in solidarity with the victims of abortion. We’re standing in solidarity with the early Church, whose profound faith in the Gospel is shown so profoundly in those tiny tombs dug into the walls of the catacombs.
What will history record of our faith? That’s up to us.
It’s up to you. Plan to join the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children on September 13, and please help spread the word about this important day of prayer and mourning. You will be blessed.
It happens all too often that a person’s ideology and moral conscience are in deep conflict.
This is exemplified in the story of Catherine Adair, who was so entrenched in her “pro-choice” philosophy that she couldn’t see that the guilt and depression she so regularly experienced stemmed from an abortion in her youth.
Her way of dealing with this conflict was to throw herself into radical feminism at an early age—to so fully commit herself to the pro-abortion philosophy that there was simply no way she would have to face the real source or her problems.
The full realization of this commitment came when she joined Planned Parenthood as a counselor, ushering other women through the same process she had gone through years before. [Continue reading ...]
Eric, Ann and Joe Scheidler at the NSCS in Birmingham [Photo by Kelly Manley]
Along with my husband Joe and our eldest son Eric, I was honored to be among the featured presenters at the fourth annual National Sidewalk Counseling Symposium in Birmingham, Alabama, sponsored by our friends at Pro-Life Action Ministries.
Birmingham was selected as the site at the invitation of Fr. Terry Gensemer of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. The past three conferences have been held in the Twin Cities, where PLAM is based, but this time director Brian Gibson jumped at the chance to hold the meeting in a different part of the country, making it available to sidewalk counselors in the South. [Continue reading ...]
Facing unseasonably chilly weather for August, a group of committed pro-life activists from northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin joined us August 12 for the 11th annual “Face the Truth” Day in Rockford, Illinois.
As is the case with most days when we show pictures of abortion victims, the reactions from passersby varied considerably, ranging from sincere gratitude and praise to unhinged opposition and even violence.
Nearing the conclusion of the 90-minute stint at our first site at the intersection of Riverside Boulevard and Alpine Road, a woman pulled over her car, flagged me down, and said she wanted to thank us for being there.
She said that on one of the occasions when we had visited Rockford years ago, her best friend’s daughter—then a teenager—had seen our abortion victim signs. When she got pregnant a few years later, she said there was no way she could have an abortion, because having seen our signs years before, she knew how awful abortion was, and she made up her mind that she was not going to let that happen to her baby. [Continue reading ...]
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.
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 ...]
Pro-life activists take part in the 2013 Face the Truth day in Rockford, Illinois [Photo by Sam Scheidler]
In early 2011, Northern Illinois Women’s Center, the notoriously creepy abortion center in Rockford, Illinois, closed its doors for good after the state found deplorable health conditions inside.
The local pro-life community was overjoyed at the victory God had granted them after many years of hard work, but even now, they’re not about to rest on their laurels.
In addition to praying and sidewalk counseling at other abortion facilities in northern Illinois, the pro-lifers in Illinois’ third largest city are continuing their longstanding tradition of a summer Face the Truth day, which the Pro-Life Action League will sponsor on Tuesday, August 12.
The Tour will visit three sites over the course of the day: [Continue reading ...]
On July 11, 2014, the Pro-Life Action League set out on our 15th annual “Face the Truth” Tour, bringing images of the victims of abortion to 24 major intersections across northeast Illinois to expose the brutal reality of this barbaric practice.
In addition to the full-time League staff, we were pleased to have four of National Director Joe Scheidler’s 22 grandchildren on this year’s Tour staff: Nate, Sam and Liza Scheidler and Aaron Miller were an indispensable part of the team.
This year’s tour reached hundreds of thousands of pedestrians and motorists with the truth about abortion, and we distributed over 12,000 pieces of pro-life literature to passersby! [Continue reading ...]
On 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.
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 ...]