Rev. Frank Pavone speaks on political responsibility

Fr. Frank Pavone

Photo by Kathleen Loesel
Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priest for Life, talks to students in the Gentile Gallery on Wednesday.

BY RACHEL DELGUIDICE

On Wednesday, the Rev.Frank Pavone, internationally known pro-life leader and director of Priests for Life, spoke at Franciscan University of Steubenville on the political role of Catholics in the pro-life movement.

Pavone opened on a light note by telling a joke about a surgeon, engineer and politician debating about which of their occupations was the oldest. Both the surgeon and the engineer felt that their profession was the oldest until the politician said that his profession was the oldest because politicians are the “creators of chaos.”

Pavone stated that while there are some amazing political leaders in this world, a lot of the chaos we citizens experience can be traced back to politicians.

Instead of being creators of chaos, Pavone said that politicians are called to be servant leaders. He illustrated this truth by sharing part of a sermon he gave at a chapel service with legislators and their staff in Capitol on the day that the HHS mandate was put to vote in March of 2010.

“Scripture calls public servants to be ministers of God,” said Pavone. “It is not just those in the clergy. Those sitting in the legislature are ministers of God as well…they are sharing in God’s character of governance.”

Just as the clergy has a sacred role to lead God’s people in a misled world, so do our politicians. “They (politicians) are appointed to guard life, freedom and justice. They participate in the governing authority of God himself.”

Pavone also stressed the importance of Christianity in politics. “Christianity has transformed politics. Our representative form of government comes from the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Christianity transforms power into service and authority into protection of human life.”

Pavone tied together the role of Catholics in the political process and the Eucharist. “When you look at the Eucharist, you are looking into the future when all people will be in unity with God….our faith in the Eucharist calls us to take more seriously our duties as servants on earth.”

As servant leaders, we cannot neglect our responsibilities. “Participating in the elections is a duty,” Pavone said. “Every voice matters in the public format. Every vote counts.”

Despite the uphill battle that confronts the faithful Catholic each day, Pavone remains hopeful. “We are going to win this battle,” said Pavone. “We will be celebrating the victory (of life).”

The talk was attended by approximately 200 students and was a very moving experience. Many students waited in long lines to speak with Rev. Pavone for just a few minutes. “I have (been inspired) to be more active in the pro-life movement,” said freshman Jacob Bohlig.

The event was sponsored by Franciscan University Young Americans for Freedom Club and co-sponsored by the Political Science Department, the Anscombe Society, Students for Freedom and Justice, and the Human Life Studies Program.

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