Matt C. Abbott
Priest: words of encouragement help
By Matt C. Abbott
June 16, 2009

I received the following (edited) e-mail from a priest who wishes to remain anonymous:

    'A week after President Obama spoke at Notre Dame, I preached about his speech, abortion, Father Jenkins' call for dialogue and the 'single-issue voter' red herring. A few days later, a man e-mailed a letter to me (with a 'Cc' to my pastor) regarding my homily being 'insensitive and inappropriate' due to children being present (as they are at every Mass); how after Mass he had the 'unenviable task' of answering his 9-year-old child's questions about the killing of unborn children; that I should instead consider the 'whole congregation' and give 'uplifting and spiritual' homilies instead of 'dwelling' on my own 'political viewpoints'; and concluded by suggesting that I instead have 'an evening when adults can attend without their children and perhaps even engage in an open dialogue. If this is not possible, then I would respectfully request that you give us weekly advance notice of the topic of your homily so that we can decide if the subject matter is age appropriate.'

    'I just thought you'd be interested in seeing one reason why most priests don't preach on abortion (and sin and hell). I preach on abortion in October and January; often, one or two adults will get up and leave during my homily. That may be why most priests prefer to give 'jelly donut' homilies.

    'Fortunately, a few or several people come up to me after each pro-life homily to thank and give me encouragement (some will send an e-mail or leave a voicemail instead). It would be nice if more pro-life Mass attendees would take the time to say something to the priest or deacon after a pro-life homily, or send them an e-mail or leave a voicemail. Perhaps more priests would then preach about abortion. It would at least give support and encouragement to those who do.'

From the Pro-Life Action League:

    'Seventy activists with the Pro-Life Action League lined East Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago across from the Hyatt Regency during President Barack Obama's address to the physician delegates of the American Medical Association June 15. Obama used the occasion to encourage doctors to support his health care plan, and the League was there to deliver a simple message: Abortion is not health care.

    'The pro-life protestors held graphic abortion signs depicting Baby Malachi, aborted at 21 weeks, with the caption 'Abortion is not health care,' as well as 'Stop Abortion Now' signs.

    'Turnout for the protest was greater than expected. League staff only learned about the Obama speech late on Thursday morning, June 11, when the AMA put out a press release, but immediately jumped into action.

    'While League Communications Director Eric Scheidler drafted a press release, alerted activists of the planned protest through e-mail and designed a flyer, other League staff phoned 200 local activists to invite them to attend the protest.

    ''The overwhelming response to today's protest is indicative of how energized the pro-life movement is in 2009,' Scheidler remarked. 'They can see how high the stakes are right now, with the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history in the White House, and a pro-abortion Congress, too.'

    'The heavy turnout by pro-lifers was in stark contrast to the handful of gay marriage and anti-war activists who were also protesting in the barricaded protest area on the north side of Wacker Drive.

    'The League used the occasion of Obama's speech to the AMA to call on him to follow through on his pledge, issued during his commencement address at Notre Dame, to work to reduce abortion.

    'Specifically, the League called on Obama to ensure any reform of the nation's health care system will:

    • Provide support to the 3,000 pro-life pregnancy resource centers across the country struggling to meet the needs of pregnant women.

    • Withdraw federal funding from the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, which receives $349,600,000 of taxpayers' money every year.

    • Maintain strong conscience protections for doctors and other health professionals so they are free to care for their patients without taking part in abortion.

    'Representing the League's Action News, assistant communications director Matt Yonke secured a press pass and watched Obama's speech from inside the hotel. He also spoke with several physicians attending the convention and got the inside story on health care reform.

    'It was clear that the majority of doctors, regardless of political affiliation, saw an urgent need for changes to the current health care system, but most thought President Obama wouldn't get it right, at least not the first time around. Some are certain his plan will only worsen and already bad situation, while others were more hopeful that the plan could succeed with amendments along the way.

    'One of the doctors Matt interviewed revealed that the AMA was likely to endorse so-called 'comprehensive' sex education at the convention. While a final vote was yet to be taken, the stiff resistance that met previous campaigns for such an endorsement had evaporated, with only three out of eighteen doctors speaking on the measure opposing the endorsement.

    'Clearly the pro-life movement has a tremendous task ahead convincing both the medical community and our politicians to respect the sanctity of life and the sacred gift of marriage. Today's protest was one more step forward in that process.'

Kudos to Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who is quoted in a recent news story as saying the following about Nebraska late-term abortionist Leroy Carhart:

    'I'm disgusted and I'm saddened and I hate it that he's here in Nebraska, and I hate it that he's in America. I mean, this guy is one sick individual.'

Abortionist Carhart has pledged to "start performing late second and early third-trimester abortions." And he "has hired some of Tiller's staff members to work with him in Nebraska. He said if Tiller's family decides to sell the Wichita clinic, he and other doctors hope to buy it."

Well, one thing is certain: Abortionists Carhart and Tiller were a match made in hell.

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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