Priests for Life

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Priests for Life
Priests for Life logo
Abbreviation PFL
Established 1990 (1990)
Type NGO, Private Association of the Faithful
Headquarters Staten Island, New York
National Director
Fr. Frank Pavone

Priests for Life (PFL) is a Roman Catholic pro-life organization based in Staten Island, New York. It functions as a network to promote and coordinate pro-life activism with the primary strategic goal of ending abortion and euthanasia and to spread the Gospel of Life according to the Evangelium Vitae encyclical written by Pope John Paul II.


Priests for Life came about in 1990 through the work Father Lee Kaylor,[1] a Roman Catholic priest serving in the Archdiocese of San Francisco; Fr Kaylor found out about a new piece of legislation being proposed in Sacramento, California which he felt went against the pro-life cause - his response was to write to all the other Roman Catholic priests in California, along with his two friends Fr. Frank Felice and Fr. Voight Emmerick, trying to galvanize further opposition to the legislation.[2] Sending the letter turned out to be an auspicious move, as Fr. Kaylor received in response a large number of positive letters and financial contributions to his cause.[2] Encouraged by this, he decided to establish a group which would serve to co-ordinate pro-life action by the clergy both nationally and more effectively[1] - this too met with highly positive feedback, so much so that Fr. Kaylor went to Archbishop John R. Quinn to seek canonical approval for the group.[2] Priests for Life was subsequently approved and granted official approbation as a Private Association of the Faithful on 30 April 1994 and listed in the Official Catholic Directory.[1][2]

In 2003, it was granted non-governmental organization status by the United Nations.


While primary membership is for Catholic bishops, priests and deacons, there is also a lay auxiliary membership, as it has the canonical status of a Private Association of the Christian Faithful.[3] It has about 60 full-time paid employees. Its national director is Father Frank Pavone. Priests for Life exists primarily in order to show the clergy how to fight the culture of death.[4]

On August 1, 2012, there was a Special Order on the floor of the United States Congress headed by Representative Michele Bachmann, noting the 20th anniversary of Priests for Life and the importance of Priests for Life in the world today. There were six members of Congress who spent 35 minutes (collectively) speaking about the work of Priests for Life. These six Representatives of Congress included Rep. Chris Smith, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, Rep. Jean Schmidt, Rep. Louie Gohmert and Rep. Tim Walberg. C-SPAN broadcast the Special Order live.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

HHS Contraception Mandate Lawsuit[edit]

On February 15, 2012, Priests for Life filed a lawsuit against the contraception mandate because the organization (Priests For Life) feels that the Health and Human Services ruling is unconstitutional on many levels.[12][13][14] The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.[15] The case was initially dismissed without prejudice. In November 2015, the Supreme Court agreed to review the case, which it combined with six other similar challenges to the Health and Human Services' Contraceptive Mandate under Zubik v. Burwell. Briefs were then scheduled for January 4, 2016.[16] [17][18]

Graphic images[edit]

The Priests for Life organization provides an extensive collection of photos of live babies as well as aborted babies, via the internet.[19] Its photos have also appeared in print.[20] According to Pavone: "There is no single thing that I have seen more powerful to change people on abortion than simply showing them the pictures....When people see what abortion does to a baby, they are stung to the heart and their consciences are awakened."[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "History of Priests for Life". Priests for Life. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d DeStefano, Anthony (January–February 2001). "How Did Priests For Life Start?". Priests for Life Newsletter. 11 (1). Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Canon Law Excerpt"
  4. ^ PFL Web Site: Purpose.
  5. ^ [1] Special Order of Congress: Start on Page H5623
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "A Message from Priests for Life". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "A Message from Priests for Life". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "A Message from Priests for Life". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Priests for Life to file lawsuit against US government". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "EWTN, Priests for Life File Suit Against Obama Mandate". Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Priests for Life Begins New Lawsuit Against Contraception Mandate". ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Zubik v. Burwell; Scotus Blog; November 2015
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Images at PFL web site.
  20. ^ Balkin, Jack. What Roe V. Wade Should Have Said: the nation's top legal experts rewrite America's most controversial decision, page 218 et seq. (NYU Press 2005).
  21. ^ White, Hilary and Jalsevac, Steve. "Use of Graphic Abortion Photos Strongly Defended by Pro-Life Leaders", (2007-07-20).

External links[edit]