Turning the Hearts of Fathers is a new initiative of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign to enlist church leaders to share the good news of forgiveness and recovery to men who have experienced abortion loss. Silent No More is a joint campaign of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life.
The new project has been launched in time for Father’s Day, because men who have lost a child or children to abortion are often more acutely aware of that loss on the holiday that celebrates children’s love and gratitude for their fathers.
“We have learned from fathers who have taken part in an abortion that their experience damaged them as men,” said Kevin Burke, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and coordinator of Turning the Hearts of Fathers. “Abortion attacks the fundamental nature of the gift men bring to the family: a father’s love and protection of the children entrusted to his care. Violating this fundamental law of God can later weaken men in their vocation as husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders at home, in church and in their communities.”
Burke said priests and ministers are often wary of addressing the subject in their ministry and preaching for fear of hurting or alienating those in the congregation who have lost children to abortion. Turning the Hearts of Fathers addresses these concerns with information and resources to reach out with sensitivity and effectiveness. At the website FatherhoodForever.org, clergy will find resources to help them preach about the topic, announcements that can be included in the weekly bulletin and information on abortion recovery programs.
“What a great blessing it will be for our families, churches and nation when the millions of men involved in abortion decisions turn to Christ for healing and restoration,” Burke said.
Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and Pastoral Director of the new initiative, noted that the participation of priests and ministers across the country is vital for the project to succeed.
“Many aspects of abortion are very sensitive, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored,” Father Pavone said. “The impact of abortion on the lives of our people is all the more reason a shepherd must pay attention to these wounds. Ministry involves confronting problems that provoke emotions. Ministry regarding abortion involves nothing less than life and death.”