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Director's Speech in Rome in 1996

On April 24, 1996, the Director of Pro-Life America, J. T. Finn, gave the following speech at an international pro-life conference in Rome. The conference was called, "A Congress for Life." It was organized to celebrate the first anniversary of Pope John Paul II's encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae – The Gospel of Life. The conference was held at the Legionaries of Christ seminary in Rome and was attended by approximately 500 men and women including; pro-life leaders, political leaders, media representatives, priests and seminarians. Following is the speech given by J. T. Finn, Director of Pro-Life America:

Thank you very Much!

I wish to begin by thanking the organizers of this magnificent Congress for Life. Thank you for inviting me to come to speak about our pro-life efforts in America.

I am very grateful to all of you for your hard work and your dedication to defend life.

Also, I wish to bring an important message to our Holy Father—the beautiful chant that hundreds of thousands of youth cheered at World Youth Day in Denver Colorado—

"John Paul II—We Love You!"

John Paul II is a man of love and a man of courgage and we thank him for his beautiful encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae—The Gospel of Life.

The Encyclical is truly a gift from Heaven. A clear compass that navigates and directs us toward heaven. Our Holy Father's words actually give us a glimpse into heaven.

Today I hope to bring you a message of Courgage, Strength, and Inspriration—to help you pray more and take greater action.

The "Culture of Death" is a War against Life that challenges each of us to be Warriors for Christ. That is why I feel it is so appropriate that we are gathered here at the Legionaries of Christ seminary in Rome.

And now I want to ask an important question—How do we become effective warriors for Christ in the battle against abortion?

First we must have hearts of love and compassion.

We must identify with the Victims of abortion.

We must see the crucified Christ in the Victims.

Our hearts must be broken for Christ—and also broken for the victims of the


I believe it is only after we have a broken heart for the victims that we will be motivated to take action. And so, we must help others to also have broken hearts for victims of abortion and euthanasia.

I know this from first hand experience . . .

HLI 1988 in Irvine - Experiencing a broken heart . . .

Eight years ago, I knew I was pro-life but I wasn't doing anything about it. I went to one of Human Life International's Conferences in Irvine, California in 1988. At that conference I was able to hear women speak about the terrible pain and suffering they lived with because of abortions they had. Their pain, at times, was almost unbearable and it made me cry to hear their testimonies.

It was also there at Human Life International's conference that I saw some of the most graphic pictures and videos of aborted babies I had ever seen.

I was horrified at what I saw and learned about the so-called "pro-choice" movement. Abortion was an evil greater than I had ever imagined. My heart was broken for the babies and for the women . . . and this was a good thing because it inspired me into action.

At that conference I made a commitment to become a pro-life educator . . . to study, to learn, to teach, to produce videos, to distribute literature and to speak out against abortion. I realized I could not wait for the media to expose abortion, I had to become the media.

And so, I come to you today to encourage you to join me in this battle with an even stronger conviction than before. I have come to ask you to become the new media with me. And let us think big. Let's become massive world-wide media distributors.

I'm convinced that if together we show the world the victims of abortion we can help bring an end to the killing.

And now I want to show you a picture of an aborted baby, a picture that breaks my heart. This is an example of the terrible result of abortion.

(Here, I showed a picture of an aborted baby's head held in forceps)

When people say they are pro-choice, this is the choice they are advocating. This is the choice they are fighting for. This is the choice they are asking you to pay for with your tax dollars. This is the choice they want to counsel young teenage women to make without parental consent.

What kind of choice is this? It's murder—and it's a choice millions of women around the world regret having made.

We need not be afraid to show people the ugly consequences of abortion. Otherwise, how will they know or understand the holocaust that abortion is?

Can you imagine women who see aborted babies after they have had an abortion? They will ask us why we didn't warn them before they had their abortion.

I've heard these women cry and weep and wail for their babies. Their agony pierces the soul. The crushing weight of their sorrow and guilt crys to each of us for help.

I have heard these women repeat . . . "If only I had known."

Each of us has a responsibility to help women know the truth about abortion before they become victims of the abortion industry.

In Ephesians 5:11, God calls on us to expose the evil deeds of darkness.

(I showed the aborted baby photo again here)

I believe we can do this by showing people a glimpse of HELL so they can avoid it's pain and suffering.

Pictures like this give people that vision of hell—and they warn them about the gruesome consequences of abortion.

I strongly encourage you to show people these pictures!

If you are called a RADICAL for showing graphic pictures, ask those accusing you why they are not calling the abortionist the RADICAL for slaughtering a child in this horrifing way.

Ask them, if this is so graphic that we cannot stand to look at it, then why is it that as a society we continue to tolerate it?

Sarah Smith's Story

Now I'll share a brief story with you about my friend. She's a miraculous abortion survivor who will be speaking here at the congress later today.

(Here, I showed a picture of Sarah Smith)

Her name is Sarah Smith and she survived her mother's abortion in 1970. Sarah's twin was not so lucky. Her twin brother was aborted in the womb right next to her.

So here you see the face of a woman who was almost aborted. This means that if the abortionsist had completed the so-called JOB he had started, SARAH would not be here today.

Please tell Sarah's story in your parishes, schools, papers and where ever you can. Sarah and her story can help you save lives and souls.

Georgia Froncek's Story

Another powerful testimony you should know about is that of Georgia Froncek. Georgia had a saline abortion about 20 years ago and she saw her dead, aborted baby after the abortion. She was crushed by watch she saw.

Long ago, Georgia saw the light -- she realized what a terrible mistake she had made and now she has become one of the most dedicated sidewalk counselors I have ever met. For almost 10 years she has gone to speak to women on the sidealk in-front of a busy abortion mill in Los Angeles where they kill about 50 babies every Saturday morning. By telling her story to women coming in for abortions, she has been able to save over 500 babies. We call these—turn arounds or saves—and we thank God that she has the courage to go out and help other women by telling her story and bearing her soul.

Former Abortionists

Other powerful testimonies you can use to help save lives and souls include the quotes of former abortionists. These are men and women who performed and provided abortions in the past, but now they have converted—they are now pro-life and they are speaking out on behalf of the pro-life movement. Let me read you just a few of their statements. Again, these are from former abortion providers . . .

Dr Anthony Levatino says quote, "I want the general public to know that the doctors know that this is a person, this is a baby. That this is not some kind of blob of tissue."

Former Abortion assistant Nita Whitten said, Quote "It's a lie when they tell you they're doing it to help the women because they're not. They are doing it for the money."

Dr David Brewer said, quote "My heart got callous against the fact that I was a murder, but that baby lying in a cold bowl educated me to what abortion really was."

Dr. McArthur Hill said, quote "I am a murderer. I have taken the lives of innocent babies and I have ripped them from their mother's wombs with a powerful vacuum machine."

As you can see, testimonies from those who have worked inside the abortion industry can be very effective in educating people.

All of these testimonies can be very helpful in ending abortion, but I believe one of the most important weapons for winning the war against life is a strong and bold clergy.

As Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard said in his masterpiece "The Soul of the Apostolate,"

"If the priest is a saint, the people will be fervent; if the priest is fervent, the people will be pious; if the priest is pious, the people will at least be decent. But if the priest is only decent, the people will be godless."

A pro-life rendering of the above quote might read something like this: "If the clergy are actively and enthusiastically pro-life, the people will be active and enthusiastic defenders of life; but if the clergy are silent and non-active regarding the primordial evil of our day—then the people will be essentialy pro-choice!"

Closing Thoughts

In closing, I want to encourage you to be courageous in speaking up for life. Please use the very best tools possible to help you spread the Gospel of Life.

And to help you with this, there are two videos I would like to recommend: One you should consider for your pro-life library is a video series featuring Father Frank Pavone who is the National Director of Priests for Life in the United States. The series is called "Defending Life" and it was produced last year at Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network.

The "Defending Life" series includes 14 half-hour TV shows that cover the important issues with regards to the sanctity of life and the pain and suffering of abortion and the healing that is available. It includes Church teachings on abortion as well as interviews with women who have had abortions and former abortionists and an interview with abortion survivor Sarah Smith and her mother Betty. Please speak with me afterwards if you are interested in information about obtaining copies of this series.

There is also another very powerful video that I use in America to educate students and parishioners about the truth of abortion. It is called "Hard Truth" and it is only 7 minutes long, but as I say, it is very powerful. I will be showing this video later today downstairs at 3:15 PM in the video room. Please join me and view it if you can.

Finally, let us remember to pray as if the battle is completely in God's hands, and to work as if it is totally in our hands. Have courage, and be not afraid!

Thank you, and God Bless You!

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