Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, has called on all people of faith who believe in the sanctity of life to urge their priests and pastors to take advantage of Office Depot’s willingness to reprint his “Prayer for the Conversion of Planned Parenthood” and to have copies made for all of their parishioners and members.
Office Depot General Counsel and Executive Vice President Elisa Garcia called Fr. Pavone at the Priests for Life office at the end of last week to apologize for the way his prayer was originally characterized amid a controversy that erupted last week. Maria Goldstein went to a Chicago-area Office Depot to have the prayer printed as part of the Priests for Life national prayer campaign against the evils of Planned Parenthood and was told by an employee that the flier violated company policy and could not be reprinted.
A letter from Office Depot pointed to the “strong language” in the prayer, such as “the killing of children in the womb,” “the grisly trade in baby body parts,” and “the death camps in our midst,” and referred to this language as “presumably condemning those who perform or obtain abortions… It is this type of language that led to the decision to refuse” the copying request.
Fr. Pavone, however, issued a statement defending the language and asking Office Depot to look more closely at it, and at the fact that Priests for Life does not advocate the condemnation of anyone, but on the contrary both the prayers and the actions of this ministry advocate and practice compassionate help and healing to all who consider abortion, have had abortions, and even perform abortions.
In a conversation with Garcia, Fr. Pavone was assured that Office Depot, after more careful consideration, does not consider his prayer to be hate speech or a violation of corporate policy regarding what may or may not be printed.
“I was personally assured that Office Depot would be more than happy to fill orders to reprint my prayer, and I accepted both their apology and their reasonableness,” Father Pavone said. “And it is my hope that more people will in fact have that prayer copied at Office Depot.”
“Moreover,” Fr. Pavone continued, “I ask that customers then bring those copies to their parish church, just as Maria Goldstein had set out to do, and I ask pastors to distribute them this coming Sunday, which is part of our national prayer campaign for the conversion of Planned Parenthood. Even some pastors shy away from strong language about abortion. But wouldn’t it be ironic if churches were to be less willing to reprint this prayer than the Office Depot outlets across the country?”
The prayer, and details on the prayer campaign, can be found at www.PrayerCampaign.org. A printer-friendly version of the prayer is at http://www.priestsforlife.org/pdf/prayer-for-the-conversion-of-planned-parenthood.pdf