Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

As our nation approaches the mid-term elections, President Joe Biden has apparently decided that promoting abortion will be the banner issue for him and his colleagues. According to The New York Times, “President Biden said [on October 18] that the first bill he would send to Capitol Hill next year if Democrats expand their control of Congress would be legislation to enshrine abortion rights into law.” The article also noted a   New York Times/Siena poll, which “found that the economy was a far more important issue to voters.”

The Biden administration has evidently also instructed federal officials at the Department of Justice to pursue pro-life advocates and threaten them with federal criminal charges. On September 23, 2022, Catholic pro-life advocate and speaker Mark Houck was arrested when 20 heavily armed federal agents stormed his home at dawn, frightening his family, pointing guns at his head, and then arresting him in front of his wife and seven young children. Houck is alleged to have violated the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, commonly known as the FACE Act, outside of a Pennsylvania abortion facility in October 2021.

Houck is being charged over an altercation with an abortion activist who repeatedly targeted Houck’s 12-year-old son with vulgar verbal attacks, facts that according to Thomas More Society Vice President and Senior Counsel Peter Breen, who is representing Hauck, do not fall under the federal FACE Act.

“This case is being brought solely to intimidate people of faith and prolife Americans,” stated Breen. “Mark Houck is innocent of these lawless charges, and we intend to prove that in court. Rather than accepting Mark Houck’s offer to appear voluntarily, the Biden Department of Justice chose to make a show of potentially deadly force, sending twenty heavily armed federal agents to the Houck residence at dawn this past Friday,” explained Breen. “In threatening form, after nearly breaking down the family’s front door, at least five agents pointed guns at Mark and arrested him in front of his wife and seven young children, who were terrified that their husband and father would be shot dead before their eyes.”

Less than two weeks later, a video taken by the wife of 55-year-old peaceful pro-life advocate Paul Vaughn shows him being arrested by armed FBI agents, guns drawn, swarming the property of the family’s Centerville, Tennessee farmhouse, frightening her children and dragging her husband away. Thomas More Society attorneys are also defending Vaughn against alleged violations of the federal FACE Act. The Biden Department of Justice claims that Vaughn, the President of Tennessee Personhood, is guilty of “conspiracy against rights secured by the FACE Act” as well as of violating the FACE Act itself, even though he never obstructed anyone. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Tennessee indicted Vaughn and six others for conspiracy, and additionally four other individuals for committing FACE Act violations. The prosecution of these eleven life advocates results from an incident that occurred over a year and a half ago, in March 2021, which consisted of nothing more than a peaceful pro-life witness at an abortion facility in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, where several pro-life advocates were sitting in a hallway outside of the abortion clinic singing Christian hymns, reading scripture, and praying. No one was hurt, and no property was damaged during the pro-life witness. For Vaughn’s peaceful presence at the event, the Biden Department of Justice has levied at him charges that carry sentences of up to 11 years in prison and fines of up to $260,000.

According to Thomas More Society Senior Counsel Stephen Crampton, who is representing Vaughn, “Paul Vaughn’s arrest in front of his wife and seven of his [eleven] children, including the 18-month child she was holding, followed by his indictment on federal charges, is yet another attempt on the part of the Biden Department of Justice to frighten and intimidate Christians and committed life advocates. We believe the evidence will show that Paul did not violate the FACE Act, and we look forward to a chance to prove that in court.”

“Contrast that with the June 2022 firebombing of a pregnancy resource center in Buffalo, New York,” Crampton continued. “More than four months later, there have been no arrests, no serious investigation, and not even any suggestion by law enforcement officials that this was a violent arson attack motivated by abortion supporters, despite damning evidence that clearly points in that direction.”

Joe Biden likes to be portrayed as a devout Catholic. Joe Biden is no devout Catholic. Joe Biden is a disgraceful Catholic, in that his obstinate and persistent promotion of abortion is totally lacking in God’s grace.

Undoubtedly, I will hear complaints from people who put their politics before God’s commandments. But naming Biden’s wrongful actions that promote abortion is done with the hope for a positive outcome, namely, his repentance and the salvation of souls. As the Catholic author G.K. Chesterton said, “For after all, blame is itself a compliment. It is a compliment because it is an appeal; and an appeal to a man as a creative artist making his soul. … When we rebuke a man for being a sinner, we imply that he has the powers of a saint.”

May God give us this grace. Amen.