Rachel's Vineyard - Men and Abortion
 

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Foreword from Fr. Frank Pavone

Adam!!

It was a sunny morning in the South, but a sad one, as one young mother after another streamed into the abortion facility, occasionally accompanied by the father of the child. I was there with a team of other people to offer hope in despair and alternatives to those who had likely been told there were none.

Occasionally, the quiet morning air was broken by a prayer or a song. Then, at one point in our vigil, a man on our team decided to appeal to the fathers of these children who were scheduled for death. And he called out to them all, giving them one collective name.

“Adam! Adam!!!!” He spoke, as a man to a man, invoking the name of the first man. “Adam!” He addressed them with this name, which is more like a title of honor. “Adam!” With that cry, this man invoked upon his fellow men the God-given responsibility to protect the life that flows from the Creator and to affirm the woman in whom that life grows.

He reminded them that at the beginning of our history, God set the first man as guardian of the Garden. The man gave names to all created things. Then “woman” was created from his side – an indication of equality – and the two formed the image of God.

Yet before long, we see the serpent lying to the first woman, confusing her, and urging her to disobey God. This, of course, leads to the original sin, which both Adam and Eve commit. There is a disturbing question, however, that we should not pass over. How did the serpent get into the garden in the first place?

Adam failed. He was to protect the garden, the woman, and the gifts God had given, which would include their children. But the serpent was able to get in anyway. Somehow, Adam failed in his vigilance. And his name rang out that morning, to remind other men to keep vigilant against the many voices that can lead them astray--and lead to untold grief, regret, and pain in their lives and the lives of the women and children entrusted to them.

That cry rings out again in this book. And in it, you will hear Adam speak. He will speak of his failure and of his God-given responsibilities. He will speak, too, of something even more wondrous: the New Adam, who redeems every man, brings hope out of despair, and makes all things new. That Man, who is also the Son of God, has a word to speak to the men of our day. Nowhere is it spoken more effectively than through the testimonies you will read here.

In my ministry as National Director of Priests for Life and Pastoral Director of Rachel’s Vineyard, I have met with men in every part of this nation who have learned, by difficult personal experience, that abortion destroys everyone it touches. They have learned that the law, which gives them no right to protect their own child from an abortion, subtly but powerfully says to them that, likewise, they should take no responsibility. They have felt the bitter anger that comes from abortions they could not stop and the overwhelming despair that comes from abortions they insisted upon. They have learned how even abortions in which they had no participation at all have had the power to alter their lives.

They have also learned that in Jesus Christ there is forgiveness, healing, hope, and new manhood.

Today, more men than ever are coming forward as part of a growing multitude of those who have been wounded by abortion. Many of them find healing in quiet and confidential settings with a pastor or counselor; many others experience the tremendous power of a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat and are able to live their lives with greater confidence and peace. Still others have begun speaking publicly about their experiences through the national Silent No More Awareness Campaign. And there are many others, still, who have not found any healing, and whom we strive to reach.

I am profoundly grateful to Kevin Burke, Director of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries, for the outreach he conducts for men. The research he has done, the training he has imparted, and the counseling he offers have lifted many to new levels of awareness and peace. His wife, Dr. Theresa Burke, has likewise done groundbreaking work in healing people after abortion. I am proud to partner with them both.

I salute the men who have shared their stories in this book. I salute them and stand with them as we work together to restore the authentic meaning of manhood and fatherhood amidst a culture that has forgotten and disfigured it. These are not just men who have an experience to share. These are men through whom the New Adam is bringing about a restoration we all seek.

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Pastoral Director, Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries

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