By CNA Staff
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 8, 2022 / 07:08 am
Catholics across the U.S. kept a wary vigil Sunday for pro-abortion activists to follow through on a threat to disrupt Masses on Mother’s Day.
While the weekend proved mostly peaceful, there were incidents of violence, vandalism, and aggression in some parts of the country:
- In Madison, Wisconsin, the headquarters of a pro-life organization — Wisconsin Family Action — was set ablaze in an apparent arson attack, police said Sunday. No one was hurt. Graffiti left outside the building said, “If abortions aren’t safe you aren’t either.”
- In Denton, Texas, a pro-life pregnancy center called Loreto House was defaced with graffiti that read, “Not a clinic,” and “Forced pregnancy is murder.” In a tweet, Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth said, “Please pray for the person who perpetrated this, for their interior healing and moral conversion.”
- In Los Angeles, the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels was disrupted just before Communion by female protesters dressed in “huge hats” and “red, hooded gowns,” parishioner Bradford Adkins, 35, of Los Angeles, told CNA. Adkins said the women were shouting and unfurled a large green banner but were escorted away, allowing the Mass to resume.
- In New York City on Saturday, pro-abortion demonstrators rallied in front of the entrance to Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Lower Manhattan. For safety reasons, police at the scene halted plans for a pro-life procession to a nearby Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, as happens at the church on the first Saturday of the month. Protestors chanted “Thank God for abortion.”
Kathryn Jean Lopez, a columnist for National Review, reported from the scene that a woman dressed in a white bathing suit that had baby dolls attached to it, danced in circles outside the church.
“God killed his kid, why can’t I kill mine?” she said. “Help me abort my babies.”
Lopez said the woman and other protesters taunted and heckled the church’s pastor, Father Fidelis Moscinski, a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal.
“Childish stuff, mostly, making fun of the fact that his religious name is not his birth name. ‘Christopher! Christopher! Christopher.’ His given name actually means “Christ-bearer,” so that’s not exactly an insult,” Lopez reported. “Most of their other insults involved accusing him of sexually abusing boys, insisting all Catholic priests do.”
Lopez and others at St. Patrick’s eventually did pray outside the abortion clinic on Bleecker Street.
“As always during these incidents, I’m overwhelmed by how angry and obviously hurt so many of the people who showed up this morning are. Pray for people who wake up in the morning want to protest people who pray for women and babies to not be pressured into abortion,” Lopez wrote.
“‘Abortion is health care,’ they chanted over and over. Killing babies isn’t healthy, and the kind of demonic scenes I’ve witnessed again and again near and outside Planned Parenthood on Bleecker Street only serve as confirmation of the wreckage abortion is responsible for.”
Fury triggered by leaked opinion
The call to protest at Catholic churches came in reaction to last week’s leaked draft opinion suggesting a conservative majority on the Supreme Court may be poised to overturn the landmark abortion ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Earlier this week, a pro-abortion group, Ruth Sent Us, called on social media for activists to “Stand at or in a local Catholic Church” on Sunday, Mother’s Day. The same group on Saturday vowed on Twitter to burn the Eucharist. The group also posted the addresses of the court’s six conservative justices. Protesters turned out Saturday night in front of the homes of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Associated Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The most serious incident of the weekend appeared to be in Madison, Wisconsin. Police there said flames were seen coming from the offices of Wisconsin Family Action in the city’s north side shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday. The fire was quickly put out by the Madison Fire Department.
“A molotov cocktail, which did not ignite, was thrown inside the building. It also appears a separate fire was started in response,” a police report said.
Arson investigators are working with fire department officials to determine an exact cause.
WFA President Julaine K. Appling told News 3 Now said that someone had thrown Molotov cocktails into her office and had burned books.
“We get veiled and not so veiled threats from time to time,” Appling told the television station. “We’ve never had anything that materialized like this.”