Action Alert!

Not much "brotherly love"

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. ( articles - email ) | Jul 15, 2004

A group of college-age pro-lifers, sponsored by the American Life League, are walking from Maine to Washington, DC, this summer to bring attention to the pro-life cause. (This is similar to the older Crossroads group that walks across the country, west to east.) Along the way, the walkers—mostly college students—pray at abortion clinics and give talks at churches. Except they won't be talking in Catholic churches in Philadelphia. The group had asked for permission to speak after Masses in churches in the archdiocese, but the archdiocese—along with the dioceses of Baltimore, Metuchen, NJ, and Burlington, VT—abruptly revoked invitations or permissions.

Catherine Rossi, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Archdiocese, said that "while the archdiocese appreciates [the league's] efforts to preserve the sanctity of life, it would be inappropriate for them to speak here." The archdiocese, in a letter to the league written by its vicar of administration, Msgr. Joseph Cistone, on behalf of Cardinal Justin Rigali, said that it had reviewed the league's request but had "not granted" permission to speak.
They wouldn't give a reason, but the American Life League thinks it knows why:
"There is nothing inappropriate about our message," said Kristen Rainey, Crusade walk spokesman and a student from the College of the Ozarks. "What is inappropriate is when our bishops, cardinals and priests turn a blind eye to the truth and allow pro-abortion 'Catholic' public figures to desecrate the Body of Christ by receiving Holy Communion unworthily."
Now, since the dioceses won't say why permission was revoked, we can't be sure, but it wouldn't be inconceivable that this would be the reason. We've seen similar cases before, like when Cardinal Law banned Priests for Life from the Boston archdiocese for being "too graphic" in its presentation. It's abortion! They tear babies apart in the womb! How can you not be graphic in describing it.

Anyway, the revocation of permission gives the appearance of the bishops cutting off their noses to spite their face. Here is a group of dynamic, orthodox, and young pro-lifers giving witness to Christ and the sanctity of life, and it looks like the bishops are snubbing them because they want the bishops to their duty and face up to the hard obligation of having to call pro-abortion politicians to account. Looks like these college students have received an early lesson in how orthodox Catholics are often treated by the bishops they so respect and hoped would lead them.

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