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Why I can't identify with Bishop Galantino

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | May 19, 2014

So Bishop Nunzio Galantino can’t “identify with the expressionless person who stands outside the abortion clinic reciting their rosary”? Well, I can’t identify with Bishop Galantino.

If the people praying on the sidewalks don’t look jolly, maybe it’s because they have something troubling on their minds—such as, just possibly, the slaughter taking place inside the clinics. Or maybe they’re just focused on their prayers.

Back in the late 1980s, in the heyday of Operation Rescue, those of us who gathered on the sidewalks would regularly be confronted by militant pro-abortion demonstrators, who would shout insults and obscenities as we prayed. It takes some discipline to resist the temptation to shout back, to shut out all the noise and concentrate on the prayer.

One day M, a woman from our parish joined us outside the clinic. We were only casual acquaintances, although our few conversations had been friendly enough. I didn’t know anything about her background, and I didn’t know whether she was prepared for the hostility we faced. That day there were dozens of pro-abortion demonstrators, and their mood was even angrier than usual. After a while I caught a glimpse of M, standing at the edge of the people saying the Rosary, right next to the counter-demonstrators. People were leaning over her shoulders, screaming blasphemies. And M just stood there, quietly praying, her face completely serene.

To me, the fact that M could walk into this situation without any experience, and bear the brunt of the opposition’s anger without losing her composure, was evidence of a robust interior life. I recognized her as someone with a deep reservoir of spiritual strength. It was her expressionless face that impressed me.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: normnuke - Jun. 09, 2017 11:55 PM ET USA

    I am a member of a SSPX community and we contribute to the support of Novus priests who are flocking to us in desperation. Your readers should read the latest issue of First Things to get a feeling for what it is about the Old Latin Rite that is so attractive. Especially in contrast to "what's happening in the Novus" Yes, Marian devotion. Yes the Rosary. Church in the round? Nein.

  • Posted by: feedback - Jun. 09, 2017 6:57 PM ET USA

    Great statistics that show God has not abandoned his Church. There were times and dioceses where these solid, mentally stable, Catholic young men would be turned down as being too proselytising or too rigid for priesthood. Thankfully, it is changing.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - May. 21, 2014 2:28 PM ET USA

    Bishop Galantino is short on brains and obvious incite to the real issues.

  • Posted by: skall391825 - May. 21, 2014 3:44 AM ET USA

    Now, that's the Phil Lawler I admire. Francis would approve.

  • Posted by: Kansas Girl - May. 20, 2014 10:43 PM ET USA

    I wish our bishops and even Pope Francis were less concerned about issues such as the debatable "climate change" and more concerned about the real issues that confront us -- abortion, same-sex "marriage," the ignorance of our young people about faith issues and the fact that the church is losing so many of them to other faiths (Christian and non-Christian) or to no faith. Please address the real issues, bishops and clergy. Be good shepherds to your flock.

  • Posted by: - May. 20, 2014 6:14 PM ET USA

    This bishop needs prayers badly. In a certain respect he is worse than the many cowardly bishops who fail to speak; he is actually mocking the pro-life effort.

  • Posted by: LAR - May. 20, 2014 3:59 PM ET USA

    Thank you for your commentary. This Bishop's words felt like a knife in my heart. I will be praying for him.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - May. 19, 2014 10:29 PM ET USA

    I am at a loss to understand why Pope Francis recently approved this man's appointment as the 2nd ranking prelate in the Italian bishops's conference. Galantino's sneer at pro-life witnesses reveals him to be a man who has personally accepted legalized slaughter. And his deliberate use of the pro-abortion euphemism "interruption of pregnancy" tells us just how compromised his thinking on the matter really is. This kind of behavior developed over time. Why didn't the pope know this about him?