Monday, May 17, 2010

Busy Day at Marie Stopes

Is Monday usually busier than other days? There was a steady flow of clients going in and out of the Maidstone branch of one of Britain's major abortion providers this morning. A small number of us prayed while two counsellors sought to enter into dialogue with some of those entering and leaving the premises.

There is certainly no indication that MS wants to reduce its provision of abortion services. They are, after all, a business, and as long as promiscuity continues to be promoted through Sex Education, their commercial success will be assured at the cost of the lives of unborn children.

Why is the Catholic Church so silent? Why so few who join us at these prayer vigils? Pope Benedict said in Portugal last week:
Perhaps we have placed an excessive trust in ecclesial structures and programmes, in the distribution of powers and functions; but what happens if salt loses its flavour?
The salt has lost its flavour and there is corruption in the Church that our Holy Father wishes to counter. The "Church" is too preoccupied with commissions, presentation and image, and is failing in its proclamation of the Gospel of Life. The Church is, of course, more than bishops and priests. All the faithful need to be engaged in this, without waiting for "ecclesiastical structures and programmes" to organise it, although scenes such as this one from from Detroit, Michigan, occuring in GB would be a great encouragement.

A priest once said he thought I was very brave to pray outside an abortion clinic. What's so brave about it? Just look at the people in the photo at the top of this post? Is anyone likely to enter into any serious battle with them? The worse abuse we get is being told we are deluded, or some choice language, nothing compared to the suffering of the unborn child and the future suffering of post abortioners. These people are the fearless lowly faithful of the Church, who teach me so much about dedication to God's Precious Infants. And my conscience is far from satisfied when all I do is pray.

After today's vigil and the procession back to the nearby parish church, I returned to my car which I had parked near the abortuary. I saw a young woman get out of a SUV. She had a few words with the driver of the vehicle (boy friend? mother?) She left the vehicle. She looked unhappy. I walked by. I looked back. She had gone into the abortuary. Should I have stopped to ask if I could do anything? After all, how could I know she was going in for an abortion? Usual excuses for not getting involved.

I walked by...

I couldn't put the car radio on for some time as that girl's unhappy - and lonely - face remained before my mind's eye. I am no better than the millions of other catholics who remain silent.

I walked by...


  1. Thanks for that post, Father.

  2. Quote: The salt has lost its flavour and there is corruption in the Church that our Holy Father wishes to counter. The "Church" is too preoccupied with commissions, presentation and image, and is failing in its proclamation of the Gospel of Life. The Church is, of course, more than bishops and priests.

    How right you are Father to say that the Church is preoccupied with commissions and such like. Some years ago my own diocese came up with a 'Vision', 'Our future together'. As part of this vision it produced a consultation document in the shape of concentric circles. In the middle circle was the bishop with his vicars general. In the next circle, moving outwards, was the council of priests and the council of the laity. In the next circle was the diocesan pastoral council. In the next circle was the pastoral area council. The next circle was for the parish councils. The next circle included the clergy and their deanery meetings, religious and the associations of religious, and the laity through their lay associations. AND FINALLY, after all this filtering down through all these circles, these talking shops, we find the people of the diocese, the people in the pews, in the outermost circle. No wonder the people in the pews feel outcasts. Our own bishop placed us at the outside margins, perhaps as an afterthought. In my diocese, if you are not a member of a council, or a special minister of some sort then you are a nobody. You are not asked opinions because no one is interested.

    I hope you will understand that I would prefer to remain anonymous - at least as anonymous as most people are in my diocese.

  3. Fully understand. What a terrible way to portray the Church. At least if the Eucharistic Lord were at the centre... But knowing some of my good laity who come to adoration, they'd be right up there with the Eucharistic before many who are commissioned as EMHC's and before many clerics.

  4. You now know how to celebrate the EF. Why not offer a regular "mass of reparation" (violet) on a Friday for the parents that collude in abortion?

  5. I would say the reparation needs rather to be made for those (of us) who could do and say more but who fail to do so. By our omissions we fail to show these parents that they and their babies are important to us.

  6. Heart wrenching post, Fr. J. Yes, a lot of us including myself are guilty of not doing more. Recently I had an opportunity to join a demonstration of prolife people. It was the first time I'd done so. The event was low key - a number of us stood near a very busy intersection in our city the day before Mother's Day and had some positive signs to hold such as "Smile: Your mother chose life" and "Thank you mom, for my life." The event was for two hours total and overall we got a favorable reaction. I think I had only heard one shouted slur, but MANY more were of the positive "God bless you" type. The sun was a little hot, and standing still for long periods tends to hurt my knees, but then I immediately thought "...if Jesus Christ hung on the cross for 3 hours and died for my sins, then it should be easy for me to stand on a corner, hold a sign, smile at people and wave." And it suddenly got easier.

    On a practical note: Those in our local chapter of the Helpers of God's prescious Infants that usually women going in for an abortion are instructed to wear very loose fitting pants, preferrably sweats, because after an operation like that they don't want anything tight or binding in the abdomen area.

    But yes, I feel guilty of all the times I didn't go to these things when I could have. I have noticed another thing about members of my parish who are heavily involved in prolife witness on the front lines before the clinics.

    I've often seen them in prayer the day before. They tend to take a long time (usually before) or after Mass. Silently praying on their own before the tabernacle (or on Friday nights, the Eucharist in the monstrance.) It's not a "group" thing but I can see each person girding himself or herself for the fight against the devil. Each in his own way.

    But let's all at very least make resolve to pray for those who go out and do this battle every week, and pray that we ourselves will try and make every good effort ourselves to get involved in some way or another and not miss opportunities that present themselves.

    God bless you Fr. John. This is one of the best posts you've ever written.


  7. I would say the reparation needs rather to be made for those (of us) who could do and say more but who fail to do so. By our omissions we fail to show these parents that they and their babies are important to us.

    Although more reason to offer that mass of reparation...

  8. We're in a spiritual battle and it is mostly apparent though invisible, at the abortion mill. Conversion of hearts is sought. We hope, with prayer, that the loving burning Heart of Jesus will penetrate the hearts of those inside and outside the clinics. Pray for their conversion. Love saves souls.

  9. Can I ask something?? There are some horrible people in the world, if a girl has been repeatedly raped - (lets take for a horrible example) by her uncle/father/carer, and ended up with his child..... should she have to bear his child?

    I can respect the view that there are shameless people who use abortion as a fallback - but its not always true. As you cannot stereotype any person, I do not believe that you can stereotype against all people who have made the choice to have an abortion. There are some probably many who do abuse it BUT is that not true of anything in this life. Smoking kills some but many still do it.

    I believe that (and this is my personal opinion) it is a necessary evil in a world where there is already too much evil.

    I guess my real question to you is if you know a child has been created through the pain and torment of an abused woman. I could not love a child created out of hate but maybe I am a weak person??? Could you. What would you do if your child had his eyes - could you look him in the face and love him still. I guess this is where god comes into it. I could not love a child born of hate like that. What advice would you offer to a women in a nasty situation like this?

  10. If you have ever met or heard the testimony of a person who had been conceived as a result of rape, you would then know how much that person was grateful to their mother for not killing them in the womb. 'A necessary evil in a world where there is already too much evil?' How can adding evil make the world a better place?

    Smoking kills - not with certainty. I know plenty of smokers who are in their 90's. Is smoking killing them? Abortion kills - certainly, absolutely.

    What does a woman who has conceived in rape need? Our support, and our love, and anything that can reduce the stigma and guilt she may unjustly feel. She has been violated - let not her womb, a place where life is to be nurtured - be further violated by killing.

    'I could not love a child born of hate like that.' Do you mean you would hate the child so much as to kill him/her? Why not let the child be born, look at that child face to face, and then kill him/her? Easier to do it in the womb where you won't have to look at the results of the killing.

    The great commandment of Jesus was to love our neighbour - no matter how he/she was conceived, his/her parentage, etc.

    Abortion is the greatest evil in our society. And let's stop putting the hard cases. The fact is we have some 600 every day in our country. How can it be right to kill so many innocent people?

    From your comments, I doubt that you have real experience of these situations. But if you have, then by all means share it.

  11. In this post, the question is asked: 'Why do so few join us at these prayer vigils? I know 1 reason: we have to go to work to pay the bills.
    But we can pray to be able to get there. I've surrendered it to God in prayer and am now able to go next Wednesday, DV.

  12. You are right! But there are people who don't have to work. They are about other business that is not important. A mother's first duty is to fend for her family and if that means working, she must do it. And of course she needs to be at home!


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