Skip to comments.Thank You Bishop Rhoades: A Personal Account of An Abortion Protest With A Catholic Bishop
Posted on 06/20/2005 2:28:21 PM PDT by Pyro7480
by Michael Whitcraft
When I heard that my bishop, Most Reverend Kevin Rhoades, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was planning a procession and rosary in front a local abortion clinic, I was excited and pleasantly surprised. Due to their busy schedule and load of administrative work, few bishops would take three hours early on a Saturday morning to lead their flock in protest.
While this may be understandable, it is a pity. Amid the chaos that defines modern life, we faithful are in great need of shepherds who will take definitive stands and lead us to react against evil. I thank Bishop Rhoades for doing exactly this on Saturday, June 11 and feel honored at having been present.
A Tradition Begins
Bishop Rhoades began the weekly abortion protest years ago, while he was still a parish priest in Harrisburg. Every Saturday morning, he would lead his parish to the Hillcrest Womens Medical Center on Front St. in Harrisburg to pray a rosary asking for an end to abortion. He would also pray that the women seeking abortions would have a change of heart.
After being transferred from his diocese, he studied in Rome, became rector of Mount St. Marys Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland and recently was consecrated as bishop and installed in the Harrisburg diocese. During his absence, his parishioners continued the tradition Father Rhoades had begun. Apparently, he never forgot about it either. When installed as bishop in Harrisburg, he decided to lead his faithful in protest once again.
As we approached the clinic, the festivity waned and a palpable feeling of confrontation was undoubtedly present.
To begin the event, Bishop Rhoades celebrated Mass at 8:00 a.m. and wore red vestments for the occasion. Many priests were present, including EWTN host, Fr. John Trigilio.
After Mass, we drove to a park, a few blocks from Hillcrest Clinic, where a statue of Our Lady of Fatima was placed on a litter and the protesters gathered for the procession. Organizers estimate that roughly 500 were present for the event.
We walked the few blocks to the clinic, singing religious songs and the atmosphere seemed almost festive. However, as we approached our destination, the festivity waned. Arriving at the clinic, I noted a sinister air in the surroundings. This was exacerbated by a group of escorts who callously stood in front of the clinic with cynical faces for the duration of the event.
Just as the rosary began, a motorist drove by honking and screamed:Choice in America! Throughout the event, several motorists also honked, apparently hoping to disrupt the proceedings.
Throughout the protest a group of "escorts" stood watching us with cynical faces.
I was particularly impressed with the calm with which Bishop Rhoades continued to lead the prayers. Apparently well acquainted with adversity, he continued, undaunted. That is not to say that the opposition was unusually fierce or virulent. At no time did I feel threatened in any way. However, a palpable feeling of confrontation was undoubtedly present.
As we prayed, several women came outside to stand on the clinics porch and gawk at the protest. One lady stood with a smile on her face and even recited prayers with us in a mocking fashion. However, her dark eyes and the fashion with which she smoked one cigarette after another seemed to betray profound sadness and a troubled conscience.
As the event finished, I was fortunate to greet Bishop Rhoades. I wanted to express my gratitude for the stand he had taken and the weekly Indult Mass that he approved for his diocese. He greeted me warmly and then continued to greet and bless everyone who approached him.
As the event finished, I was honored to greet Bishop Rhoades to thank him for the stand he had taken and the weekly Indult Mass that he approved for his diocese.
God Bless him!
One of many good young bishops in the US.
Amid the chaos that defines modern life, we faithful are in great need of shepherds who will take definitive stands and lead us to react against evil.
What a great story. Thanks for the ping, Matt.
Personally, I think every bishop should be making trips to the local clinic, if not weekly, at least monthly. If monthly is impossible, then at least during Holy Week. (Reason #8,997 that I'm glad to hear the rumor of McCarrick being booted - he refused to come pray at the abortion mill in nearby Woodbridge while he was in Metuchen).
saradippity, looks like a good guy for your good list!
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Another good one.
Sounds like a great Catholic leader. Pity we don't have a lot more of them.
I recall attending a protest at an abortion clinic led by the late Bishop Vaughan of New York when he visited Australia some years ago. He, too, was a great Catholic leader.
I like this a lot -- truly Christian: protesting evil, in a peaceful manner.
God Bless Bishop Rhoades and God Bless the people of Harrisburg, PA. God's pity on the poor souls who are lost to abortion and other crimes everywhere.
God grant us more Bishops like this one!
Perhaps... (I admit I was the nerdy, picked-on kid in my class). I always figure they were either the artsy male who was into theatre or painting, or the stoner-type.
He fits your profile. Insipid, obsequious and constantly fawning over the femi-nazis that run the place.
"God grant us more Bishops like this one!"
I'll take one of those Bishops!!! ;o)
Well, I don't know much about stoner types, but I always figure the artsy males into theatre or painting are gay, and gay men don't go out of their way to "help" women. I don't mean to offend, I'm just having some fun generalizing.
Take a look at the guy in the picture above. Doesn't he just look like the type of guy who's attached his wagon to some loudmouth, pushy feminazi? I figure this is his way, in a very perveted sense, of finally being a knight in shining armor to a woman in need.
Kevin Cardinal Rhoades of the Archdioces of Baltimore! Not yet, but it has a nice ring to it.
God Bless, your Bishop, and may 1000 turn out the next time.
Outstanding! Thanks for the post! We need more such good men as this from sea to shining sea!
Domenico Bettinelli Blog Ping on the new Bishops and the trend developing...
The new bishops
A friend sends along the following thoughts on the new US bishops appointed by Pope Benedict this week. Bishop Walter Hurley will be going to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Bishop John Noonan will be an auxiliary in Miami.
Bishop Hurley was Cardinal Adam Maidas point man on dealing with priests in Detroit who had to be removed for sexual misconduct. Check out this quote from the bishop during his ordination as auxiliary bishop for Detroit in 2003:
But the shadow of the year-long struggle to combat sexual abuse also hovered over the mass. At the end of the liturgy, newly ordained Auxiliary Bishop Walter Hurley spoke to the crowd on behalf of the three bishops and borrowed a page from Charles Dickens.
While we recognize that the past year will be a defining moment in the history of the church, we are not prepared to acknowledge these are the worst of times, he said. We are, however, prepared to say without equivocation that these really are the best of timesfor never have we been so aware of the need of the Lord and his presence in our lives.
Over the past year, Hurley, 66, has served as Detroit Cardinal Adam Maidas point man in dealing with abusive priests and was promoted recently, at least in part, because of his calm leadership in the midst of that crisis.
Ordained along with Hurley were Auxiliary Bishop John Quinn, 57, until recently Maidas director of education.
Usually director of education is not a title that encourages my hope for someones orthodoxy, but Bishop Quinn is credited for bringing back a renewal of orthodoxy for Detroits seminary.
Bishop Noonan is also currently rector for a diocesan seminary, St. John Vianney in Miami. He, too, is considered to be orthodox.
Were seeing an interesting trend where rectors of seminaries that have decent current reputationsDetroit, Philadelphia, Emmitsburg, Josephinumhave been promoted to bishop. Its a trend that appears to pre-date the reign of Benedict XVI a little. What could this bode for the seminary visitation were supposed to see? What trend does it indicate for the American episcopate? Well have to keep watching.
Update: Well, Ive been corrected. Bishop Quinn was not the rector of the Detroit seminary. My first correspondent actually said that Quinn may have been involved in cleaning up the seminary. In reality, most of the credit goes to Bishop Allan Vigneron of Oakland, who was indeed rector of the Detroit seminary.
My second correspondent says Bishop Quinn teaches a course at the seminary, is what he describes as a moderate liberal and is respectful of conservatives. He says that hes a good man and intelligent, but no conservative. Clears that up.
The exit of Keeler's spineless and prissy non-leadership will be a joyous event indeed.
1. Escorts or "deathscorts" are volunteer-activists who work at abortion clinics to make insure patients have no communication with sidewalk counselors as they walk into the clinic.
2. The word Revolutionary is used here in the sense given by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in his book, Revolution and Counter-revolution available at: http://www.tfp.org/what_we_think/rcr_book_online/rcr_intro.html.
The new breed. God willing in five years the old guard will be in retirement.
I feel so blessed to live in a diocese with a great pastor,who follows Bishop Olmsted,who follows Pope Benedict XVI,who follows Christ. Sometimes I just have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming.
Many (4) of our Catholic churches have had Perpetual Adoration 24/7 for years and I think that has not gone without notice in the heavens.
Praying and speaking Truth in and out of season are Catholics' best weapons to overcome the enemy.
Bishop Rhoades has been on my list. I think our Bishop attended his Installation.
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"Kevin Cardinal Rhoades of the Archdiocese of Baltimore! Not yet, but it has a nice ring to it."
That seems eminently reasonable and realistic to me.
He's been in office since Dec, 2004. Next year, Cardinal Keeler must give his resignation. It would not be unrealistic for our Holy Father to take 18 - 24 months to replace him. By then, we're talking late 2007. Archbishop-elect Rhoades will have had three good years to get the hang of this bishop-thing to become the Archbishop of the Primatial See of the United States.
And then, our prayers would have to be redoubled for this man.