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.