In a previous blog post, I mentioned that pro-abortion protestors are disrupting Masses and vandalizing Catholic property all across the country. My point was that we need an intense education campaign to combat ignorance about the Church and the issue. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/musingsfromthepew/2022/05/culture-of-life-education/
However, that is a long-term solution. In the meantime, we must deal with pro-abortion terrorists who are perpetrating violent actions against pro-life people and churches, particularly Catholic churches.
Ruth Sent Us
The name “Ruth Sent Us” is a nod to Ruth Bader Ginsburg because of her support for abortion. The irony here is that even Justice Ginsburg criticized Roe for being a highly flawed decision and never condoned violence. Yet this group has tweeted that they will burn the Eucharist.
Their protesters, dressed in red costumes and big hats akin to those in The Handmaid’s Tale, walked into the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles with loud, offensive shouts during a Mass on May 8, Mother’s Day (another irony). They were ushered out by security and some parishioners.
The same group also threatened to disrupt this year’s ordination services. Fortunately, the threat was detected on social media, so a group of Catholic men waited outside the cathedral and dissuaded them from entering.
Another group, “Jane’s Revenge” (the name comes from the Jane Collaborative, an illegal abortion procurement ring operating out of Chicago in the late 1960s and early 1970s) is planning a “Night of Rage” should the Supreme Court reverse Roe vs. Wade.
This new threat has caused the Department of Homeland Security to send warnings to our bishops. Based on a number of earlier actions by this terrorist group, DHS knows that Jane’s Revenge is seriously dangerous.
For example, the Wisconsin Family Action headquarters was hit (also on Mother’s Day) with arson and vandalism—an anarchist symbol, an anti-police slogan, and the phrase “if abortions aren’t safe, you aren’t safe either.”
On May 13, “Jane’s Revenge” and other slogans were spray-painted on the walls of the Alpha Pregnancy Center in Reisterstown, Maryland.
On May 22 at St. Michael Parish in Olympia, Washington, “Abort the church” was spray-painted on a wall. A cell of Jane’s Revenge claimed responsibility for this and similar actions at several non-Catholic churches.
This criminal behavior was repeated on May 25 at Next Step Pregnancy Center in Lynnwood, Washington.
On Memorial Day weekend, a pregnancy resource center (PRC) run by the Miami Archdiocese in Hollywood, Florida, was defaced with pro-abortion graffiti, as was the South Broward Pregnancy Help Center.
On June 3, the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in Washington D.C. was vandalized in the same manner. On June 7, an Amherst, New York, PRC suffered major fire damage and pro-abortion graffiti.
The membership of Jane’s Revenge is probably only in the hundreds, but it’s hard to know since they use the terrorist cell method. They believe that Catholic and Mormon churches are “patriarchal sex abuse cults” while their messages invoke Satan worship.
Citing the situation with Jane’s Revenge, sixteen U.S. Senators have asked the Department of Justice to provide increased protection against acts of violence aimed at anti-abortion organizations.
Threats and Responses
Surely the FBI is also involved because of the threat on Justice Kavanaugh’s life and the one against Justice Barrett. In the latter case, her home and church, even her children’s school were threatened.
The tweet from the extremists noted that Justice Barrett goes to Mass “DAILY.” Obviously, this makes her a religious fanatic unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.
Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, in response to the vandalism there, said these actions express “contempt for the beliefs, values and practices of a faith community and could easily escalate to physical harm.”
Contempt is hateful and hurtful enough, but physical harm goes far beyond any acceptable behavior in a conflict. Will fear cause Catholics to avoid going to church?
Perhaps these attacks will cause pro-choice Catholics to say, “Hey, I’m for choice, but not for violence” (one more irony considering the violence of abortion) and join with pro-life Catholics in defending the Church.
Maybe then people will understand that abortion supporters act out violently because abortion itself is violent.
People who find killing acceptable for any reason are likely to spiral down morally and eventually find killing acceptable for other reasons, especially if killing is determined to be “necessary” to promote their cause. History tells many lessons about that.
Pro-life organizations are calling for calm and asking supporters to avoid clashes with pro-abortion protestors. Perhaps nonviolent defenders of “choice” will be repulsed enough by the violence to increase common ground discussions with pro-life advocates.
How will Catholics respond to this targeted hatred? My hope is that apathetic Catholics will be stirred to show support for and grow closer to the Church. We all must carefully, thoughtfully prepare for this challenge.
The greatest defense is, of course, prayer. We must fervently pray for understanding, for reconciliation and for peace.