On Monday, I expressed my horror at Abby Johnson’s unprovoked attack on the Protestant bishop and civil rights activist Talbert Swan. Abby attacked him by saying he didn’t understand “the real racism,” and then she called him “Tyrone,” a “thug” and a “stain.” This isn’t the first time Abby has been called out for racism, but it’s the most obvious and horrendous I can remember. She can’t claim ignorance this time.
People from all across the political spectrum called Abby out for her abusive behavior, but she kept doubling down. At one point, she asked to be given “some grace” for her “sharp tongue,” because she prays about it every day. She keeps saying it is a “very difficult week” for her because of it being the anniversary of deciding to leave Planned Parenthood– which you’d think would be a joyful occasion.
However, when asked if she was going to apologize, she said “no.”
She wants to be given grace, but she doesn’t want to make a public repentance. I don’t think she’s a very good Catholic. May God have mercy on us all.
I didn’t particularly care to write about Abby Johnson again. However, late Tuesday night and early this morning, she went after a friend of mine.
My friend Father Stephanos Pedrano, a Benedictine monk and a priest of Filipino heritage, was one of the probably hundreds of people of all races, sexes and creeds who fraternally corrected Abby Johnson for her racist tantrum. He has been a monk for decades longer than Abby Johnson has been a Catholic. He is pro-life and faithful to the teachings of the Church. She doesn’t know him from Adam. And he’s not really a public figure; he takes care of the email and such for the monastery which is why he’s the one with a social media account. He only had 181 followers the last time I checked; Abby has tens of thousands. I hope she doesn’t after this, but for now.
Abby attacked him, no doubt hoping to get her followers in on the harassment act as well. She claimed, without evidence or even knowing who Father Stephanos is, that he was a heretic who needed to be “purged” from the Church.
“Another priest who should not be a priest. We need to purge the Church of these heretics.”
She called an elderly Benedictine monk a heretic with no evidence of his supposed heresy. I guess Abby views herself as the Pope and honestly thinks that anyone who doesn’t like her is a heretic. And then, she called for a “purge–” a violent verb to use, and an iffy one so soon after being called out for white supremacism in my opinion. Yes, the word can mean many things, but let’s remember that the Nazis were famous for a “purge.” And she didn’t do this to any of the other people calling her out, as far as I know. She did it to a priest with a noticeably non-Caucasian name and a dark-skinned face in his profile picture.
When called out for this, she doubled down:
She said my friend was “as lost as James Martin.” And this isn’t the place to talk about Father James Martin, but I’m just going to point out again that she doesn’t know Father Stephanos. She doesn’t even know what she’s talking about and she’s attacking him for being a heretic because he called her out for calling a black cleric a thug. And calling down her followers on him in the act of doings so.
She just kept doubling down again and again:
Again, with no evidence whatsoever, she asserts in front of her thousands of followers that a priest doesn’t follow Church teaching. When all he did was tell her that she shouldn’t tweet racist names at people.
In case there’s any question about this, it is not against Church teaching to call out someone whose sin is creating a public scandal, as Abby’s did yesterday. In fact, that falls under the category of instructing the ignorant as well as admonishing the sinner– two works of mercy. Father Stephanos was defending real Church teaching to anyone who might’ve been misled by Abby’s horrific behavior, and he was giving her a chance to repent as well. Racism is a sin, as we covered yesterday. And in addition to racism, what Abby’s doing is calumny, the sin of making false and defamatory statements to hurt a person’s reputation. That is against the Catholic Church and a serious sin against the commandment “Thou shalt not kill.” It’s also libel.
This is a woman who presents herself to the public as a devout Catholic, and who charges between ten and fifteen thousand dollars for speaking engagements. She started this mess by being openly racist to one cleric of color and now she’s picking on a pro-life Filipino Catholic monk.
Somewhere in all of this she reiterated that she can’t be racist because she has a black son, and in doing so she reiterated the “angry black man” racist stereotype from yesterday.
It’s entirely possible for parents of black children to be racist, and Abby is demonstrating this in spades. God help her child.
She ought to be deeply ashamed. She owes Father Stephanos, Bishop Talbert Swan and all of the followers she daily misleads a profound apology, and she ought to step down from any kind of Catholic or pro-life leadership position.
(image via Pixabay)
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