And Catholics in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not there,
And hold their valour cheap whiles any speaks
That knelt with us in London’s Bedford Square.
With apologies to the Bard.
Young Catholics, and some not so young, praying the rosary outside a
If I took my grandchildren to see Cinderella and found that the producer had written the ugly sisters out of the pantomime, I would be saddened, and, feeling cheated, would probably ask for my money back. The grotesque outfits, veniality and banal banter of the ugly sisters are the indispensable foil to the beauty, fortitude and kindness portrayed by the character of Cinderella.
Similarly, when I take part in a pro-life prayer vigil, I would feel cheated if the pro-aborts failed to show up. One needs their ugliness, utter absurdities and in your face aggression to fully appreciate the dignity, integrity and gentle charity of a crowd of traditional Catholics on their knees quietly praying.
At the pro-life prayer vigil outside the abortuary in Bedford Square on Friday night (30th March) the pro-aborts did not disappoint; a friend remarked that just watching their antics was worth the entrance fee. The presence of Bishop Alan Hopes leading four or five hundred Catholics in prayer gave the occasion enormous added import and contributed to what was a deeply moving occasion. Bishop Hope is one of two genuinely Catholic bishops we have in England, the other being Mark Davis. They are currently forced to swim in a toxic episcopal sea of post-Conciliar Modernists, which can hardly be pleasant - they both need our support and most certainly deserve our prayers.
Four to five hundred mostly young Catholics endured the taunting and rage of two hundred pro-aborts. It was highly significant that traditional young Catholics who probably represent less than one percent of the population, with a little social networking, were able to put four to five hundred pairs of knees on the pavement outside the abortuary. Yet the Guardian, with the remaining ninety-nine percent of the population to draw upon, and with the backing of the Brussel’s Broadcasting Corporation, could only manage a couple of hundred, tops.
Having been involved in the pro-Life movement for forty-five years, twenty-five of those as chairman of the North-West Kent Life group, I was struck by just how little the pro-aborts have changed over the period. Indeed, it looked as if they had rummaged in the cupboard under the stairs and found some placards that their grannies had made and dusted them off. These placards made absolutely no sense forty years ago, and made no more sense today.
A pro-abort delivering one of
The only change I did notice was that forty years ago when I was organising public meetings, most of the pro-aborts had a young man in tow. These were a recognisable sub-species: they invariably appeared anorexic, pasty, utterly humourless, chain-smoked home-made cigarettes and suffered from rather serious acne. One of the young ladies who regularly shared the platform with me in those days would unkindly whisper, “I think the opposition have turned up Graham. I can see a lot of pineapple faces at the back.” That particular male genre seems to have completely disappeared from pro-abort ranks; a great pity - their presence would have evoked a very pleasant stroll down memory lane.
Pro-abort posters fall into three broad categories: the doggerel, the incomprehensible and those that even the pro-aborts wouldn’t want you to take too seriously. If you can think of a word that is quintessentially Catholic that rhymes (sort-off) with something connected with female genitalia, this is considered a killer argument among pro-aborts: consequently, signs such as “KEEP YOUR ROSARIES OFF MY OVARIES,” and “KEEP YOUR EUCHARIST OUT OFF MY UTERUS,” abounded. One of my grandchildren brought home a similar slightly irreverent rhyme that he had learned in the playground, and chanting it ad-nausea for about a fortnight - however, he did have the excuse of being eight at the time. There’s probably a cottage industry waiting for some Catholic designing such posters for pro-aborts: the best I could come up with is, “Keep your holy water off my daughter,” but that is clearly not sufficiently indelicate for pro-abort taste, so, it’s back to the drawing board I’m afraid. One of the incidental high-lights of the demo was watching a smart middle-aged gentleman dutifully chanting “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries,” - the mind boggles...
After the doggerel come what one can only call the “search me” placards. These are the ones that when a colleague says to you, “What on earth’s that all about?” you reply, “Search me.” One placard definitely in this category read, “IF YOU ARE SO PRO-LIFE, WHY DON’T YOU PUT GUARDS ON CEMETERIES?” The last man to post a guard on a cemetery as far as I recall was Pontius Pilate at the behest of the Jewish leadership; Pilate was hardly pro-life and what it has to do with the current price of fish, I have no idea. Another poster in this genre read, “STOP THE CUTS”! Whether the man holding it aloft was from rent-a-mob and had joined the wrong demo or merely picked up the wrong placard we sadly may never know.
Among the placards that “even the pro-aborts wouldn’t want you to take too seriously” was, “IF YOU CAN’T TRUST ME WITH A CHOICE, WHY DO YOU TRUST ME WITH A CHILD?” Imagine turning up at the nursery to collect your toddler and the nursery manager nonchalantly telling you that she had killed little Johnnie. Then, in response to your explosion of outrage and grief, coolly responding, “If you can’t trust me with a choice, why did you trust me with your child.” The same “argument” would clearly legitimise the killing of five-year old, and indeed seventeen-year olds for that matter. Although, seventeen-year olds may fight back, and I suspect that abortionists prefer their victims not to do that - leastways not successfully.
The other sign falling into this category is the old chestnut from the sixties, “EVERY CHILD A WANTED CHILD”. The corrupt police and private security forces in Brazil who have been cleaning up the streets of Rio de Janeiro by killing street children (in 1994, 1221 street children were shot dead - 344 under the age of 11) ought to wear that slogan on their cap badges. All these slogans of course basically say the same thing, “DON’T MESS WITH MY RIGHT TO HAVE SEX WITH MEN I DISLIKE SO MUCH THAT THERE IS NO WAY I’D WANT TO BEAR THEIR CHILDREN.”
What passes for a killer argument
At one point several young ladies with big drums turned up and tried to drown out our prayers. There was also a particularly interesting character: an elderly woman dressed in the severe drab manner of those who have self-certified themselves intellectuals, a poor man’s Beatrice Webb with “Guardian Reader” stamped through her like a stick of Brighten rock. She came complete with the statutory bike, no doubt her single-handed contribution to stopping global warming dead in its tracks. She obviously considered herself an elite member of the SAS of the pro-abort forces, for she studiously eschewed standing with her co-religionists, choosing instead to work alone behind enemy lines. To this end she had wired up a couple a claxons on her handlebars and, positioning herself close to our left flank, sounded them incessantly.
While one can obviously pray quietly, and indeed silently, pro-abort protests rely heavily on making noise, and lots of it, these ploys therefore appeared to be a classic case of shooting yourself in the foot: it couldn’t stop us praying, but it very effectively rendered their own chanting inaudible.
One of the slogans they shouted incessantly, rather like a Buddhist trying to work himself into a coma, was, “Stop harassing women.” Evidently, several score pro-aborts, their faces contorted with rage, repeatedly screaming this slogan into the face of a kneeling teenage girl quietly praying her Rosary doesn’t constitute harassment; obviously being a fully-paid-up card-carrying member of the secular asylum results in a certain blindness - leastways, as far as being able to spot irony is concerned.
One highlight of the evening occurred when a Guardian-type reporter put her mike in the face of a young Catholic and said something to the effect, “Do you not believe that woman have a right to choose?” He responded along the lines, “Choosing to kill someone is a pretty radical choice.” “We don’t believe that it is a human being,” responded the reporter. “What species do you believe it to be then?” politely enquired the young man. At which point the reporter remembered she had another urgent commitment and vanished in the proverbial puff of blue smoke.
Pro-aborts coalesce round their narrow concept of “freedom”, but evidently lack the mental subtlety to understand that “freedom” is a multi-faceted word. As Fr Frank Pavone has pointed out, the “freedom” to own a Porsche is a different sort of freedom to the freedom of an animal caught in a trap to escape by gnawing its leg off. The freedom of a young woman to kill her own child because she feels trapped by an unwanted pregnancy is obviously closer to the latter sort of freedom than the former. The pro-abort mind is so darkened by their hellish creed that they are genuinely unable to understand that offering to remove the “trap from her leg”, enhances her freedom, not diminish it.
Whereas the pro-aborts have fossilised somewhere in the sixties, the pro-life movement has changed radically. In the early days we studiously avoided such issues as artificial contraception, chastity and religion. Our logic was that we wanted to create a broad front. People of all faiths and none could unite behind the moral principle that no one had the right to deliberately take the life of an innocent human being. We concentrated on nailing pro-abort propaganda lies, especially those intended to dehumanise the unborn child. In this we were broadly successful; referring to the unborn child as “foetal jelly” or the “products of conception”, once the norm in pro-abort propaganda, are now rarely heard. These lies have been effectively buried by ultrasound scanning, a medical breakthrough pioneered by the late Dr Ian Donaldson, himself a staunch pro-lifer. Films like the Silent Scream, shot by an ex-abortionist, that showed an unborn child desperately trying to avoid the abortionist’s probe, put the final nail into the coffin of these lies.
In the last decade the pro-life movement has been taken over by a new generation of radical traditional young Catholics; when one of your supporters turns up on skateboards, rather than with the aid of a walking stick, you know that something of a tectonic shift has taken place. Where these militant young Catholics are coming from is a complete mystery, for nothing in contemporary culture, or in the emasculated post-Conciliar Church, or the current corrupt Catholic school system can explain their sudden explosion upon the scene. However, many, maybe even the majority, appear to have been tempered in the crucible of the Old Mass, the rite of our forefathers, saints and martyrs, recently released from forty years of illegal incarceration on the orders of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning.
What these young people have instinctively realised with the simple, even simplistic, vision of youth, is that the modern slaughter of the innocent on an industrial scale is quite literally Satanic, and therefore what we are facing is a profoundly spiritual evil. They further realised that the only way to fight a spiritual evil was with spiritual weapons. Unilaterally, and seemingly overnight, they decided to go nuclear, and left the old guard running to keep up with them. The close links between artificial contraception and abortion was no longer swept under the carpet, chastity was now openly promoted and henceforth their religion would be in the open, in your face even, and prayer and the rosary were to be their heavy artillery. Very soon they were on their knees outside abortion clinics all over the world; and not just for an hour or two, they kept up their prayer vigils for forty days non-stop!
One is reminded of the Spanish Conquistadors who, on discovering that the Aztecs were slaughtering babies on an industrial scale, threatened all out war, a war that was only averted by the appearance of Our Blessed Lady at Guadalupe. That the diagnosis of the evil of these traditional young Catholics, and their chosen remedy, were absolutely spot-on is underscored by the fury of hell that it has unleashed. The effect on the pro-aborts was like throwing holy water over a man possessed, a veritable explosion of demonic and irrational rage erupted, all underscored of course by fear - and my goodness, how the godless fear the power of prayer, especially the Rosary!
The success of these militant young Catholics has been nothing short of phenomenal. The lives of thousands of babies world wide have been saved, thousands of woman have been rescued from grave sin and a life of regret, even some of the staff of the abortuaries have repented their role in the barbarism and courageously crossed the road to join the young people on their knees, and a significant number of abortuaries have closed their doors permanently.
The most moving moment of the evening for me came after the official prayer vigil was over, the young people, seemingly spontaneously, as if the Spirit had breathed upon them, started to sing the Áve María, grátia pléna … They sung it sweetly, gentle and in perfect harmony. The pro-aborts responded with a hellish fury; a cacophony of yelling, drum banging, whistles and clarion soundings filled the air. Several pro-aborts had to be forcefully restrained by the police from crossing the barriers separating them from the young people. The young Catholics appeared not even to notice the existence of the pro-aborts, they continued to sing sweetly, gently and in perfect harmony - it was as if they had moved onto some higher plain of being. I have the distinct impression that these young Catholics are just getting started; and I confidently predict, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”