And so it was that I was scheduled to appear at a Catholic Men’s Conference in Worcester, Massachusetts on March 16, until today, when the Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Robert McManus, directed that my appearance be canceled. McManus was under pressure from Islamic supremacist groups who were calling and emailing the diocese demanding that he cancel my appearance. I’ve been informed that they were asked to call the diocese and demand the cancellation by a Boston Globe reporter named Lisa J. Wangsness, who contacted me this morning and appears to have instigated the entire controversy.
It will win us no friends and simply embolden those who hate the church and wish to bring us down.
I know Robert Spencer, he’s a good and honorable man, Bishop Robert McManus is a good man and has been an excellent bishop but the key word here is “man” and every man makes a bad move on occasion.
The dis-invitation of Robert Spencer to this year’s Worcester Catholic Men’s Conference is not a sin, but it is a shame.
I have sent an e-mail urging the Bishop to reconsider this decision and I would further urge you to pray the Bishop be given discernment, (Perhaps the guardian Angel prayer).
Angel of God his guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits him here, ever this day be at his side, to light, to guard to rule to guide.
This btw is a prayer that should be used liberally for people and for yourself in times of temptation.
Friday I attended the Stand up for Religious Freedom Rally at Carter Park in Leominster Mass.
I arrived just under an hour early as things were getting setup. The National Pro-Life action league provided the Largest banner
but left each individual location to handle the details themselves.
By ones and twos people continued to arrive
to express their opposition to the Obamacare mandate against religions organizations
and I did a quick peek before things actually began:
The crowd in Leominister was strong 112 by my count (with single folks continuing to come as the Noontime sun weighed down upon the faithful. (I’m told the number reached 137) It was matched and echoed throughout the country as people in 160 cities throughout the United States as on rallied to stand up for Religious Freedom. In Worcester the crowd was reported at crowd reached 250. I talked to GOP Legislative candidate Justin Brooks before things actually began.
A fair amount of press was also there to cover the event
Linda Kinsey opened very directly saying she would not will not stand still while the government attacks my constitutionally protected freedoms “Will you? She challenged the crowd.
After an opening prayer, she introduced Patti Taylor who read a letter from Bishop Robert McManus on the subject.
In the letter the Bishop noted that we need to equip our fellow Catholics so they may further inform others concerning this issue. As he put it:” Religious Liberty is the first liberty granted to us by God and protected in our Constitution… It encompass our ability to contribute freely to the common good of our fellow Americans” and also noted that it was not only Catholics that were threatened. He wrote that fertility and pregnancy is not a disease but a sign of health. And announced a June solemn vespers in Worcester for June 22nd to pray for religious liberty.
After the Bishops letter former Leominster Mayor Stephen Perla addressed Obamacare mandate
Unfortunately I accidentally left my ringer on my cell phone on so I had to quit the shot before the speech was done, but I did a 2nd pan of the area and caught the end of his remarks as I did.
As a Large crane worked on the steeple of his church across the street Fr. Thien Nguyen of St Leo’s parish spoke of his life in communist Vietnam and the oppression of those who would dare to express their religion publicly. Although his English was not good his arguments were powerful particularity when he spoke of not being able to freely express his religion in Vietnam and seeing the same thing beginning to happen here, the very thing he came here to escape.
After a closing prayer and a pair of patriotic songs things closed, Many people came forward to sign up to take action. I talked to one woman who came all the way from Marlborough
With a group of friends
Bottom line, if a small event is able to draw over 100 during a quick-lunch hour on a workday in a city the size of Leominster with other rallies less than 90 minutes away it adds up the a bad end to a bad week for the White House and it’s allies on Obamacare. The photo gallery follows
Such events do not take place on their own, if you would like to help defray the costs here is the address where you can contribute:
Leominster Stand up for Religious Freedom committee
C/o St. Anna’s parish
199 Lancaster Street
Leominster Mass. 01453
Every single day the Catholic Church feeds more people, houses more people , clothes more people, visits more imprisoned people and educates more people than any other institution on the planet earth can ever hope to.
Matthew Kelly Worcester Mass. March 20th 2010
Last Night I was in Worcester where 390-400+ people attended a fundraiser for Visitation House.
While the Worcester Telegram focused on the controversy concerning Anna Maria College and the Bishop worthy of Page B1 and some of the remarks of former Mayor & Ambassador Ray Flynn (Page B12) they had little to say about the actual mission of Visitation House.
Visitation House ministers to pregnant women in crisis. Here is a description from their web site:
Grounded in the Gospel and in the culture of life of the Catholic Church, Visitation House is a home that welcomes women with crisis pregnancies in the spirit of Elizabeth, who welcomed her cousin the Virgin Mary with awe-filled joy and true hospitality of heart. In this spirit, Visitation House provides material, emotional, and spiritual assistance to these women, as well as the peace of living in a Christian home.
By providing housing and basic living needs at no cost, we seek to address the needs of pregnant women who want to choose life but feel that they have no real means or resources to do so. A woman who comes to Visitation House will learn how to access the services that are available to her and will take part in a basic life skills training course. Visitation House draws its mission and its strength from the Gospel of Life; therefore a woman who comes to stay with us will learn about Catholic teachings on human life and the greater good to which these teachings call us. Additionally, she will have opportunities to be involved in the prayer life of the house while being encouraged to nurture her own prayer life for her benefit and that of her baby. Thus she will be able to come to a greater understanding of her own dignity, while living in a community that welcomes and nurtures life.
Here is my interview with Jim Williams the Chairman of the board:
I hate to admit it, I had never heard of Visitation house until yesterday, I wonder how many of my fellow Catholics hitting the Bishop over Anna Maria or people in the MSM who hit the church over contraception realize the work that is done here and all over the country for women.
This is what pro-life is all about. If you’d like to help you can donate online here.
Update: I recorded a lot of interviews, I’ll be posting them over the next few days