Jeanette De Melo is the editor in chief for the Register. She recently became co-host to Register Radio along with Thom Price and Dan Burke. Before joining the Register staff in 2012, she served as the Archdiocese of Denver’s communications director, spokeswoman and general manager of the Denver Catholic Register, El Pueblo Católico, and the archdiocesan website. Prior to this position, she was the associate communications director for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, where in addition to managing media relations, she co-produced a weekly archdiocesan television program.
Part 1: Gosnell’s Case Changes Abortion Debate
The trial and conviction of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell for the murder of babies born alive after an abortion and the death of woman due to complications from her abortion has brought to the public a vivid picture of the horrors of abortion—a picture that could rock our conscience as a nation.
Yet the major media were slow to cover the trial for likely the same reasons those who should have enforced regulations on Gosnell’s filthy abortion facility were absent from their responsibilities —the institution of abortion has trumped true care for women (and, obviously, care for the child).
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, was the first guest on Register Radio this week. She described that the “tragedy and horror” brought to light by Gosnell’s trial has brought some who were formerly pro-choice to see that “the abortion movement cared more about the institution of abortion than the individual lives of the people receiving them.”
“That is the moment that is the epiphany that many people are coming to in this moment and the more we talk about it the more people will get there,” she said. One such way for people to understand the reality of abortion is to watch the documentary 3801 Lancaster, which interviews women about the “care” they received from Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society facility as well as neighbors near the Philadelphia business.
Explained Dannenfelser, “The documentary talks to people in the community…no one had any idea of what was happening right next door… They interview women who had been there who had been treated like cattle, run through there like on an assembly line…there was no sense of humanity towards women and their babies.”
The seasoned pro-life leader also talked about a narrow opportunity for change in the abortion policy debate.
“I see the possibility of legislation and there is already the certainly of congressional members going after state authorities and demanding answers on what is going on in their states in terms of regulations and oversight [of abortion facilities]and whether laws are being enforced,” Dannenfelser said.
Dannenfelser’s passion for women and babies is clearly evident in this interview. So is her faith: “We ought to be praying, and I do pray, that [Kermit Gosnell] understands mercy that he has never given. And we of course want his redemption while he is in prison.”
Listen to the whole interview here.
Part 2: Anglican Sisters Come Home to Rome
The second part of our show was entirely different from the first. Darkness, sadness and tragedy are always dispelled by the light of the Holy Spirit. And our second guest definitely shared the Holy Spirit’s work with us.
Dan Burke interviewed Mother Winsome, who together with 11 other sisters converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism and in doing so left home and community to find a new home in communion with Rome.
Mother Winsome’s soft voice, British accent, and thoughtful words convey her total peace in God’s plan for her community.
“The reality for us was that were are already an Anglo-Catholic community so Catholicism was very much in our bones but we weren’t actually catholic and what brought us on this journey was literally the Holy Spirit,” she said.
After Pope Benedict’s invitation, Mother Winsome, explained:
“Sisters started coming to me as mother privately and in total confidence that to tell me that the Holy Spirit was stirring them to come to me and say, ‘Please, mother, I feel I need to be a member of the Catholic Church through the ordinariate.”
So many sisters came to Mother Winsome that as a community they decided to convert to Catholicism and they were received into the Church last December.
In the interview, Mother Winsome shared one sister’s description of the difference between her former Anglican experience and her Catholic one:
“As an Anglican I firmly believed that Jesus was on the altar and in the tabernacle but as a Catholic I know!”
The 11 sisters who converted had to leave their convent, their endowments and their other sisters who didn’t discern the call to be Catholic. “From the moment we became Catholic we’d be homeless and penniless,” said Mother Winsome.
The community has found a temporary home in a Benedictine monastery where they were welcomed by Benedictine sisters. They seek a new permanent home.