North Is Still North!

A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: It’s hard to sift through the insanity that has been thrust loudly in our faces in recent weeks since the Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade, but truth is on our side.

Catholic News Agency has tracked on an interactive map vandalism related to pro-abortion activism since May 2022.
Catholic News Agency has tracked on an interactive map vandalism related to pro-abortion activism since May 2022. (photo: EWTN News)

These days, I sometimes find myself asking whether north is still north. When women are attacked and threatened by anarchists and even government leaders for offering free medical and financial resources, as well as compassionate care, to other women in need, it feels like we’ve lost our north. It’s hard to sift through the insanity that has been thrust loudly in our faces in recent weeks since the Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade. 

 Ever since the Supreme Court’s draft opinion on Dobbs was leaked last May, pro-abortion anarchists have unleashed an escalating wave of violent attacks on Catholic churches and pro-life pregnancy centers around the country. According to Catholic News Agency’s tracker, more than 75 churches, pro-life pregnancy centers and offices/property of pro-life organizations have been attacked since the leaked draft opinion. These pro-life pregnancy centers and churches have been vandalized, firebombed and burned by Molotov cocktails. Facilities of countless pro-life organizations have been smeared with ominous graffiti, reading, “If abortions aren’t safe then neither are you,” “Jane was here” and “REVENGE.” 

 Catholic churches throughout the U.S. have been targeted, spray-painted with depictions of rape and phrases like “Abort the church.” Ruth Sent Us, one of the anarchist groups responsible for many of the attacks, promised to burn the Eucharist to protest “the abuse Catholic Churches have condoned for centuries.” 

 Why are Catholic churches and pro-life pregnancy centers bearing the brunt of these radical attacks?

 The Church has had an enormous impact on the pro-life movement. The Catholic community has for decades worked with other faith groups to assist and uplift women in their communities who are pregnant and need support. Catholic teaching acknowledges what reason, science and the natural law already tell us — that abortion is a grave evil because it takes an innocent life and that formal cooperation in abortion is gravely sinful. Catholics recognize that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God and that, therefore, every human being has inherent dignity that is worthy of protection. We also recognize that true justice cannot come at the expense of innocent lives. 

 In September 1987, Pope St. John Paul II visited the United States and spoke unequivocally against abortion in America, highlighting the fact that abortion was the greatest test of our identity as a free nation. “If you want equal justice for all, and true freedom and lasting peace,” he said, “then, America, defend life from conception until natural death!” Similarly, in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in 2020, Pope Francis condemned the promotion of abortion as one of the “essential services” of the “humanitarian response” to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is troubling to see how simple and convenient it has become for some to deny the existence of human life as a solution to problems that can and must be solved for both the mother and her unborn child,” he said. 

 The sentiments of Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Francis have been central to the work of countless grassroots pro-life organizations and church efforts throughout our country for the past 50 years. We know that we can’t simply rest on our convictions but need to actively work to provide real alternatives to women who think abortion is their only option. 

 This is why the Catholic Church and many other faith-based organizations have joined forces and continue to play a powerful role in the creation and day-to-day running of thousands of pro-life resource centers and maternity homes around the country. These centers provided nearly $270 million in free resources to nearly 2 million women in 2019 alone. The volunteers staffing these centers devote precious time and resources to provide real options to women and tangible support to help them through pregnancy and care of their babies.

 Pro-abortion advocates love to talk about social justice. Yet when it comes to underprivileged and minority women struggling due to unexpected pregnancies, their solution is to prescribe an abortion and forget about them. That is not compassion, and that is not love. 

 We’ve heard their tired talking points about how abortion is a “quick” and “easy” fix that is necessary for women’s success. Yet research shows that more than 60% of women feel coerced into getting an abortion. If women want to keep their babies, why aren’t the so-called “women’s rights”-loving abortion groups offering them ways to do that? Alternatively, pro-life pregnancy centers and maternity homes offer these women the resources, support and, in many cases, the shelter and finances possible for them to not only keep their baby, but to pursue a better life for themselves and their family. 

 Just look at Mary’s Shelter, a maternity home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where pregnant women in need can stay during their pregnancy and up to three years after the birth of their child. The maternity home was there for a young mother of two named Shawnte, who lost her job when she was pregnant with her third child. Shawnte didn’t want to have an abortion, but without a support system or job, she felt that it was her only option. Then she found Mary’s Shelter. It changed her life. 

 Thousands of other women — many in minority or underserved populations — have experienced similar life-changing support from such pro-life organizations. Yet, for years, pro-abortion politicians and groups have denied the existence and care that these organizations provide. More recently, they have begun attacking these groups for the invaluable work that they do.

 Why? Because they don’t offer abortions. Pro-abortion advocates are enraged over the overturning of Roe v. Wade, even though this simply means that the people, through their elected representatives, will decide abortion policy. Their rage has resulted in the countless physical attacks we are witnessing daily on pro-life organizations and churches around the country. It has also manifested itself in the malicious and unfounded accusations that pro-abortion politicians like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have levied against these groups serving women in need. 

 Warren recently claimed that pro-life pregnancy centers exist to manipulate women out of abortion and that Congress needed to crack down on them around the country. It is irrelevant to Warren that many women view abortion as a last resort and that countless women are grateful to discover a pro-life center that helps them keep their baby while pursuing a more fulfilling life for themselves. 

 It is also irrelevant to Warren that her malicious smears could be incredibly harmful and incendiary for pro-life centers and churches around the country at a time when they are suffering escalating attacks from pro-abortion anarchists. 

 The truth doesn’t matter to Warren and her fellow pro-abortion zealots. They hate the success of pro-life organizations, and the gratitude of the women they serve, because it exposes the hypocrisy and the lies of the abortion industry. That’s why these pro-abortion advocates do everything in their power to try to destroy them, and recent events have shown that they are committed to doing so.

 While things may appear bleak, the good news is that life and truth are winning and will continue to win. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently said that, in spite of everything, “north is still north,” and “right is still right, even if you stand by yourself.” 

 Although powerful forces in our nation — the government, the mainstream media and pop culture — may seem to be against us, we must stand firmly rooted in our convictions and knowledge that truth is on our side. Yes, north is still north, and God is always with us. 

 May God bless you. 

Bishop Georg Bätzing during a meeting of the German Synodal Way in Frankfurt Sept. 9, 2022.

The German Problem

A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: The naked pressure tactics on display at the most recent gathering of the German ‘Synodal Path’ are completely alien to the healthy functioning of a collegial and fraternal Church — essentially, they betray the concept of synodality itself.