On May 2nd Politico published a leaked version of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health majority opinion penned by Justice Samuel Alito, which stated after more than half a century, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.” Since the publication of that leak pro-abortion protests have taken place across the country, some of which have turned violent and destructive. A crisis pregnancy center was vandalized in Colorado as well a one in Madison, Wisconsin where a Molotov cocktail was thrown at it and the words, “If abortion is not safe, then neither are you” were spray-painted on the wall.
In an act of wormwood-level irony, a pro-abortion group calling themselves “Ruth Sent Us” tweeted a call to other activists, as well as their own intention to invade and protest at churches Mother’s Day. One such group of protestors who wore hospital gowns smeared with red paint, tried to invade a church in Seattle, while outside the Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City protestors screamed “God loves abortion” as they blocked the procession church members made every Sunday to go pray outside a local Planned Parenthood. Finally, protestors dressed in the now-common Handmaid’s Tale red cloak and white bonnet invaded the mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Los Angeles before being escorted out by security.
However, the most egregious act of protest in the wake of the leaked SCOTUS ruling was an act of sacrilege at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Catholic Church in Katy, Texas where its tabernacle was stolen. According to Lifesite News, “While the perpetrators have not been identified, some are speculating that members of the radical pro-abortion group Ruth Sent Us may be responsible, considering the group announced Saturday on Twitter, ‘We’ll be burning the Eucharist to show our disgust for the abuse Catholic Churches have condoned for centuries.’” The tabernacle was later found outside a local fast food restaurant and of course when found the eucharistic hosts reserved inside were missing. As of this posting, a suspect in the theft has been apprehended but little is being said about the suspect's motive.
The Principalities, Powers, and the World Rulers are on the Attack
The stealing of the tabernacle and the consecrated hosts inside is not only an act of desecration but a criminal offense as well. Moreover the theft in Katy, Texas is part of an uptick in vandalism and desecrations to Catholic churches that have occurred since the “Summer of Love” riots of 2020. And while no one is holding their breath, Rep. Michael Cloud of Texas has urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate these acts as hate crimes and as “diabolical attack on Americans’ sacred right to freely worship and assemble.”
When it comes to the theft of the consecrated hosts though, it is an act of pure sacrilege and is done in animus to the Catholic faith. Stealing hosts is as old as the Church, as they have been used in pagan religious practices and witchcraft throughout history, and in Satanic black masses and Wiccan/Neo-Pagan rituals today. The fact that the tabernacle and the hosts inside were stolen in the wake of protests of the the possible overtiring of Roe v. Wade, hints at a political strategy as well as a religious one.
After all, after before and after the election of Donald Trump as president, witches across the country posted on social media that they were going to cast certain spells every month in order to “drive Donald Trump for the White House.” For while Trump was not overly religious or strongly pro-life, they knew that he was not going to tow their progressive and radical pro-abortion agenda. Thus, with the very real possibility that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that politically active members of the Wiccan community will incorporate their religious practices into their activism. For if indeed the theft of the consecrated hosts was done for occult purposes, they they are now willing to make the proverbial deal with the Devil or whatever “spiritual hosts of wickedness” or “elemental spirits of the universe” they pay homage, in order to ensure that their anti-sacrament's status remains unchallenged.
Fighting the Good Fight
When you take all of this into account, it is clear that churches will have to step up their efforts to protect their buildings and parishioners. Especially since the official SCOTUS ruling is still a month away, and given that Spring now marks the beginning of the unofficial “rioting season”, protests and disruptions will increase in number and intensity as the summer wears on.
Taylor Marshall recently interviewed a security expert who laid out five things churches should be doing from now to protect themselves (it is well-worth a listen). The most important of which is to organize the men into security details to watch all entrances, so as to spot any trouble while protestors are still outside of the church. Furthermore, if your church offers perpetual adoration, now is the perfect time to encourage parishioners to start keeping vigil in the “watches of the night” so that the tabernacle will not be left unguarded. Better yet, perhaps now would be the perfect time time bring back the ancient practice of Nocturn prayer sessions, at the very least for a period of 40 days to pray for a good and peaceful outcome in the SCOTUS.
However, here is where a word of caution needs to be stated. To say we are living in contentious times is an understatement. Even before the SCOTUS leak, the tenor of the times was a heated one as online culture conditioned and stoked people of every walk of life (in and out of the Church) to give the angels of their baser natures free reign. Today, the current fight-geist is worse then ever as words have turned into violence and outright sacrilege.
This why, no matter what security measures are taken to protect churches and their worshipers, extreme caution and self-control must be exercised by those who are posted to security detail. For just as the image of a Christian being a doormat and pushover is a false caricature, so too is the notion of a manly Catholic man acting like modern-day Crusaders who speak or act just as aggressively as the protestors. All of us must recognize the difference between being insulted (to which our Lord instructs us to turn the other cheek) and being assaulted where legitimate but proportional defense of self and others is permitted.
Furthermore, matching hate for hate with the protestors or eucharisitc thieves, who are deliberately trying to provoke an overreaction, is letting them set the ground rules. Christ told his disciples to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” and we should act accordingly, with a bit of sagacity and wit. One weapon (besides the rosary) that can, at the proper time and place, be far more powerful that violence or insults is ridicule.
Seriously, at what point do we mention to one of the pro-abortion protestors dressed in a Handmaid’s Tale costume, “So you are dressing up as a fictional character, from a dystopian novel about a hypothetical future, as means of protesting a problem in the real world? And you expect us to take you seriously?” Or for the protestors in Seattle who dressed in “bloody” hospital gowns, why not just say, “Great costume! Thank you for showing how brutal abortion is for the baby and the mother.” And if all else fails, and if protestors do make it into the church, then what are few wailing cos-playing banshees compared to an entire congregation or a pipe organ breaking into singing “Ave Maria”?
Now none of this is in any way to diminish the severity of violence or sacrilege, it is something to be righteously angry about! But it can in no way ever be a justification for an overreaction, especially when there are other ways of pushing back against protestors that will leave them graced and confused.
God is Not Mocked or Fooled
The preceding advice may not be the answer that a lot of upset people want to hear right now, but is is one, which again, needs to be said. However, try to keep something else in mind. When it comes to the vandalism or desecration of churches or the theft of consecrated hosts, we are talking about an act against the risen Lord who is, as we recite every Sunday, “seated at the right hand of the Father” where he will one day return to pass judgement on us and the world. Hence, his victory over sin, death, and “the worldly powers of this present darkness” is an accomplished reality.
Thus, any act of desecration or sacrilege done against Christ is done in hatred (or we can hope, ignorance) or him, but also done from the position of a lost cause. Even in the case of the theft and sacrilege of the consecrated hosts, those who are “guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” they have indeed brought judgement upon themselves, but it is only by our Lord’s patience and forbearance that they are allowed to do so. In the end, no matter how outraged we get about what has or is going to happen in our churches “vengeance is mine says the LORD” and not ours.
Plus, when it comes to the theft of the consecrated hosts, our Lord is at work in ways that we might not see until later on. Some of you may remember an incident back in 1998 where then president Bill Clinton was given holy communion in Soweto South Africa in 1998 when he wasn't supposed to. Later that year the truth of his affair with Monica Lewinsky was proven and he was impeached. Or more recently, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot, a non-catholic and active lesbian, was given holy communion at a funeral mass in 2021. This last week she took to Twitter to say that the LGBT community should take up arms against proponents of overturning Roe. Given the rise in crime and the spate of spree shootings happening in her city, how long before someone takes her at her word?
The point here is that while Christ may not be repaying any of these incidents of vandalism, sacrilege, or disruption of mass with the kind of fire and brimstone we might have a hankering for, rest assured “God is not mocked” nor is he fooled. And while it can be tempting to hate the pro-abortion protestors or those who have stolen the tabernacle and the hosts inside, it would be better if we prayed for their their conversion. Try not to seem them as offenders who have stolen something of value that will aid them, but instead as having stolen something of great power, like a lit piece of dynamite, that they should really should not be handling. For while our Lord's mercy and love may endure forever, his patience for the evils of the world will not, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done.”
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