Some time ago, I attended a pro-life activism training day led by Ruth (Lobo) Shaw of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, and at the end of the day she led us in a “Choice” Chain. I was surprised by this at first, and a little nervous about participating. For all the pro-life activism I have been involved with over the years, I have never used graphic images. Ruth trained us very well, especially with a hands-on session in acting out the various scenarios we would most likely encounter on the streets. In fact, when we were out on the streets, things happened exactly as she explained they would, and what she taught us really prepared us and truly paid off.
People have a very powerful reaction to the images, and many made this reaction vocal. Unfortunately many that day did not want to have a civil conversation about the real issues, as they simply wanted to tell us how offensive we were, how wrong we were, and how we should not be doing what we were doing. We did have some support, as well as some people walking by without comment, but I was shocked by all the negative reactions we did encounter. The truth about abortion is not an easy thing to deal with, but hiding it does nothing but help the horror continue. As the famous Catholic author Flannery O’Connor said, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it emotionally.” I admire CCBR and their willingness to engage the public with the truth about abortion, ever ready to explain, with loving concern, what it is, what it does, and why it is never okay, in any situation, but that there are positive alternatives.
Furthermore, CCBR always eagerly and readily supports those who are employing other means to help end abortion (E.g. 40 Days for Life, etc.), they keep inviting and offering others to be open to what they have to offer, and I feel very much loved and supported by them. I am truly grateful for being given this experience, as it has opened my eyes a little more, strengthened my faith, and given me new energy to fight the good fight in working to abolish abortion. I hope that many of my dear brother priests, many of whom are scared, busy, not aware of what is at stake, and who possibly have never suffered in life or had their hearts broken by the truth of abortion, would soon join me and never look back.
Father Matthew Wertin
Priest of the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado (USA)
Student of Canon Law at SPU – Ottawa, ON