From John Burger at Aleteia:
“Pro-choice Catholics, you are not alone,” read a large sign at one of the many public events in conjunction with this year’s March for Life.
Not surprising, since there are usually a handful of pro-abortion counter-protestors at the annual march, which commemorates the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.
What was different about this one was that it was spread across the front facade of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. And the basilica – the largest Catholic church in America – was filled with pro-life Catholics attending Mass and the National Prayer Vigil for Life.
The Catholic Church reaching out in a merciful gesture to those in opposition to her teaching on human life? Hardly.
So I’m outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in DC, and Catholics for Choice is here projecting messages onto the church in support of abortion rights.
The protest coincides with the basilica’s “prayer vigil for life,” happening inside. pic.twitter.com/0y1M7X9ByC
— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) January 20, 2022
The message, spread across the front of the basilica like a banner headline, was being projected from a pedestrian island on Michigan Avenue by a small group from the pro-abortion advocacy group Catholics for Choice.
“1 in 4 abortion Patients is Catholic,” another projection, this time up and down the bell tower, proclaimed, alternating with others that read, “Stop stigmatizing, Start listening.”
First reported on Twitter by Religion News Service national reporter Jack Jenkins, the projections included the name Catholics for Choice. John Becker, spokesman for the group, confirmed to Aleteia that “it was Catholics for Choice that carried that out.”
“We did it in tandem with the March for Life, because we felt it was important to put forward the truth that the majority of Catholics support abortion access and that the March for Life in DC gets a lot of media attention, but they don’t speak for us.”
UPDATE: Response and statement from Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory:
“The true voice of the Church was only to be found within The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception last evening. There, people prayed and offered the Eucharist asking God to restore a true reverence for all human life. Those whose antics projected words on the outside of the church building demonstrated by those pranks that they really are external to the Church and they did so at night – John 13:30.”