Written by Kathy Thompson
One highlight of my recent trip to the US was spending a few days in New York with Monsignor Reilly, founder of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. This was my second stay at the Monastery of the Precious Blood, in Brooklyn, and Monsignor didn’t disappoint in his ability to rekindle my commitment to fighting abortion in Australia.
Thanks for agreeing to speak with me, Monsignor Reilly. We’ve been speaking about bubble-zones – do you have any more to say about that?
I’ve got news for you: there’s an accountability, there’s a judgement on this. You’re killing God’s babies, you’re exploiting the mothers and you want God to say, “Fine. No problem”?
That’s like saying that for crucifying Christ there’s no accountability. What are you talking about? Of course, there is! Of course, there is!
Politicians have no right to pass a law like this, it has no moral force and as a matter of fact, it should be rejected. Even if it means going to jail. It’s not just the breaking of a law, a human life is involved here. A little child’s life is involved here. The bishops and priests have to take a public position in support of the unborn child. If that mother is trying to keep her child, she should not feel that she is alone against society.
In this case here, we’d like to go directly to the site, but if we can’t we’ll work within whatever limitations are put upon us.
Now I have a few questions about our Church’s leadership. Should priests be speaking more about contraception from the pulpit?
The problem with most contraceptives today is that they are abortifacients. Contraception is wrong, of course, because it is contrary to God’s design for married people, but most have this built-in abortifacient effect, which is killing babies. So it is doubly wrong.
Should the priests and the bishops speak? They must speak about it, to save their souls.
They will be held accountable by God. And they must also speak out for the babies who are dying and for the sake of the mothers and fathers whose consciences are driving them crazy. They could start to stay away from the Eucharist, and they’ll start to stray from the Church. Whereas if they had received encouragement and courage to do what is right, they would be very fine Christians, and we would challenge society.
What about the priests who don’t like to preach about abortion because they’re afraid of hurting the feelings of post-abortive women?
Those priests don’t understand at all, what’s going on. Post-abortive women most especially need help and the last thing they want is silence about what happened. They want healing. They want people to recognise the pain they’re in.
Plus the silence will result in other women going down the same route and being in the same situation. The silence will result in other babies dying and the silence is such that God will hold accountable the priests or bishops or whoever they are who are silent. Their souls are at risk. The babies lives are at risk, but our souls are at risk because it’s a real moral issue.
The answer is you have to speak, whether you’re a priest, a bishop or a layperson.
How can we encourage our priests to speak out more?
Encourage them that it’s right and that lives will be saved. Mothers who are being pressured for abortion should feel support from the Church. She should not have silence.
If she’s being pressured by the boyfriend, by the husband or by others to have the abortion and there’s no one standing with her to help her, then it’s wrong. She has the right for the Church to speak out in support of her, to offer her help and so does the unborn child.
Do you think it has more impact on the public to see a priest or bishop on the sidewalk, than simply laypeople?
Absolutely. Absolutely! Remember, at the first Calvary it was all bishops. The ones who died when Jesus died, were all bishops. The first Apostles were all bishops, not priests. There’s no question that when people see the clergy on the street with the lay people on this life issue that the impact is Tremendous.
The absence of the hierarchy in this issue also has an impact. People may wonder, maybe this is not morally wrong, maybe it’s something optional, maybe it’s not that bad. But that is bad because a human life is being taken. And the mother should not be standing alone on this issue. She should have the full support of the Church – that means the bishops, the priests, deacons, the laypeople. Why are they not there?
You and I both know. They lack courage.
There may be some among the hierarchy who think the Church has lost Her moral authority because of the abuse crisis. What would you say to that?
The abuse crisis is a problem. But if you won’t go where a child is being killed, because of abuse, then your moral authority is shot to hell. If you think you’ve lost your moral authority for not speaking out about abuse, then how much more so if you’re not speaking out for the absolute destruction of life?
You have no moral authority. None.
This is not optional. As a matter of fact, if we don’t take a stand, then the Church will lose all moral Authority.
Do you have anything to say especially to Australians, who have a very secular society in which the Church is held in utter contempt?
You know, it’s not that much different around the world today – it’s not that much different in America. We can’t worry about what people think about us. We can’t worry about if the society is for abortion. We have to do what’s right because we’re going to be held accountable by God.
But it’s not just a matter of being held accountable by God: the mothers and children need us. If we go into silence, the babies will die. If the babies die, then the mothers will go into silence with a conscience that’s driving them crazy.
We have to say before God, “At least we tried.”
Are we going to go before God and say, “The babies are being killed and the mothers are being exploited but we didn’t even do a thing? We didn’t even try”?
God will say, “Go to hell. Do you want me to say, ‘come to heaven’? I’m not a fool. These are my children and these mothers need help and you’re the moral leaders. They need your help now.”
SPEAK! For the love of God. Be with them. It’s rather simple, you know?