It is with great grief that I report to you that I, Randall Terry, along with Brian Sherwood and Joseph Landry, were arrested on Respect Life Sunday, October 5, at St. Thomas More Cathedral in Arlington, Virginia. We were charged with trespass, held by the police for four hours, then released.
We were arrested for handing out a pro-life brochure on the church parking lot entitled, Faithful Catholic Citizenship. Faithful Catholic Citizenship is based upon quotes from John Paul II from Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life.) Read it at www.humbleplea.com. (See link for Faithful Catholic Citizenship.)
The reason certain bishops find this literature alarming, is because it actually names Obama as a die hard supporter of child-killing. The argument is simple: since Obama would extend the murder of the innocent, a Catholic cannot vote for him with a clear conscience in this election. Certain bishops are hamstrung with the fear of losing their “tax-exempt status” if they name a candidate in an election cycle. So the name “Obama” is off limits, and so is any literature that names him.
The great irony is that we were arrested at St. Thomas More Cathedral.
St. Thomas More was arrested, tried, and beheaded because he believed that the authority of the Church is not subject to the state.
A greater irony still is that St. Thomas More refused to follow the English bishops in their servitude to Henry VIII. Those bishops betrayed God and the successor of St. Peter by their silence and obedience in the matter of Henry VIII’s divorce, remarriage, and his hellish proclamation that he was the Supreme Head of the Church.
The parallels between those English bishops and American bishops today are disturbing and glaring to any student of theology and history.
In exchange for silence and obedience, English bishops saved their lives. In exchange for silence and obedience, American bishops save their tax exempt status.
But oh! Behold the horrifying fruit of cowardice in English bishops! Millions of the faithful were led astray, and the Church of England is now reprobate – embracing a multitude of heresies and abominations.
And oh! Behold the horrifying fruit of the silence of American bishops! Millions of the faithful are so poorly formed in conscience that they believe it is no sin against God or innocent babies to vote for a man committed to slay millions of children. The bishops keep their tax exempt status, while the faithful lose their way, and the innocent lose their very lives.
One can at least sympathize with — though never honor — the fear of English bishops. To speak against Henry’s marriage and his claim to supremacy over the Church would have cost them their lives — as it did St. John Fisher — the only English bishop to oppose Henry VIII.
By contrast, American bishops face no prison, no torture, and no execution. It is the lives of others they forfeit, not their own.
If American bishops had a portion of the courage of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher – and followed the church’s history and pattern of naming the names of heretics, scandalous evildoers, and tyrants – what would it cost?
Bishops would face a few rocky years of bad press and annoying litigation. (See Matt 5:10-12) But in the end, with a little nerve, and a united front with Catholics and evangelicals that groan under this unholy yoke, the IRS bit and bridal would be stripped from the mouths of prelates and preachers alike. This gag would be thrown to the ground and trampled into the earth. And no – the Church would not go broke.
Some well-meaning souls believe that we can submit to the IRS — and not name Obama’s name — and yet remain faithful to God and the Church.
They are mistaken.
It boils down to this: who is Lord of the church? Our Lord Jesus Christ, or Uncle Sam? Who is the supreme head of the Church on earth? The successor of St. Peter, or the IRS?
If Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, St. John the Baptist, St. Justin Martyr, St. Catherine of Siena, St. John Fisher, and a host of others would have simply held their tongue and not named names, none of them would have been hunted, or scorned, or martyred. And the tyrants of their day would have prevailed.
I close with the words of St. Thomas More recorded in a “Man for all Seasons.” Their echo fits our current crisis:
“The indictment is grounded in an act of Parliament which is directly repugnant to the law of God and his holy Church – the supreme government of which no temporal person may by any law presume to take upon him.
“This was granted by the mouth of our Savior, Christ himself, to St. Peter and the bishops of Rome, whilst he lived and was personally present here on earth. It is therefore insufficient in law to charge any Christian to obey it….Nevertheless it is not for the supremacy that you have sought my blood but because I would not bend to the marriage!”
Our “crime” is that we will not join our Bishops in their silence; we will not abandon the babies for money; and we will not “bend to the marriage” between U.S. Bishops and the IRS. We will uphold the authority and freedom of the Church, we will defend the lives of the innocent, and we will resist the slayers of mankind by name – even if they won’t.
Founder, Operation Rescue www.humbleplea.com