By Kathleen Gilbert
HINSDALE, Illinois, October 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Dominican nun has been seen frequenting an abortion facility in Illinois recently - but not, as one might expect, to pray for an end to abortion or to counsel women seeking abortions, but to volunteer as a clinic escort.
Local pro-life activists say that they recognized the escort at the ACU Health Center as Sr. Donna Quinn, a nun outspokenly in favor of legalized abortion, after seeing her photo in a Chicago Tribune article.
"I've called her sister several times, and she never responded," local pro-lifer John Bray told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN). "But it's her."
Amy Keane, a pro-life witness for 11 years, says Quinn has acted as escort for "six years, at least." Keane described one incident in which Quinn began shouting at the pro-lifers as they spoke to a woman about to enter the abortion facility.
"[Quinn] was so angry, and burst out very loudly so everyone could hear: 'Look at these men, telling these women what to do with their bodies!'" said Keane. "She was so angry, that it really took all of us aback." Keane says that the group was peaceful, and that the men present were not among those engaging the woman.
"For those of us who are Catholic, to have a member of a religious order so blatantly - it is so disheartening. It really is," said Keane. "She's participating actively in abortion. That is what is so disturbing for us."
Sr. Donna Quinn, OP, is renowned in the Chicago area as an advocate for legalized abortion and other liberal issues.
In 1974 she co-founded the organization Chicago Catholic Women, which lobbied the USCCB on a feminist platform before it dissolved in 2000. She is now a coordinator of the radically liberal National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN), which stands in opposition against the Catholic Church's position on abortion, homosexuality, contraception, and the male priesthood.
While LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) was unable to reach Sr. Quinn for comment, NCAN's Sr. Beth Rindler confirmed to LSN that Quinn is still a member of their group, which favors unrestricted legalized abortion and disagrees with the teaching that abortion is intrinsically evil. "We respect women, and believe that they make moral decision, and so we respect their decisions," Rindler explained.
In a 2002 address to the Women's Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School, Sr. Quinn described how she came to view the teachings of her Church as "immoral": "I used to say: 'This is my Church, and I will work to change it, because I love it,'" she said. "Then later I said, 'This church is immoral, and if I am to identify with it I'd better work to change it.' More recently, I am saying, 'All organized religions are immoral in their gender discriminations.'"
Quinn called gender discrimination "the root cause of evil in the Church, and thus in the world," and said she remained in the Dominican community simply for "the sisterhood."
Sr. Patricia Mulcahey, OP, Quinn's Prioress at the Sinsinawa Dominican community, said in an email response to LSN that the nun sees her volunteer activity as "accompanying women who are verbally abused by protestors. Her stance is that if the protestors were not abusive, she would not be there."
Though Sr. Mulcahey claimed that her sisters "support the teachings of the Catholic Church," she declined to comment on Quinn's public protest of Catholic Church teaching.
Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League says Quinn came in contact with his own office in 1982, when she and a group of other pro-aborts picketed his building on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
"She figures it's part of her religion to take these women in and protect them, and get them abortions," said Scheidler of Quinn's recent activity. "Something dreadful has happened to make a Catholic nun become an escort at an abortion clinic - that's the lowest form you can reach, where you escort a woman with a living child in her into a place to have the child killed, and to ruin that woman's soul."
"If I didn't even believe in the humanity of the child - which of course would be crazy - even if I didn't, I would fight abortion for the sake of the women," Scheidler added. "They miss that baby, and they can't get it back. They never can."
To respectfully express concern (See: LSN Guidelines for Effective Communication):
Cardinal Francis George
Office of the Archbishop
Archdiocese of Chicago
PO Box 1979
Chicago, IL. 60690-1979
Sr. Patricia Mulcahey, OP
Prioress - Sinsinawa Dominicans