WASHINGTON, D..C. (LifeSiteNews) — Today Catholicism took center stage in the increasingly contentious “United States v. Handy” trial when an employee of late term abortionist Cesare Santangelo testified under oath that she was a practicing Catholic.
Testifying under the pseudonym Tina Smith, the employee—who has been working for Santangelo since 1988—said she showed her rosary to the pro-life demonstrators on October 22, 2020 during what is known as a “rescue.” Smith said that she told one of the rescuers, “I’m a Catholic. It’s my whole life.”
Security footage submitted as evidence shows demonstrators praying throughout the protest, reciting the Divine Mercy chaplet, the Salve Regina, and the Prayer to St. Michael. One demonstrator can be heard on police body cam video pleading with a woman in the late stage of pregnancy, “You don’t have to do this. Children are a gift from God.”
During a break from testimony, I was interviewing Sister Deirdre “Dede” Byrne in the hallway when Smith walked past. Sister paused the interview to say a Hail Mary. This incurred the wrath of Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who afterwards admonished the woman religious for “intimidating the witness.” The judge also accused Sister Dede of using “intimidation” tactics by making the Sign of the Cross during Smith’s testimony. In addition, Kollar-Kotelly had a heated exchange with defence attorney Robert Dunn for raising objections to the abortion worker describing herself as Catholic.
“That’s very unprofessional,” said Kollar-Kotelly. “And you’ve talked back to me several times. You’re here as a defense attorney, not a Catholic theologian.
Dunn shot back, “But she is mischaracterizing the faith.”
He was right to object. The Catholic Church considers abortion—the destruction of an innocent human life within the body of the child’s own mother—so heinous that it is not only a sin, it is an ecclesiastical crime that imposes automatic excommunication upon any Catholics responsible. This would include any Catholic who takes part in, or even just counsels, an abortion. Thus, it is impossible to be a Catholic in good standing while assisting with abortions.
Sister Deedee also expressed astonishment at the testimony of the “Catholic” abortion worker.
“It’s so disturbing for misguided souls who think that they can stand for the mutilation of babies in the womb and go home in the evening and feel that they have done their work as a Catholic,” she said.
“She has dehumanized the child in the womb, just like the Nazis did in Germany with the Jews,” Sister Deedee continued. “That’s not our faith. God is forgiving, but she has to ask for forgiveness.”
“I fear for her soul. She is in grave, grave danger.”
Jim Hale is reporting live for LifeSiteNews from the DC FACE Act trial