Abp. Chaput supports Friday Philadelphia rally against Dem rep who harassed pro-lifers
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May 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM CAP condemned the harassment of several of pro-life women by a pro-abortion Pennsylvania legislator Wednesday and called for participation in the pro-life rally organized for Friday in response.
Democratic state representative Brian Sims’s behavior was “unbecoming of an elected official,” Chaput said, and “rightly sparked broad outrage,” in particular the lawmaker’s call for three pro-life teen girls to be doxxed.
In a statement, Chaput called for “broad participation” in a rally organized by pro-life group Live Action in response, so participants could “meet the hateful actions of Representative Sims with the love of Christ.”
“I’m calling on all people of good will to channel their indignation into right action and prayerful witness,” he said.
On May 2, Sims posted video of himself verbally assaulting a Catholic woman as she prayed the rosary outside a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood abortion facility. Sims continuously stalked and berated the woman during the nine-minute video, calling her an “old white lady” and a racist, condemning her faith and saying what she was doing was “disgusting,” “shameful,” and “grotesque.”
Sims’s video included text he’d posted that said in part, “Push back against Planned Parenthood protesters, PLEASE! They prey on young women, they use white privilege, & shame. They’re racist, classist, bigots who NEED & DESERVE our righteous opposition.”
The video went viral, and subsequently further video surfaced that Sims had shared showing him approaching three girls who’d been praying outside the Planned Parenthood and offering $100 for anyone who would identify them. In the video, Sims also harassed a young man who was praying there.
The videos have spurred significant backlash. A tweet from conservative writer Matt Walsh suggesting a pro-life rally, while inviting Sims, at the same Planned Parenthood where Sims harassed the pro-life advocates developed into the rally organized by Live Action for Friday that will feature Lila Rose, Abby Johnson, Church Militant, and others.
Chaput first noted in his statement how the videos showed Sims “aggressively harassing young and elderly women who were peacefully praying” outside the Planned Parenthood.
“These videos, which Representative Sims took himself, have rightly sparked broad outrage and garnered much attention in the press,” the archbishop said. “His actions were unbecoming of an elected official. There is much bitter irony that he claims to be a champion for the rights of all women yet he trampled on the rights of others and disgracefully shamed them in public.”
“It was particularly disdainful that he offered a bounty for the identity and home addresses of three young ladies in order to encourage protests at their homes,” Chaput added.
The U.S. is founded on democratic principles and civil discourse in the public square, the Philadelphia prelate continued.
“Our elected officials represent all of their constituents,” he stated, “not just the ones with whom they agree. Representative Sims spoke often of shame and there was plenty of that to be found in his actions, which demonstrated a complete disregard for civility and basic human decency.”
Chaput then issued his call for appropriate action and prayerful witness.
“Live Action has organized a prayerful rally that will take place this Friday, May 10 outside the Planned Parenthood Clinic at 12th and Locust Streets here in Philadelphia at 11 a.m.” wrote Archbishop Chaput. “I’m encouraging broad participation in this peaceful initiative. Let us meet the hateful actions of Representative Sims with the love of Christ and let us fervently pray for respect for life from conception to natural death.”
Watch the LifeSiteNews Facebook page for live coverage of Friday’s pro-life demonstration.