NEW YORK (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-life march through the streets of New York City was interrupted on Saturday after a group of pro-abortion activists blocked the route normally taken by marchers during the monthly event.
On Saturday, February 4, the “Witness for Life: Manhattan event,” which occurs every first Saturday of the month, encountered resistance the entire length of the procession – from its beginning at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral all the way to the Planned Parenthood located on the corner of Mott and Bleecker Street, about a five-minute walk away from the cathedral doors.
BREAKING: Pro-life March in Manhattan Sees Huge Demonstration and Antifa pic.twitter.com/ywc7xw5dA2
— LifeSiteNews (@LifeSite) February 7, 2023
“It was a very difficult procession because the pro-abortion people were blocking us the whole way,” said Father Fidelis Moscinski, a pro-life activist and member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. “The police were completely passive even though we had a permit that was approved by the police department for our procession.”
The route typically takes five minutes by foot; however, the Saturday morning procession took nearly an hour to reach the Planned Parenthood premises due to the disruption.
The delay was the result of a group of pro-abortion counter-protestors blocking the sidewalk the procession usually takes. The group, referred to as “the opposition” by Moscinski and other members of the Witness for Life, would only slowly step backwards after repeated warnings from an automated recording from the New York Police Department.
The warnings, which included the possibility of arrest for unlawfully obstructing pedestrian traffic, were issued within the first ten minutes of the procession and continued throughout.
According to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner the NYPD provided no additional comments or had any records of arrests made during the procession.
UPDATE (3/30/23): Fr. Fidelis is jailed along with another pro-life hero
Father Fidelis has been sentenced to 270 days in jail by a Michigan court, while fellow Red Rose rescuer Matthew Connolly was sentenced to 90 days in jail and told to pay fines.
The CFR priest will serve his sentence (90 days per 3 charges) concurrently, so he will be behind bars for 3 months.
Like their companions Elizabeth Wagi and Jacob Gregor, who received lighter penalties, Moscinski and Connolly were pronounced guilty of “trespassing, resisting arrest, and disturbing the peace/interfering with a business” on February 24, 2023 at the 46th District Courthouse in Southfield, Michigan.
Wagi received 18 months’ probation with fines and was ordered not to go anywhere near an abortion facility or her co-defendants. Gregor got 12 months’ probation with fines and 10 days community service. He was told not to speak to convicted church members.
LifeSiteNews is still awaiting news of Dr. Monica Miller and Laura Gies, who were found guilty of trespassing and resisting arrest.
The Southfield trial stemmed from a Red Rose Rescue at the Northland Family Planning abortion center, one of three abortion centers owned and operated by Renee Chelian, on April 23, 2021.
Pro-life priest and Red Rose Rescuer Fr. Fidelis Moscinski has been found guilty of violating the Freedom to Access Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
Yesterday Fr. Fidelis was convicted of the federal crime for a July 2022 “lock and block” rescue he conducted at a Planned Parenthood in Hempstead, New York. The priest is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24 and faces up to six months in federal prison.
Sign the petition to let Fr. Fidelis know you support him and are praying for him.
A Pennsylvania court issued a split ruling against a pro-life Franciscan priest and activist arrested after he entered an abortion clinic to help women choose life.
Father Christopher “Fidelis” Moscinski was found guilty of two misdemeanor charges and not guilty of a felony trespass and a misdemeanor resist, for participating in a Red Rose Rescue at a Planned Parenthood.
Fr. Moscinski entered the clinic on August 27, 2021 with red roses and pro-life literature ready to hand out to women and persuading them to choose life for their children.
Fr. Fidelis has participated in many Red Rose Rescues at abortion centers, and for this has been imprisoned multiple times.
He was also previously arrested for trying to save babies in Ohio in June 2021 and in New Jersey in January 2020.
After the court decision, Fr. Fidelis urged people to “continue keeping all pro-lifers anywhere who are facing charges, especially federal charges, in your prayers, and that God can bring some good out of this unjust persecution.”
Sign this petition today to let Fr. Fidelis know you stand with him and his heroic fight to save unborn lives from abortion.
Fellow pro-life activist and Red Rose Rescuer Will Goodman told LifeSite’s Jim Hale that the court’s ruling to drop one felony and reject another was a “big victory.”But the crackdown on pro-lifers continues!
Just recently the Biden administration targeted Fr. Fidelis and other pro-life activists for Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) violation charges.
This same law was also used by the FBI to raid the home of pro-life Catholic dad Mark Houck last month.
It’s really a disgrace that in America pro-lifers are increasingly being attacked and persecuted simply because they stand for life.
Fr. Fidelis Moscinski needs your prayers and support now more than ever as he continues to fearlessly battle for the unborn.
SIGN THIS PETITION TODAY to tell Fr. Fidelis you stand with him and his courageous fight!
‘Big victory’: Felonies tossed in split verdict for priest attempting rescue of unborn
BREAKING NEWS: Father Fidelis Legal Verdict reaction LIVE by Legal team
FBI charges pro-life priest with violating abortion access law one week after Mark Houck raid
“We continually object to the fact that our procession is being blocked, and we are in dialogue with the Community Affairs department. We are receiving legal counsel so that our Constitutional Rights are being respected,” said Moscinski. In addition to the protestors attempting to interfere with the procession, a blast of arctic air dropped temperatures to below zero, with wind gusts exacerbating the cold.
This especially concerned Bernadette Patel, a Sidewalk Advocate who gives resources to abortion-minded women in front of clinics like the Planned Parenthood at the end of the processional route. She credits The Holy Ghost for her ability to stand, mainly alone, directly in front of the clinic alongside abortion supporters.
“It was really peaceful compared to other days. It was just really cold,” said Patel.
This concern was heightened when she heard the pro-abortion protest beginning to chant outside while the 8:00 a.m. Mass that preceded the procession was ongoing. “I was kind of worried for them because they looked really cold. They came at 8:00 a.m. They were in the cold for 30 more minutes than us. I felt really bad for them,” she said.
Despite the difficulties of the day, Moscinski recognized the positives in the unfolding of the event, noting that “we did complete our procession. We went to the Planned Parenthood, prayed, and we came back to the church. We vindicated our right to have a public expression of our faith. Of course, we were praying for the mother, father, and children the whole time.”
With this in mind, he highlighted two aspects that give hope to both himself and the entire movement.
“Natural law is written in every human heart,” Moscinski reflected. “On some level, unless a person has totally distorted their conscience they know killing children is wrong, but then even more hopeful is that Christ is offering his grace to all of us every day. Once we say yes to him then so much can change in a short amount of time.”
Last month, Moscinski was found guilty on federal charges relating to the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) for blocking the entrance of a Planned Parenthood in New York last July in an attempt to save the lives of unborn children.
He now faces up to six months in a federal prison and will be sentenced on April 24.