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NEW YORK (LifeSiteNews) — The monthly Manhattan pro-life procession faced a chorus of protesters who marched alongside barricades last week as the New York Police Department (NYPD) maintained order.

On Saturday, May 5, the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral conducted its monthly “Witness for Life: Manhattan event” with a march from the Basilica to the Planned Parenthood on the corner of Mott and Bleecker streets with both sides of the sidewalk closed off from each other by barricades with NYPD officers in between.

“The police did their job and allowed us to exercise our rights,” said Father Lawrence Joseph Schroedel, a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. “It was a good day as far as prayer was concerned, and nobody got hurt. It seemed everyone was safe. From what I know, I think they did a good job.”

This marked the second procession since Father Fidelis Moscinski, a pro-life activist and member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, was sentenced to 90 days in a Michigan prison for a charge stemming from a Red Rose Rescue in the state.

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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.


UPDATE (1/24/23): 

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.


UPDATE (10/26/22): 

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

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In his place, friars such as Schroedel have stepped up to help lead the first Saturday processions.

Sidewalk advocate Bernadette Patel noted how, compared with previous times when Moscinski was imprisoned, the police are doing a better job of working with the other Friars leading the procession.

“They are finally listening,” Patel said.

Despite the police presence, a large number of pro-abortion Antifa activists heckled the pro-life witnesses as they marched down the street and prayed in front of the clinic. Several of the Antifa members appeared to be smoking marijuana and blowing the smoke into the prayerful crowd, which included women and children.

Several opponents of the procession even breached the crowd but were eventually escorted out by the NYPD.

The NYPD’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner reported that four individuals were arrested for disorderly conduct during the Witness for Life procession.

The group that organizes the protest against the procession is known as “NYC for Abortion Rights.” They describe themselves as an “intersectional, abolitionist, socialist-feminist collective of activists,” according to a media advisory released by the group.

“NYC for Abortion Rights” did not respond to requests for comments.

Also attending the procession was New York City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who represents the sixth New York City Council District. She spoke with several members in front of Planned Parenthood in addition to several protesters.

She previously has expressed her support for New York to become “a beacon of hope for allowing women to make their own decisions about their own bodies.”

With so much opposition to the processions, Patel is grateful for the police protection as tensions have risen since the new year.

“Since January it’s getting worse, but it doesn’t compare to the past when they’ve thrown us against the walls. The police are really stepping up,” Patel said.

Schroedel also expressed his hope for the processions for life in the coming months.

“I really believe that God answers prayers, and God made promises that He’s going to keep,” Schroedel said. “Today, He made a promise that whatever you ask of Me will be given if it’s done in My Name. So His promises keep me going. This is what He wants. To stand up for the truth and know that life is sacred.”

Asked how much longer the processions will continue, Schroedel said, “Jesus eventually will come back and there will be no more of this. Until then, we have to witness to the truth, and we can’t allow silence to be the final word.”