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The pro-abortion messages displayed on the National Basilica, January 20, 2022Credit Jack Jenkins/Twitter

WASHINGTON D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-abortion group “Catholics for Choice” projected pro-abortion slogans onto the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception last night, while pro-lifers inside were attending Mass and holding the National Prayer Vigil for Life.

The controversial group that identifies as Catholic used projectors to display slogans onto the DC Basilica last night prior to the annual March for Life, in a move publicized and defended by the group’s director of communication, Ashley Wilson.

The slogans, projected onto the tower and above the main door, read “Pro-choice Catholics you are not alone,” while another stated “1 in 4 abortion patients is a Catholic.”

A third was in the form of a cross bearing the message “Pro-choice Catholics” in the upright and the beams of the cross.

Two further messages simply read “Stop stigmatizing” and “Start listening.” 

Another slogan in Spanish read “my body, choice.”

The dissident and misnomered group “Catholics for Choice” has been publicly disavowed by Catholic hierarchy time and again. “As the U.S. Catholic bishops have stated for many years, the use of the name ‘Catholic’ as a platform to promote the taking of innocent human life is offensive not only to Catholics, but to all who expect honesty and forthrightness in public discourse…It is funded by powerful private foundations to promote abortion as a method of population control.”

The Catholic Church has always taught the “moral evil of every procured abortion.” “This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable,” reads the Catechism. “Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”

Catholic Twitter users have been quick to note this fact, with one commenting “There is no such thing as ‘Catholics for choice.’ It should be ‘Excommunicated Catholics for murder’.”

In a statement released to LifeSiteNews, D.C.’s Cardinal Wilton Gregory condemned the pro-abortion move as “antics.”

“The true voice of the Church was only to be found within The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception last evening,” Gregory stated.

“There, people prayed and offered the Eucharist asking God to restore a true reverence for all human life. Those whose antics projected words on the outside of the church building demonstrated by those pranks that they really are external to the Church and they did so at night – John 13:30.”

But Wilson defended the move, saying “I know that my faith teaches Catholics to honor personal conscience. And yet, the Catholic hierarchy seeks to polarize pro-choice Catholics and villainize people who make the moral choice to have abortions.” 

“I am tired of feeling shame and stigma for being a pro-choice Catholic. And I’m not here for people to judge my own personal relationship with God.”

Speaking to Aletia, John Becker, a spokesman for the group, stated that the protest was “all above board and we made sure we did everything by the book and respectfully.” The protest was conducted by a “small group of staff,” Becker said.

The group soon doubled down on the move, with a tweet claiming that “68% of Catholics want #RoeVWade to remain the law of the land,” but did not give evidence of such statistics. 

However, others were swift to condemn the stunt, with Bishop Joseph Strickland condemning the move as an “atrocity,” “horrible” and “evil.” 

San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone also weighed in, labeling the stunt as “diabolical.”

One man confronted the pro-abortion group, attempting to block the projector, reportedly saying “there is no such thing as a pro-choice Catholic” and “pro-choice Catholics are going to Hell!”

Meanwhile The Pillar’s Ed Condon quipped: 

LifeSiteNews contacted the National Basilica for comment as well as the Archdiocese of Washington, bus has not yet received a response .