NEW YORK, Nov 30 ( – The US government has finally decided to drop charges against a pro-life Catholic bishop and a priest who were charged under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Catholic News Service today reported that the government will not appeal a July federal court ruling upholding a decision to throw out criminal contempt of court charges against retired Bishop George E. Lynch, 82, and Brother Fidelis Moscinski, 30. 

Bishop Lynch and Br. Moscinski had been protesting outside the Women’s Medical Pavilion, a New York abortuary, since 1990; they usually sat and prayed in the driveway thus impeding access. 

In 1996 after the passage of Clinton’s Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), the pair returned and were arrested and charged with criminal contempt. A judge acquitted the charges ruling that the defendants’ “sincere, genuine, objectively based and, indeed, conscience-driven religious belief, precludes a finding of willfulness.”