BALTIMORE, Maryland, November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) ― Approximately 3,000 lay Catholics are registered to attend the “Silence Stops Now” rally scheduled to take place outside this year's U.S. Bishops conference.
The rally will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET at Baltimore’s MECU Pavilion, a short distance from the hotel in which the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will have their meeting. The Catholics gathered will be demonstrating for an end to the culture of sexual license and cover-up in the American clergy that has led to the ongoing clerical sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.
LifeSiteNews spoke to Beverly Stevens, editor of Regina Magazine, who has publicized the event, on the eve of the rally.
LSN: Beverly, what is your role in tomorrow’s protest?
Stevens: Regina Magazine has been advertising the rally on social media. I have been advising some of the organizers and helping raise funds to defray the considerable costs to small apostolates.
LSN: How many do you think will turn out?
Stevens: About 3,000 have officially signed up. Not sure how many will attend.
LSN: What do you think of reports that the USCCB told police that demonstrators might be violent?
Stevens: I was approached by the Baltimore police myself. They were told that there would be 'blood on the walls' and wanted to know what we had planned. I asked them who told them that and they wouldn't say exactly.
LSN: Were you shocked?
Stevens: I laughed and said it was silly. I told them that these were ordinary faithful Catholics with rosaries and strollers. (They) wanted to know if we were 'law abiding.’ I laughed again and said, 'We are the people who want the bishops to abide by the laws and turn sex abusers in to law enforcement.'
LSN: Why did the police contact you?
Stevens: One of the other apostolates referred them to me. We have law enforcement and military in our family so I understand their concerns.
LSN: How many apostolates are involved in tomorrow’s protest?
Stevens: All that information is (on the “Silence Stops Now” website).
LSN: What do you hope for from the event?
Stevens: Well, now that Francis has forbidden the bishops from addressing the sex abuse crisis, they won't be passing any resolutions.
My hope is that the laity comes away with a deeper understanding of the depth and pervasiveness of this (abuse of the faithful). That we see that the Church is being bled white by a criminal clerical group that is deeply embedded, and that they will destroy the Church we inherited from our forebears if we continue to blindly support them. I also hope that Catholics in other countries are inspired by us, and that they begin to understand their responsibility for the Church locally.
LSN: I wonder what the great pioneering American bishops would think of all this?
Stevens: You mean the ones who braved all kinds of adversity to bring the Faith to America, starting in Baltimore?
LSN: Yes, “Dagger John” of New York and others.
Stevens: I think they are praying that the rot gets cleansed from the Church they fought so hard to build.