Despite concerns about both the Covid pandemic and political unrest, San Francisco pro-lifers held the 17th Annual Walk for Life West Coast on Jan. 23. Organizers had expected hundreds of attendees; thousands showed up.
Walk co-chair Eva Muntean was thrilled. “I guess by now I should know better than to sell the commitment of pro-lifers short,” she said. “I’ve never been so happy to be wrong!”
The day began with the annual Walk for Life West Coast Mass, celebrated at 10:30 a.m. by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and 12 priests at St. Mary’s Cathedral. The cathedral’s capacity under Covid regulations is 480, and worshippers spilled out onto the plaza.
Just two days previously, Cordileone had issued a stunning rebuke to Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion. ‘Right to choose’ is a smokescreen for perpetuating an entire industry that profits from one of the most heinous evils imaginable. Our land is soaked with the blood of the innocent, and it must stop.”
At 12:30 p.m. walkers gathered at Civic Center Plaza. Because of Covid regulations there was no rally.
Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., and the Rev. Clenard Childress spoke from the bed of Walk co-chair Dolores Meehan’s pickup truck. Fr. Fessio gave a moving tribute to Joe Scheidler, the grandfather of the pro-life movement, who passed away last week. His voice breaking, Fessio said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” The Rev. Childress, who has been a stalwart of the Walk since 2005 told the crowd: “You are the remnant… there has never been a more important Walk for Life West Coast!… This is a time of faith. That is why you are here right now. You did not come here because of circumstances. You are here because of justice!”
Meehan told the crowd: “You are a beautiful remnant. You’re all standing in the breech for women who have been hurt by abortion, for all the kids who have died by abortion and for all those who need our help today!” Summing up the day she said, “We are incredibly grateful to Our Lady and the San Francisco Police Department for giving us such a safe event!” For the first time in 17 years there was no opposition.
“When we started the Walk, George W. Bush was President,” Muntean reflected. We have walked through four years of the Bush administration, eight years of the Obama Administration, four years of the Trump Administration, and we will walk through the Biden Administration… and whoever comes after! We have walked under three popes and three archbishops. Whoever is in the White House, whoever is in the statehouse, whoever is in the doghouse, we will not falter or fail. We will lovingly and peacefully embrace our responsibilities to the littlest among us and to the women hurt by abortion. If this is what pro-lifers can do in this strange year all I can say is wait till next year!”
The above comes from a news release sent on Jan. 23 by the Walk for Life.
Mass moved inside St. Mary’s in spite of restrictions
Hundreds of worshipers were gathered inside St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco despite California’s Covid-19 health order banning indoor services. The archbishop said a threat of violence prompted the move.
It was a strange sight in the midst of our pandemic as hundreds of worshipers gathered inside the church for a special Saturday Mass prior to the West Coast Walk for Life.
The state’s Covid-19 health order allows small outdoor services but has banned all indoor worship.
“Having Mass indoors is wonderful. I know we’re not allowed to do it, but we’re very safe,” said parishioner Kennedy Ching.
“We had every plan, every intention to hold Mass outdoors,” said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
Cordileone says a security threat prompted him to move the worship service inside — possible violence due to a rumored protest and counter-protest next door at the Chinese Consulate.
“One group that was part of the storming of the capitol, another left wing group,” the archbishop said.
There was a large police presence outside the consulate on Saturday. Dozens of officers were also stationed around St. Mary’s Cathedral.
In a statement to ABC7 News, SFPD said: “There were no specific threats directed toward the church. Our presence was precautionary for the security of all those in the area.”
Cordileone has been an outspoken critic of the indoor worship ban.
“To me it’s unjust and unconstitutional,” he said.
The archbishop says he plans to hold smaller indoor services in the future, with safety measures in place.
The above comes from a Jan. 23 story on ABC7- TV in San Francisco.