Catholics protest President Obama’s contraception mandate during his visit to San Francisco

Around 150 Catholics prayed the rosary, sang the Ave Maria and We Shall Overcome, waved Vatican flags, and stood for religious freedom and the Constitution in San Francisco last night, a city that cast more than 85% of its votes for President Obama in 2008. One young man climbed a tree and waved an American flag surmounted by a banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The impromptu protest came with only three days advance notice that President Obama would be in the city for a campaign fundraising event. Earlier Thursday, the president attended a $35,800 per plate dinner in Pacific Heights, the city’s “Billionaire’s Row.” The San Francisco event was a more modest $100 per person affair at the Masonic Auditorium atop Nob Hill. 

Catholics — and others – gathered across the street to protest the recently announced Obama Administration’s HHS contraception mandate, which has drawn nearly universal protest from U.S. bishops.

No bishops were able to attend the protest because all the bishops of the San Francisco province, which includes the dioceses of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City, and Hawaii, were on a retreat together this week.

Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone sent a message of support, and assured organizers he would have been there, had it been possible.

Among the Catholic leaders who participated in the protest were Dominican Fr. Anselm Ramelow, chairman of the Philosophy Department at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley; Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, editor of San Francisco-based Ignatius Press; and Fr. Peter Carota, who led a group of parishioners all the way from St. Patrick’s Church in Ripon. Fr. Carota said he had heard about the rally in California Catholic Daily.

Dolores Meehan and Eva Muntean, co-founders of the Walk for Life West Coast, were also there. Many members of the Walk for Life volunteer team joined them. A number of 40 Days for Life volunteers were there too.

Also participating was Protestant Pastor Walter Hoye, well known in California pro-life circles for being unjustly imprisoned for violating Oakland’s abortion clinic “bubble ordinance” — a conviction later overturned on appeal.

All the local affiliates of the major TV networks were also there. Many protestors were interviewed for both radio and television, including Pastor Hoye, Meehan and Muntean. Fr. Carota was interviewed by the Spanish-language TV network Univision, though little, at least thus far, has been broadcast.

All expressed outrage. In one segment that aired on ABC7News, Meehan responded to a reporter’s question by asking the reporter a question of her own: “Freedom of religion is the flavor of the day for him today, but what’s going to be next? Will it be freedom of the press? Are you going to be able to be out here and say what you want to say?”



Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 4:17 AM By ANNE
Good article with a great ending. Thank you to all those who were able to attend. God Bless America ! It is estimated that Obama already has over $60 MILLION for his re-election campaign. We will have have to donate, participate in the process, and vote for his opponent. Pray for America and that we will have a moral President rather than an anti-Christ who advocates (and uses US tax dollars) for the killing of human beings. – The worst human rights violation our Country has ever seen.

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:22 AM By Anne T.
Yes. of he can do this, he can outlaw kosher kitchens and circumcision. He can force Baptists, Mormons and Muslims to serve acohol in their privately owned work places. It is all the same principle.

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:36 AM By JMJ
Just think, if we lose in Nov. all such shows of protest against the big “o” will be forbidden and who knows what will happen to them? As Fox News and all other truly dedicated news outlets already knows, there is very little freedom of the press. Ask Lou Dobbs or Glenn Beck or any pro-life organization that tries to put out true news stories. Please pray for us out here in Mass. as we will now have another Kennedy to put up with. I hope that he won’t be as evil as his uncles and cousins, but, somehow, I have a lousy feeling that this is just another slap in the face for us. Come Lord Jesus, we are in trouble down here. +JMJ+

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:41 AM By Patrick
Obama should be met with Roman Catholic protesters everywhere he goes, including the bishops and as many priests as possible.

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:56 AM By PAPA
Donate yes, Vote against him, demand that your Bishops and Priests immediately get out of the socialist political support they gave obama and simply start preaching the ‘GOOD NEWS’ no more how to vote for him because of his so called good points, they fooled us once, will we let them do it again? MGB

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:57 AM By joe
After Walk for Life, where 50,000 Catholics disappeared Poof! Voila! Presto! and were never acknowledged by the Media, do you really think the Media would cover this?

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 10:58 AM By sam
W/85% having voted for “O” in ’08. 150 protestors most likely didn’t make a dent in this liberal secular stronghold. Good try though. And great retort to the press’ arrogance re basic freedoms being quashed by their “dear leader”.

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 11:19 AM By St. Christopher
Love that Rev. Hoye — what a real man, what a Christian! Let;s see, how many Catholic Bishops were there? Chirp . . . Chirp . . . Chirp. . . Good effort to all that attended the protest. Shame on the Catholic Church in SF and No. CA for its complete and utter failure to step up, where it really mattered, to protest the socialist policies of Obama. Yes, all bishops did send “statements of opposition” to the President — strength in numbers, certainly (and not all the statements were a coherent opposition, either). However, few bishops show any courage in the face of media-inspired opposition. Bishop Cordileone, however, did admonish all who attended mass in his diocese not to kneel or genuflect when receiving communion (a hilarious discussion, too, particularly when it is based on a desire for uniform posture when receiving the Host — the very thing that the Church had for over a thousand years before the tragic implementation of Vatican II — which never itself directed such a change; bishops are playing catch-up to create rules to support their ad hoc policies, and then threaten malcontents under the rubric of “obedience”).

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 12:20 PM By JLS
joe, God starts with faith the size of a tiny mustard seed. What is with your consistent despair, anyway?

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 12:21 PM By JLS
joe, it is not the media who answer prayers, but God, and God does not depend on the media.

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 6:04 PM By Roman Catholic
God bless you all for doing this. Wish I could have joined you.

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 6:09 PM By Joe
Not despairing at all, but reather, realistic. The Media have a consistently poor record with Catholics. They treat Catholics as being in the same class, or lower, than criminals. Criminals at least can return to the civilized world after serving their time. You should realize, that as a Catholic, the Media consider you to be incorrigible. The Media world is of vulgarity, lewdness, profanity, violence, stupidity, coarseness, and pornography. And, the Media realizes the Church is against their agenda, like Gay Marriage, and gay propaganda in schools. So, why do you think that Catholics need these people? Do you think waving your little flags in demonstrations, and singing hymns, is of any value to them? We should be cutting the Media dead. We do not need them, nor should we be granting them interviews, nor cultivating any contact with them. Forget “Look, Ma, I’m on TV!” This is not a popularity contest. The Media are worse than useless – they actively and constantly denigrate Catholics. Please do not go about cultivating their favor, or seeking their attention. We can not descend to the level of most TV protests, meaning violence and criminality. That’s what they want. They do NOT want you, good little Catholic, singing hymns. Not on their dime. Not on their Channel. Not in their paper. Now of course, the Bishops must deal with them, it’s part of their job description. But notice how they are being treated, with contempt, sneers, and derision. And, please don’t think I’m against events like Walk for Life. Quite the reverse. We need them, because we very badly need to see the power of ordinary Catholics, and to be surrounded by huge masses of common decent folk. We need that badly. Notice – the complete news blackout of the Walk for Life, and the miserable five second news clips afterward. The Media do NOT want you, ordinary Catholic! No, we must resolutely turn away from them, and instead, turn to the Church, and to prayer.

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:46 PM By Elizabeth
It would of been AWESOME if the Archdiocese of San Francisco had ‘rallied the troops’ to get out and protest!!!! I know a couple of my friends went around 5:00 ish and was told that if they were going to park in the Masonic garage, the car had to stay there until 10:00 and they would be searched…..when they checked out other garages, they were full or had been reserved. I don’t think it is any coincidence that Obama’s team made it very difficult for people on God’s team to participate!!!

Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 9:57 PM By JLS
Joe, there is at least one Walk for LIfe that has nothing to do with abortion but is an even to raise funds/awareness for some other cause. So, not only does the media blackout prolife events, but other organizations take their names for other purposes. I’m being vague for two reasons: 1. I don’t know more details, and 2. I do not want to get specific.