How humiliating. Socon or Bust got scooped in its own backyard. Fr. Simon Lobo, the associate parish priest at my home parish, St. Maurice, delivered a powerful homily on Thanksgiving weekend. The homily topic? His sister’s arrest, of course. (Fr. Lobo is pictured here with his sister at his ordination mass.) A Socon or Bust reader informed me on Friday of the 15 minute homily podcast which is now on St. Maurice’s website. (Click here and select the Oct.10 homily link). My family and I were in Kingston, celebrating Thanksgiving with our families so I didn’t get an opportunity to hear it firsthand. Just as well, I’d probably have yelled out “You Go Father!” right in the middle of it and embarrassed myself even more than I usually do.
Anyhow, LifeSite News picked up on the story and posted a great article which I have reproduced below:
OTTAWA, Ontario, October 15, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The arrests of five pro-life students at Carleton University last week should inspire pro-lifers to step up and engage in the pro-life battle, said Fr. Simon Lobo, brother of arrested Carleton Lifeline President Ruth Lobo, in a powerful homily in Ottawa on Sunday.
“Yes – yes I am the brother of Ruth Lobo,” said the priest, a member of the Companions of the Cross community. “I’ve never been more proud to admit that, actually, than I am now.”
The students – four from Carleton and one from Queen’s University – were arrested by Ottawa city police on Carleton’s campus on October 4, and fined $130 each. They were preparing to set up the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP), which compares abortion to past atrocities through graphic imagery, as a protest in the university’s Tory Quad. The university had denied them the use of that central outdoor location, which has been used by other groups in the past, instead telling them that they could only set up the display in an out-of-the-way campus building.
“This is where we’ve come as a society,” Fr. Lobo told his parishioners at St. Maurice Parish. “As Canadians we pride ourselves on being so tolerant, and yet it seems the tolerance only goes in one direction – and it’s not in favour of life, and it’s not in favour of Catholicism at all.”
Fr. Lobo told LifeSiteNews that even though he is a frequent participant in the National March for Life, Life Chain, and 40 Days for Life, the incident has convicted him all the more. “I can’t be a moderate pro-lifer any longer,” he said. “It’s become something that’s drawing the line in the sand for a lot of people.”
It would be easy to blame the university, the police, or “those who promote a radically liberal agenda” for the arrests, he said in the homily, “but you and I are part of the problem, because we have put up with too much for too long.”
Fr. Lobo noted that Canadians’ tax dollars have fully funded abortion for decades, as well as academic institutions such as Carleton. He also noted that municipal tax dollars pay for the police, who were called in to arrest the students.
“On an annual basis, I would suggest that as a parish … – indirectly – we give more money to support abortions and the pro-choice cause then we give to donate to support women in crisis pregnancies and the pro-life movement,” he said. “Does that bother you?”
Fr. Lobo called the graphic images of abortion used in GAP, which are often seen as controversial, “disgusting.”
“But they’re also true and accurate. Abortion is disgusting,” he added.
He said that his sister Ruth “is giving thanks because she has received the gift of life. She is like the one leper who went back to thank Jesus.” He explained that Ruth was born in India, and her birth mother dropped her off at an orphanage. Ten months later, on October 1st – celebrated by Catholics as the memorial of St. Therese de Lisieux – Ruth arrived in Canada, was adopted by Rev. Lobo’s parents, and given the baptismal name: Ruth Therese.
“Twenty-two years later, almost to the day, Ruth is in handcuffs because all she cares about is that other little girls and little boys like her would be able to make it to a Thanksgiving weekend so that they can also give thanks for the gift of life,” he said.
“What are we going to do about this? What are we going to do about this?” he asked. “We’ve got to do more. We’ve got to get educated.”
Fr. Lobo urged his parishioners to write Carleton’s president, to get out to the ballot box and vote for pro-life politicians, and to come up with other ideas for promoting life.
“The battle has come to our doorstep,” he insisted. “Are you willing to step up and engage in the fight with your minds, with your hearts, with your spirits, and with action?”
Listen to Fr. Simon Lobo’s homily here.
Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and Vice-Chancellor
503 Tory Building
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
Tel: 613 520-3801
Fax: 613 520-4474
What a refreshing exhortation coming from a Catholic priest. Fr. Simon is pretty young. I think he’s still in his 20s. And if he represents the new breed of Catholic priest and bishop coming through the ranks, there is hope indeed for our church and the society at large. When a Catholic priest says, “I can’t be a moderate pro-lifer any longer“, and gently chastises (and actually says) that WE are part of the abortion problem, you know the Catholic Church is starting to get serious about being pro-life, instead of offering the cheap lip service spoken to the culture during these past 40 years.
The whole “go-along-to-get-along” gang who are the power brokers of influence in the church today, and who currently tolerate anything that flies as the fraud of “social justice” or “justice and peace” is on the way out…thanks be to God. The days of the clerical back-slappers, ladder climbers, and compromisers in the church is getting old…and I think they know it, and if they don’t, they soon will.
I had a brief email exchange with Fr. Simon before I left for Thanksgiving weekend. I asked him to deliver a powerful homily in his sister’s defense and not to pull many punches about our sensitivities. I’m sure his brother priests and other Catholics asked for the same thing.
He delivered in a big way. And that, dear readers, is something to be really thankful for.
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, folks, we’re going to war.