Today’s Mass readings to set the context:
“If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
So today after I sent out a clarion call for brothers and sisters in the Faith to show up and pray in front of St. Pat’s Basilica in reparation for the perversity that would appear just a short distance from the Blessed Sacrament. There was a very encouraging response….maybe 50 or so people showed up on very short notice — less than 24 hours. When I arrived there around 12:55, people were already milling about and the atmosphere was upbeat and calm…even joyful. So as the minutes went by and I looked at my watch, 15 minutes had passed and it was already 1:10 pm. The parade had started several blocks to the South of the Basilica at 1PM. So I called for everyone’s attention and asked them to stand on the sidewalk, with back’s facing the parade, to begin to pray the Rosary. I had made it clear on this website and by email that this would merely be a prayerful time where we would ask for Our Lady’s intercession through the Holy Rosary. That’s it. No insults. No yelling. Not even verbal confrontation unless it was civil. We were there to pray in reparation to Our Lord, but also for the misguided and hurting souls who were seduced into the lie of the homosexual lifestyle.
As we started to pray the Rosary, we were approached by a woman named “Sheila” from St. Pat’s Pastoral Council, insisting that we stop praying in the Street. Apparently, we were encouraging a confrontation, and, we were to avoid this at all costs. I resisted her requests, reminding her that we were faithful Catholics and we had every right to be there. I even told her that we weren’t on Church property. She was not dissuaded and asserted her phony authority. She was almost distressed that there was even the slightest possibility of any kind of interaction or upset people! I reminded her that we were there not to provoke anyone, and this was not about provocation (even though the Gay parade was exactly that, as it changed its route to pass by the Basilica.). She finally had enough and asked for my name and she whipped out her notebook waiting for my answer. I told her my name and she dutifully wrote it down. “Look lady, I don’t have time to talk to you anymore. The show’s about to start and we need to start praying.” So, we started up again.
Within 5 minutes, I saw her at the top of the stairs at the entrance of the Church talking to Fr. Bosco Wong, the Basilica’s rector. I knew what was coming down the pipe. It didn’t take long, either. Fr. Wong walked down the stairs and approached me. We essentially went through the same song and dance. After pleading my case, I figured that it was no use. Fr. Wong would not budge. I finally asked him, “Father, just so we are clear, is this a command that you want us to leave the sidewalk?” He said, “Yes it is.” Well, I had to make a choice. Do I obey or do I ask him to move along kindly, because I am not on Church property. This was not a political battle or a legal one. I simply could not disobey legitimate church authority, even though it was succumbing to a diabolical disorientation. Fr. Wong was at least gracious enough to invite us to pray inside. I quickly turned around and told everyone that I disagreed with Father Wong, but I could not disregard his command, and I encouraged everyone to join me. Many followed…close to 25. Others chose not to, but their presence was not as conspicuous as mine was with the flag, and they had other reasons for remaining. To oppose the pastor of the Church, however misguided he was, was to cede ground to the Enemy. So, flag pole and flag in hand, I entered the Church to pray. As I walked up the stairs, someone called out, “Good call, John, obedience is more important than sacrifice.”
And so is, I suppose, humiliation. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church had its own banner in the parade. But no one stopped them. Too provocative and confrontational, you see. So that you are all tracking this calculus and you all understand what’s in play here: Faithful Catholics recite rosary in little more than hushed tones on public sidewalk, for love of the Church and persons marching in the parade, without provocation or rancor on city sidewalk. Get asked by the parish priest to stop for fear of provocation. On the other hand, Catholic parish in Ottawa marches in the same Pride parade, and no action taken. It sure looks like the devil protects their evangelization and thwarts ours.
But the story doesn’t end there. As about 25 of us walked into the Church to start praying the Rosary, the Pride Parade passed by. We ended up praying all four mysteries of the Rosary and added the Divine Mercy Chaplet at the end of it. The noise and battle over this hour from 1:30-2:30 was intense. It was the most intense spiritual battle that I had ever engaged in. This is what Suzanne wrote on her Facebook page:
So what happened at today’s prayer action at the Ottawa Gay Pride Parade….
There was a lot of discussion of the issue of the prayer action by Fr. Bosco and Sheila from the parish council (I think that’s her name). John Pacheco was also in negotiation with them. There was a concern that even standing with our backs to the parade and praying out rosary might be provocative and cause a disturbance. John and about 20 other people (including me) started praying the rosary with… our backs to the sidewalk. Finally Fr. Bosco asked us to move inside the Basilica. John agreed out of obedience and I followed John. We were about 20 people praying the rosary inside. Some remained outside and I don’t know about what happened to them.
It was a marathon rosary session. I’d never prayed the rosary like I prayed this afternoon. I think we prayed for at least an hour straight, maybe longer. We had time to say at least 3 rosaries. It was hot in the Church and a lot of people were sweating. When the parade started, we could hear the music from the boom boxes. Sometimes they rang police or ambulance sirens, vuvulezas, honked horns. You get the picture. Sometimes it was so loud we could barely hear ourselves pray.
We wrapped up with a Divine Mercy chaplet. We stopped probably because we were wiped. It was intense. The doors to the front steps were locked so we had to exit through the side, which is just as well. We didn’t get to see anything at the parade, and maybe it was better that way.
I think we’re going to do this again next year, with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. I hope you all come.
PS: Rod Taylor of the CHP showed up in solidarity with us prayer warriors. Way to go Rod Taylor ! He remained outside after most of us went inside.
Featured to the immediate left here, Rod Taylor, leader of the Christian Heritage Party, offering his support. Rod is running in Ottawa West Nepean in this upcoming election.
A number of times during our prayer time, we encountered confusion and disorientation in reciting the mysteries…out of order sometimes, confusion on who was leading, and other conflicts. I had never experienced anything like it. It became personal for me when, about a third of the way through one of the decades that I was leading, I forgot how to say the first part of the Hail Mary – a prayer that any Catholic would have recited a million times by my age. I tried three times and I could not do it! It was not a pleasant experience, but I recovered on future decades. The noise during the hour was loud. The music, the sirens, the screams. It reached a fevered pitch at times. At one point during one of the louder moments of the Parade, I remembered when the Americans were trying to smoke out Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega back in the 80s from a foreign embassy he had fled to in Panama. The Americans blasted rock music 24-7 at the Embassy to encourage him to come out. I saw the same thing happening here, except in reverse: the devil taunting the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament…and his infernal spirit was passing by only meters away…with the consent of the parish, no less.
As we finished the Divine Mercy Chaplet, my thoughts focused on one thing: next year. Is this show is going to be different or will it be another occasion to show how good we all are at capitulation? We need more troops on the ground and this issue needs to be raised at the highest levels of the Church here in Ottawa. It is that important.
Jesus Christ did not shy away from confrontation, but in our emasculated Church today, that’s all that we do. We have worshipped at the altar of pedantic “dialogue” for so long, that we simply cannot stand or tolerate the idea that confrontation is some times a necessary thing. We don’t know how to fight anymore. This is a grave sickness that the Church is experiencing and it needs to be addressed with some urgency. If we’re not ready to fight for our Faith, we’re going to be steam-rolled. We cannot compromise everything. We cannot engage in endless capitulation. This will not do. No, sir. It will not do. Lame excuses for why we must not be provocative is not going to cut it. It’s a lie of the devil, and it is anti-Christian. Catholics are not pacifists or pansies, but that’s how we are acting. Let this be a warning to all those who have authority in the Church and allow this sacrilege to go on without confrontation. Remember what our Lord said about the lukewarm and tremble, because you will be held accountable to Almighty God.
I thank all those who came out today to pray and witness to the truth. This battle is not over. See you next year. Same time. Same place.
Some videos of the event: