Not much is new, really – although there’s often a surprise or two on a Saturday. This week, we had Catholics on parade, and the Archbishop was there – so they had a police motorcade – and they brought the Knights of Columbus. Someone thought they were from the Renaissance Faire, but no.
(Ten or twelve people walking down the street, the one in front carries a painting of a woman, probably representing Mary, behind her are three Knights, older men in tricorn hats with feathers, white or red capes, black suits. At their sides, they are wearing swords. Behind them is the Archbishop in black pants and shirt, with the touch of white clergy collar. Behind them is a young man, casually dressed, and a few other people. The front of a police car is visible on the far right.)
I am not trying to be snarky about the Knights but they do look a little medieval, right? And the swords might be a bit over the top. Yes, swords – see the silverish things hanging down beside them? Swords. Grown men. Broad daylight. In front of the abortion clinic.
The official mission statement for the Knights of Columbus says:
The Kentucky State Council is dedicated to growing the Order throughout the state of Kentucky to further the vision of our founder, Fr. Michael J. McGivney and the Evangelization of our Catholic Faith. The Order was founded on the principle of Charity, specifically to care for the widow and orphan of a Brother Knight. Later the principles of Unity and Fraternity, as well as Patriotism were added. The everyday actions of the State and local councils are a means for Knights to live the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. It is through the implementation of programs that exemplify these principles that the Kentucky State Council will continue to grow the Order. The State Council will lead by example and through both action and dialogue inspire its members into action.
They are not, as far as I can tell, joined by the Knights of Peter Claver which, according to Wikipedia:
“…the largest and oldest continually existent predominantly African-American Catholic fraternal organization was founded more than 100 years ago. It was formed to provide opportunities for Catholic Action to men of color to be actively involved in their faith by living the Gospel message. The Knights of Peter Claver membership now includes the entire family and offers opportunities to engage in a variety of church and community service projects and support various charitable appeals.”
But the Knights are in fine fettle, standing across the street from the abortion clinic. I hope those swords have a dull point, like epees, but I’m not close enough to tell. Actually that is not my thumb in the pictures here either.
(Two images, each of a man standing at attention, holding a sword up over his right shoulder. They are wearing black hats with huge white feathers, and black suits. The one on the left appears to be elderly and is wearing glasses and a red cape, while the one on the right is wearing a white cape and has a white mustache.)
In other news , the ongoing conflict between our regular Catholics and the AHA people (Abolish Human Abortion) flares up today. The Catholics, who create the gauntlet of people lining the sidewalk, mostly just say the rosary. AHA folks bring their microphones and preach the whole time – loudly. Makes it difficult for the Catholics to hear themselves pray – so today, we hear a sudden blast from a referee whistle, and a lot of yelling at the preacher. But it is just a momentary disruption and no blows are exchanged.
As I’m crossing the street with a client, one of the AHA guys joins us. He’s wearing a microphone and actually starts broadcasting at the client as we cross the street. That’s a first for me, and I’m sure for her too. Doesn’t seem like you would need amplification if you’re standing right next to someone. I’m hoping he’s not going to make a habit of it – it just seems like a new level of rude.
But lots of things are the same. They still hang their signs on the fire hydrant – I guess they think the police just meant they couldn’t do it that one day. Dominic still yells, “Murder – Murder in the first degree!” Donna still gives her little hand wave, motioning for the clients to come out of the clinic.
So much happening there, it’s such a circus, and seems like such a big deal. And then I read Ky Born’s story about her abortion experience and I’m reminded that the walk up the sidewalk is a tiny part of the “getting an abortion” process. All this chaos is one tiny part. That’s a good perspective to hold on to.