Exposing Planned Parenthood in your community: Getting the clergy involved

Exposing PP in your community is a weekly feature of the Wednesday Stopp Report (WSR), written by Rita Diller, STOPP’s national director and former diocesan director of Respect Life Ministries for the Amarillo Diocese. Rita and Bishop John W. Yanta conducted a focused 12-year prayer and education campaign in the Amarillo area, which culminated in the closure of 18 PP facilities and the disaffiliation of the remaining two from Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

When I talk about the 20 PP centers that folded in the Texas Panhandle under the weight of truth, people tend to think that was accomplished only because we had an outspoken, passionately pro-life bishop.

I point out that while involvement of clergy is critical, it is the job of the laity to bring the clergy into the mix. Bishop Yanta always said, “If the people will lead, the leaders will follow.” He should know; he was led into pro-life activism by a lay- person.

Before Bishop Yanta was a bishop, he was a parish priest in San Antonio, Texas. He tells the story often of how he was visited on a regular basis by a layperson, who just kept inviting him to come with him to pray at the abortion mill. This layman knew that he was fighting the epic battle of good vs. evil, and he needed spiritual leaders by his side. And this particular layperson that kept asking this priest to help him was not even Catholic.

He told Fr. Yanta his war stories and kept asking for his help. Eventually, no longer able to say no, the priest decided to step out in faith, if only to get the guy off his back.

He went out to pray at the abortion center, and the rest is history. Once he had stepped into the battle, he became passionately pro-life. So much so that he was arrested for defending the preborn. So much so, that when he became Bishop of Amarillo, he incorporated the precious feet of a preborn baby into his crest and took the motto, “Bear Witness to the Truth.” He did, and he never looked back.

Please, never give up in trying to get clergy to join you at Planned Parenthood. Befriend them, tell them your war stories, and emphasize that they are vital to the success of your endeavor. The most important part of the last sentence is the first part: befriend them. You need them like the grass needs the rain.

There are two things we don’t have the liberty to do, when millions of innocent children are being slain at our feet and our children are being sexually exploited and abused: we can’t stop fighting for their lives and souls and we can never stop trying to befriend clergy and bring them into the battle.

You never know how much difference one spiritual leader will make in the epic battle of good vs. evil.

Rita Diller is eager to assist you in your local fight against PP. You can contact her by email: rdiller@all.org.

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