WHAT TO DO WHEN FACED WITH PRO-CHOICE VIOLENCE/PERSECUTION
July 6, 2015…Feast Day of Saint Maria Goretti
A few days ago I received a request from a pro-life friend. She asked if I would share about my experiences with ‘pro-choice violence’.
After a few days of prayerful reflection here is what I have to say. However, within my sharing I will include an extremely important element, which is the ‘attitude’ hopefully desired and manifest by Christian pro-lifers who undergo persecution.
I began my pro-life ministry in Ottawa in early November of 2011. I would go daily to join up with a veteran pro-lifer named Cyril “Cy” Winter who was a regular protester with graphic signs of abortion just across the street from the abortion mill on 65 Bank Street, in Ottawa.
I thank God that I have not yet to this day undergone any physical violence against my person on Bank Street or on Parliament Hill, next to the Centennial Flame. I have been protesting there since early February of 2012 with graphic signs showing how babies are aborted. A large 8 inch Crucifix hangs on the top of my sign. I often make reference to it while discussing with people who approach me. My Christian beliefs and identification and pro-life ministry work hand in hand. They are inseparable. Our ‘gift of life’ and Jesus Christ are inseparable. Jesus said in John 14:6:
Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.”
When you have an encounter and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ a great love and respect for the gift of life of every human being is paramount in your heart and soul. You become ‘pro-life’.
As a committed pro-lifer in mid-winter of 2011-12 I vividly remember an unforgetable experience. Cy and I were standing together side by side on Bank St. talking on a cold winter day when out of nowhere appears this hulk of a young man. He was wearing a hockey helmet that had a menacing figure painted on it and he was bent over and poised and ready to attack and jump us.
My immediate reaction was to extend my right arm and hand towards him as I said out loud: “God bless you!” Right then, before our eyes, Cy and I witnessed a miracle!
Rather than attack us, immediately after I sincerely spoke the words “God bless you!” In the power of the Holy Spirit, this man made the most courteous bow, almost like a genuflection towards us, slowly backed up and walked away without saying a word.
Cy and I were both amazed at what we had just witnessed. Both of us have not been the same since. Some background explanation is required here. The previous day Cy and I had a deep discussion about our ‘attitude’ towards those who persecute us and we had both concluded that we should if possible respond in the fashion of 1 Peter 3:9:
“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”
The blessings Cy and I received were to witness God’s power at work through the Blessing and to come out of this experience unhurt. That special, Godly event changed my attitude towards those who persecute me.
A few years after this incident, on March 14, 2013 I was filming the harassment of my pro-life friend Cy by the Ottawa police when one of the officers came to me and insisted that I hand my camera over to him. He destroyed all my photos in the camera.
You can read the whole account here:
This event was very traumatic for me because the Ottawa police whose mandate is to protect human life were harassing pro-lifers such as Cy and I who are trying to save human lives, to save unborn babies.
As I said to the officer who took my camera: “Officer, have you ever witnessed an abortion? If not I invite you to go across the street to the abortion clinic. That is where they kill the babies.”
This was my way of telling the officer that they are chasing the wrong people. However, in the end this incident worked out to our advantage. I was interviewed by LifesiteNews and Sun News and many pro-lifers intervened against the police on our behalf.
The result was that within a week Cy was no longer harassed by the Ottawa police. My initial reaction was to go to court but after reflection and prayer I decided to show the face of Mercy to the policeman who did me wrong.
It was my way of blessing the one who persecuted me.
Now what have I experienced since I have been protesting on Parliament Hill? No physical persecution yet, however I have received much verbal abuse and two death threats.
It isn’t getting any better. I daily (Monday through Friday) witness the hate-filled stares, the finger, the ‘f’ word, etc.
The ultimate verbal abuse I’ve had was last week. A tall, heavy set young man walked straight up to me and said with hate in his eyes and in his voice:
“You are Lucifer himself!”
Then he walked away. After getting over the shock of those hate-filled words I said to him as he was walking away from me: “God bless you, Sir.”
Persecution has increased since because for a year now I have a new sign with the words “THE PILL KILLS” in big 8 inch letters and I added the words “SIN-FILLED” next to these words. So the message is:
“THE SIN-FILLED PILL KILLS”
In the following youtube video you can watch Donald Andre Bruneau give a short explanation about the deadly effects of the Pill and abortion.
Yes, contraception is a SIN and the ‘source’ of the ‘Culture of Death’ so widespread and prevalent in the world today. We don’t hear it being said within the Catholic Church. The word ‘SIN’ is in the same category as the word ‘Hell’, not a politically correct word.
Pope Paul VI had the courage to say in his Encyclical “Humanae Vitae (Human Life) in 1968 that contraception was ‘sinfull’, but the majority of Canadian Catholic Bishops rebelled against the Pope’s encyclical.
In the ‘Winnipeg Statement’ the Bishops inserted an ‘escape clause’ in Paragraph 26 which said that in some circumstances parties “may be safely assured that whoever chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience.”
The result? Catholic women believe that contracepting is not sinful. However they need to know like Dr Gloria Polo (Cf: www.gloriapolo.com ) who had had an abortion and contracepted that it is sinful and can take you to Hell. Lightning struck her and she died and found herself suddenly before the Judgment Seat of Christ. Read her extremely sobering testimony of how she was miraculously spared from going to Hell.
I am convinced that if our Catholic Church preached about the Encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae’ and the ‘sin of contraception’ many Catholic women would repent and stop contracepting and eventually we would see a huge decrease in contraception and the number of abortions.
Getting back to persecution, I pray daily to Mary, Mediatrix of Graces, for the grace to be able to forgive and pray for my persecutor (as Saint Maria Goretti did.
Saint Maria Goretti was only 11 years old when a 20 year old ‘Alessandro Serenelli made several sexual advances towards her. She kept resisting his advances saying to him what so many people need to hear today:
“NO, IT IS A SIN! GOD DOES NOT WANT IT. YOU’LL GO TO HELL!”
One day as she resisted his determined advance on her, in his anger he stabbed her 14 times. Within the following 20 hours of great suffering Maria prayed for and forgave her aggressor.
Fifty years later when Maria Goretti was canonized by Pope Pius X11 as |Patroness of Modern Youth, her mother and her murderer attended the canonization ceremony together. This shows us the awesome power of forgiveness towards those who persecute us. Maria’s murderer, Alessandro Serenelli was converted.
Should that hour arrive that I am viciously and physically attacked for my pro-life ministry I most certainly would defend myself, however I pray that my first instincts will be to call upon Saint Michael and promptly say “God Bless you” to my assailant. Also I hope and pray that my reaction will exhibit Matthew 5:44:
“But I say to you, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for those who persecute you.”
Within the process we would both be blessed!
Donald Andre Bruneau,
Feast of Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin, Martyr.
July 6, 2015