Father Wilde and the other protesters, including the Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, were cited for "Failure to obey a lawful order" as they knelt in prayer in front of the White House. They each paid a $100 fine and were released from custody.
"Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying federal property for months, but when we kneel in prayer, the police are called in and we are arrested," Father Wilde said. "We knew that was the risk when we gathered today, and we will do it again regardless of the risk. What people of faith -- of every faith -- need to do now is stand with us."
Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said the New York-based organization remains committed to battling the HHS mandate because it forces Americans to become morally entangled in practices they find objectionable.
"As an organization of Catholic clergy, as a corporation that employs 60 people of various religious backgrounds, and as a ministry whose very purpose is to protect and promote the pro-life teaching about the specific practices at issue in the HHS mandate, we are particularly well-positioned to fight against this intrusion of conscience," Father Pavone said.
He told LifeSiteNews that yesterday's arrests reveal the fact that the response to the unjust Obama mandate cannot be limited to the Courts, the Congress, and the press. It must bring us to the streets of America.
“Over the years, the other side in this battle has tried to make the public afraid of us by painting us as arrogant, hateful, and violent. In reality, the other side should be afraid precisely because we are humble, peaceful, and prayerful, because therein lies the force that uproots injustice from society.”
On Feb. 16, Priests for Life filed a lawsuit against the mandate in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York.
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