By Bishop Arthur SerratelliOne of the most famous figures of all English literature is the ghost of Hamlet’s father. Three
Last night I got to thinking of my defense and I think it should be, if given a fair hearing, as they say in basketball, a slam dunk, but as a lawyer wrote to me this morning, “know that nothing is a slam dunk in law.”
The citation has 11.13 AM but I was only approached at 12.20 PM and given the citation at 12.50 PM, so there is a technicality to consider even before proceeding.
I am charged with “intimidate or attempt to intimidate the person” 3. (1) (e) (iii).
Their strongest argument will be that “any signs at all in that location are intimidating to those going in for abortion services”. The Officers said as much. And to a certain extent, rightly so.
But that charge is dependent upon four previous conditions implying “intent”, namely, 3 (1) … no person shall,
- (a) advise or persuade, or attempt to advise or persuade, a person to refrain from accessing abortion services;
(b) inform or attempt to inform a person concerning issues related to abortion services, by any means, including oral, written or graphic means.
(c) perform or attempt to perform an act of disapproval concerning issues related to abortion services, by any means, including oral, written or graphic means;
(e) for the purpose of dissuading a person from accessing abortion services,
I gave the police ample evidence in hard copy that my sole intent was proclaiming freedom of speech. I had no interaction with anyone from the abortion clinic, nor anyone going in or out of the abortion clinic and I took great care not even to look at the abortion clinic, by facing north with my back to the abortion clinic, and facing the pedestrians with my sign.
My signs also are clear evidence of my intent, which they now have in their possession to present at court.
The closing of their strongest argument will be, “Any signs at that location are intimidating to persons going in for abortion services, regardless of intent.”
So maybe it isn’t a slam dunk.
Monday morning, Oct 29th I will be meeting with Albertos Polizogopoulos a pro-life lawyer who is interested in challenging the legislation as being unconstitutional. I understand that he is a constitutional lawyer.
If we can agree that the advantages of his taking the case outweigh the disadvantages he will be acting for me.
If he takes the case he does not want me going back to the abortion clinic before the court date, Nov 16th.
In that case I plan to have Ken Wintle make a new set of signs, same messages, and join the participants of 40 Days For Life at Bank and Queen Streets, until the court date, if they have no objection.
With much gratitude for your prayers and support, and with daily prayers of my own, and God’s Blessing+,
P.S. Advice, suggestions, caveats, appreciated.
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
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The following is the text of Deacon Pat Hessel’s homily as preached at Holy Trinity Parish on October 20-21, 2018 (29th Sunday in Ordinary Time): Two ladies were sitting in the doctor’s waiting room. One of the ladies lent her pen to the other. The lady who lent her pen wrote the following: “They seem […]
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