In December I received a thank you card from Michael Bray, the American minister “accused of” and jailed for bombing several abortion mills in the United States. Recently Bray was acquitted of the charges. However, anti-lifers in America are outraged and plan to re-try Bray.
Bray’s new trial is set for this month.. He writes “for the mean time , I am anxious to be free on bond to spend time with my wife, Jayne and the three little ones” (Bray is the father of three children – he puts his pro-life philosophy in action)
He continues, “It has been three weeks now since we heard the good news of the reversal. I expected to be out very soon after the conviction was overturned. We are praying that the prosecutor drops the charges, although this may be quite unlikely. The fact is , it would be the right thing for him to do.” “Also, please pray that I am released as soon as possible to be with my family. God has been good, caring for them during the last 17 months. They have been able to visit me monthly during this time.” Bray signs of his letter,” Alive and grateful, Mike.”
One pro-life activist who visited Bray at his cell is Ray Brooks, N.Y., reported that Bray said that pro-lifers must pray for justice for abortionists. We often pray for mercy, he contends, but we forget that God is also just and abhors the slaughter of innocent human life. Let us remember that in the 1980s Mother Teresa said in New York City, “Doctors who murder babies by abortion should be jailed.” Michael Bray can be reached at:no.22159-037, P.O.Box 901, Ray Brook NY 12977-0900. CONVICT B: Father Edward Markley, O.S.B.. Markley, head of pro-life activities in Birmingham, Alabama, and a monk of St. Bernard Abbey in Alabama was given a five-year jail sentence in 1986. The Southern judge told him he would not be eligible for parole. Markley’s “crime”? He smashed two baby-destroying suction machines in an abortion mill.
Markley previously served 30 days in jail for throwing red paint on an abortuary on Father’s day, 1984. Markley is an extremely gentle , tall, shy man of 52 years. His bishop, Joseph G. Vath, supports Markley and therefore has received considerable abuse. According to John Cavenaugh-O’Keefe of the Washington, D.C.- based Pro-life Non-Violent Action Project (PNAP) Bishop Vath is being sued by the red painted abortion mill, but cases like Vath’s can take as many as 3 years to sort out. Bishop Vath could eventually be slapped with a conspiracy charge—he “conspired” with Markley to take artistic license on a privately- owned building.
Markley’s influence on pro-life activism in America is considerable: two of his former students at Anselm’s Abbey in Washington B.C., are John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe and Fr. William Ryan, former pro-life co-ordinator for the Archdiocese of Washington. D.C.
In a recent letter, Markley writes,” It is still amazing to me that such obvious murder as abortion is found to be acceptable in our super-sophisticated society. But it only goes to prove the Scriptures to be right once again. ‘The wisdom of this world is folly with God.’ I am not discouraged simply because my situation is not ‘neat’ Hoping that yours is a little neater, I am cordially yours in Christ, Fr. Ed Markley, No. 144-147, Draper Correctional Institute, P.O. Box 1107 Elmotre . Al 36025.
CONVICT C: Miss Joan Andrews. Last November Father William Ryan sponsored a talk by pro-life activist John Ryan of St.Louis in the basement of St.Thomas Apostle Church in Washington D.C. The evening included a poignant and painfilled testimony of the agony that families of pro-life dissidents endure by Joanie’s sister. Mrs .Susan Brindle of Wilmington, Delware. The gentle, Roman Catholic Andrews was convicted in 1986 in Pensacola, Florida, to a five year jail term for her efforts in saving babies from abortion. As a result, she now is undergoing a humiliating experience in the infamous jails of Florida. She has been subjected to repeated strip searches on the rare occasions when family and friends are allowed to visit her. One Florida judge, William Anderson remonstrated with Joanie and sentencing her, snarled, “ because of your actions, and actions by people like you, your case is losing ground” He went on to state that Andrews and her ilk had spread their “hatred “all over America.! Assistant Fr Florida state attorney Michael Patterson asked for and got the maximum five-year jail term for the resolute Joanie. Patterson argued that Joanie’s efforts to save babies constituted “terrorist activities.” Andrews ‘ attorney was told that the atmosphere of her present jail is decidedly hostile toward God and those who profess believe in Him. In graphic terms, they beat up on inmates who pray: they snarl.” Where is your God Now?’ Andrews is continually moved around Florida by the powers-that be to keep pro-life activists guessing her whereabouts . At present, she can be reached at: no.151909, Broward County Correctional Institution , P.O. Box 8540, Pembroke Pines , Fl. 33024
A crowd of several hundred activists from all over America gathered in Pensacola, Florida, on the November Thanksgiving weekend as a show of force and togetherness in honour of Andrews. Seven were arrested and jailed for protesting outside the Ladies Center abortuary. Among those arrested was the 68-year old mother of Joanie, Elizabeth Andrews of Lewisburg, Tennessee.
John Ryan, director of the St.Louis-based Pro-Life Direct Action stated in the Pensacola News Journal on 29 November ’86 “ The word is gradually spreading around the country on what happened to Joan Andrews and Christians are outraged . She’s a pacifist in a maximum security prison. Christians aren’t going to take this lying down. We are going to stand up for our rights.”
Gerard Liston works with Human Life International in Montreal.