Protesting and Indicting Pope Francis in NYC

“The Catholic Church Enslaves Women!”

September 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Procession of Unrepentant Women, NYC, September 24 Procession of Unrepentant Women, NYC, September 24. (Photo: Bud Korotzer)

“The Catholic Church enslaves women!” Strong voices echoed out through the canyons of New York City streets, turning heads and causing jaws to drop. “They are criticizing Pope Francis?” Scandalous!

On September 24, the Procession of Unrepentant Women, organized by Sunsara Taylor and, wore chains to represent the enslavement of women and blood-streaked pants to represent the 47,000 women who die each year for lack of safe, legal abortions. They carried the faces of women who died from illegal abortions and bold signs which read “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology!” and “We Indict Pope Francis.” They distributed 1,000 copies of a People’s Indictment against Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.

For several hours, they rallied and marched through the city. Everywhere, they shouted out the crimes of the Catholic Church and Pope Francis--their condemnation of divorce, birth control, and abortion which has caused untold suffering and misery to women over centuries; the recent canonization of the genocidal maniac Junipero Serra; the rape and abuse of children by priests; their condemnation of LGBT love, and more. Everywhere, controversy abounded.

Folks pulled out their cameras and snapped pictures. A few screamed “sinners” and “bitches” at the procession. A man with a “Repent, Follow Jesus” sign started to preach near them but quickly wandered off, seeming to assess he didn’t look very good next to such a graphic portrayal the suffering caused by the Church. Another man was not at all deterred, circling back repeatedly to curse the procession out as “bitches” and “whores.”

Others, however, were extremely heartened: women and men both yelling out “I agree!” or giving a thumbs up. Some were particularly happy to see that not everyone was buying the hype about Francis supposedly being a “friend of the people.” One young man rode up on his bicycle and, after reading the indictment through, said, “Man, I just bought a pope shirt and now I can’t wear it.” Mothers stopped and explained to their daughters what the blood on the pants of the people in the procession represented, and nodded their approval.

As the procession marched towards St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Pope Francis was scheduled to appear later in the day, it passed crowds who were beginning to line up to receive the pope. At 49th Street, a block away, the street was fully barricaded and no one could get any closer to St. Patrick’s. New York City police swarmed up on the procession and insisted that protest was only allowed in a special “protest pen” which was set up several blocks away. Taylor and others called this out loudly, pointing to the fact that all around us Catholics were waving flags with messages to welcome the pope and wearing Catholic buttons and shirts, but only those carrying the faces of women who died from illegal abortion and wearing their blood were being denied the right to “welcome the pope.” Stop Patriarchy refused to allow the police to deny their right to assemble and continued to call out, “Women have NOTHING to repent for, abortion is not murder, and women are not the property of the church.”

The NYPD then took a different tack, promising to set up a “special protest area right here.” It soon became clear that this meant encircling the Procession of Unrepentant Women with police barricades, but before they could finish, the Procession took off again. Again, crowds swelled around it, with news media from different parts of the world snapping pictures and doing quick interviews and passersby staring with their mouths agape.

When the Procession arrived at the closest point allowed near the church, they pulled out their indictment and read the entire thing one more time. Then they posted it up to the police barricades, in lieu of being able to nail it to the door of the church. Here it is:

People’s Indictment against Pope Francis & the Catholic Church

Posting People's Indictment Against Pope Francis and the Catholic Church on police fence outside St. Patrick's Cathedral
Posting People's Indictment Against Pope Francis and the Catholic Church on police fence outside St. Patrick's Cathedral. (Photo: Bud Korotzer)

3 Counts—Felonious and Malicious Cruelty Against Women: protests Pope Francis in New York, September 24

* For condemning divorce, causing millions of women to be trapped, over centuries, in violent, abusive, and spirit-crushing marriages and then be shamed and blamed for their misery.
* For condemning birth control, destroying the lives of millions upon millions of women who’ve been forced for centuries to live as little more than breeders, forced to have child after child against their will, dying in child-birth, and cast out in shame if they do not slavishly subordinate and sacrifice their every desire to serving husband and child.
* For condemning women’s right to abortion, contributing to the cruel and brutal deaths of 47,000 women each and every year for the lack of safe, legal abortions and millions of women forced into motherhood against their will. For, as one example of this barbarity, ex-communicating those who assisted a 9 year old rape victim in getting an abortion in Brazil, but not the grown man who raped her.

1 Count—Heinous Repression and Barbarism Against LGBT People:

* For proclaiming that same-sex love is a “sin” and forcing millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people over centuries into self-hatred, shame, vicious brutality and deprival of fulfilling intimate lives.

2 Counts—Aiding & Abetting Genocide:

* For condemning condoms, adding gasoline to the genocidal fires of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as it tore through the entire continent of Africa and other oppressed parts of the world, with millions tortured to death in agony, whole villages de-peopled, millions of children wandering as orphans.
* For canonizing “Saint” Junipero Serra who was responsible for the physical and cultural genocide of Native Americans. Father Serra set up the mission system in California that led to the deaths of over 60,000 Native Americans from 1769 to 1821.

1 Count—Aiding & Abetting International Sex Crime Ring:

* For using one’s religious authority to cover up, obstruct investigation of, and abet over decades the sexual abuse of many thousands of children and others by countless priests and other officials in the Catholic Church around the entire globe.


Pope Francis is no “friend of the people.” He is a new face on the same barbaric cruelty that the Catholic Church has perpetrated against oppressed people over centuries. Recently, he extended the invitation to women who have had abortions to “repent” their “sin” and be welcomed back into the church. No, abortion is not a “sin” because fetuses are NOT babies, women are NOT incubators and abortion is NOT murder.

We refuse to repent. We march and deliver this People’s Indictment on behalf of the millions of women and others whose lives have been destroyed by the Catholic Church. We fight for a future without Dark Ages institutions and oppression.


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