108 NW 4th Ave, Mineral Wells TX 76067, 940-325-4789
There has been increasing chatter online of organized civil unrest being planned this Sunday May 8th directed towards Catholic churches. The main group organizing it "Strike for Choice". They are nationwide and provide material and direction to anyone that wants to get involved. So far I have not seen any organized protests in the Fort Worth Diocese yet, but there is nothing to say that it cannot happen. I want to provide clarity on our mission and some direction on how to prepare for and deal with these incidents at your parish.
The protests being organized are designed to provoke unnecessary force or an improper response and record it so that it can be spun in social media to garner more support for their cause.
Here are some practical steps we can take to mitigate the effects of these actions from impacting our parish communities.
Contact your local PD and inform them of the potential civil unrest that is being called for by pro-abortion advocates at https://strikeforchoice.org/. I have already sent the information on to Fort Worth PD's intel group.
If you hire private security then alert them of this threat and advise that we do not want to allow protestors into our buildings if at all possible.
Access Control - Ensure that you are using as few entrances as possible for Mass attendees. If there is an open door then it should be covered by a Guardian or someone that has the ability to close and lock it quickly when they see protestors approaching.
Ensure that your parish office is secure during business hours and screen visitors before allowing them in. It is easier to keep a bad actor out then to forcibly remove them.
Protestors are being asked to wear costumes, have posters/flyers, recite chants and have it recorded. These are all indicators that we should be screening for on the outside of the church before they enter.
Consider stationing a Guardian/Usher outside during Mass to monitor for the above mentioned activity.
Be prepared to lock all doors if protestors are seen on property and contact your local PD to have them escorted from the property and criminally trespassed. Ensure that you get the police call number and as many identifiers of the protestors as possible for future enforcement and intel sharing.
If they are able to enter the property your team members must exhibit self-control. Have someone notify police to respond for a criminal trespass. Advise them that they are not permitted on the property and must leave at once.
If they refuse to leave and exhibit signs of escalation of force or are pushing through your team to access the church then you have the authority to escort them from the building if it is safe to do so. **This will be on video. Once outside do not permit them back in the building or engage in further dialogue.
Please pray and fast for the people who are organizing or otherwise involved in these illicit activities.