Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reverend Walter Hoye: "This is a moral issue; it’s not a political issue"

Our friend and hero the Reverend Walter Hoye is on the front page of this month's Oakland Catholic Voice.


"Anti-abortion minister urges action by African Americans

By Gerald Korson
Voice correspondent

After having served 18 days in prison, the Rev. Walter Hoye is a free man and will remain so — as long as he doesn’t come within eight feet of anyone who is about to enter an Oakland abortion clinic.

The Rev. Walter Hoye, who was convicted of violating Oakland’s ‘bubble law’ and served 18 days in prison, is particularly concerned about the high number of abortions among African American women.

That hasn’t stopped the 52-year-old minister from returning to the public sidewalk outside the Family Planning Specialists Medical Group building near Jack London Square, the site of his arrest last May that resulted in his incarceration at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin earlier this year...

Unlike most black Americans, Hoye said he was “horribly disappointed” and “heartbroken” about the election last November of Barack Obama, who openly supports pro-choice positions and legislation, as the nation’s first African-American president. Most blacks “put their Bible down when it came to that election” and voted on the basis of the color of his skin, Hoye said.

Nevertheless, he places responsibility for the abortion issue squarely on the shoulders of Christians.“This is a moral issue; it’s not a political issue. It’s not in the White House; it’s in the church house,” said Hoye. “Until we stand up as Christians and look at it as a moral issue, we’re not going to be effective in taking a stand against abortion....

In the final days of his prison stay, Hoye had a “special visitor” in Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, who at the time had been appointed but not yet installed as bishop of Oakland. They enjoyed a long visit together, shouting to each other through the thick glass of the visitation booths because the phones didn’t work.

“Getting a visit from him did my heart so much good,” Hoye said. “I am in love with the Catholic Church, I’m in love with this bishop. We had a tremendous visit.”

Bishop Cordileone told The Catholic Voice afterward that Hoye told him about “his high respect for the Catholic Church because we have been defending the sanctity of life all these years, and he even apologized for Protestants being late in the game.”

God Bless Walter--and the Diocese of Oakland for highlighting his work!

h/t Ed Hopfner, photo courtesy Jose Luis Aguirre.

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