LOS ANGELES, July 1 /U.S. Newswire/ -- "Today's attempted arrest in Los Angeles of the student participants in American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of our Catholic Church is beyond scandalous," said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. "Since when is it against the law for Catholics to defend the Catholic faith at a Catholic Cathedral? We are outraged at the situation."
Today's scene occurred when more than a dozen young people attempted to attend the inauguration ceremonies of Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor-elect of Los Angeles, who is a pro-abortion Catholic. The young adults are part of American Life League's 2005 Crusade for Life walks in which they are trekking from San Diego to Sacramento spreading the truth about the incompatibility of Catholicism and support of abortion.
The group planned to attend the inauguration ceremonies, beginning at the Cathedral, and peacefully protest with shirts and signs that read: you can't be Catholic and pro-abortion.
"It is an outrage that an event honoring a pro-abortion Catholic public figure that openly supports the killing of the preborn would occur at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral," said Brown. "It is even more shameful that Cardinal Mahony and others would attempt to censor faithful Catholic students from proclaiming the truth."
Cardinal Mahony walked alongside Villaraigosa from the Cathedral to City Hall where the remainder of the inaugural ceremony took place. The new mayor took the oath of office with his right hand on the Holy Bible (or was it the Koran?) and then gave his inaugural speech which was greeted with frequent applause.
At the first event, readings and prayers were recited from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and other faiths.
The cathedral was infused with incense burned during a Native American prayer. Clerics in turbans and flowing orange gowns sat next to those in traditional Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Rite robes.
Attending were Jerry Brown, mayor of Oakland; former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and his wife, Nancy Daly Riordan; U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi; California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez; Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante; United Farm Workers official Dolores Huerta; former Vice President Al Gore, and state Treasurer Phil Angelides.
[One is hard-pressed to find any pro-life folks in that crowd]
The service ended in a prayer circle, with religious leaders surrounding Villaraigosa, and a concluding benediction by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony.
Mahony urged Villaraigosa to show "special concern for those residents of our city on the margins of life, of society and most in need," and "to strive for what is right and just."
To mariachi music, Villaraigosa then strode out of the sanctuary and onto the downtown streets at 9:09 a.m. for the short walk to City Hall.
"All of us were so moved by the spirituality of giving the strength to the mayor and his wife as they take on this unbelievably challenging role," said Nancy Riordan during the procession.
Standing on the dais with the assembled dignataries, directly behind the new mayor, was an almost giddy looking Cardinal Mahony who smiled and applauded along with the others. Click HERE to see a BRIEF VIDEO of this portion of the inaugation.
In his benediction back at the Cathedral, Mahony entreated:
"We pray for a new kind of politics -- focused on moral principles, not on the latest polls, on the needs of the poor and vulnerable, not the contributions of the rich and powerful."