Anti-Abortion Posters Put Up By Religious Order Outside Primary School
A religious order that claims to be able to communicate with Jesus has started displaying anti-abortion posters outside a Surbiton primary school, to the shock of local residents.
The 'Community Of Divine Innocence', which has followers in nearly 50 countries, has been putting up the posters near Christ Church Primary School, Surbiton. Members of the order have also been driving around with bumper stickers on their cars which read: "Aborted children are in Heaven, martyrs to the Truth!"
The order was established in 1984, when a freelance jewellery designer claimed she saw the Virgin Mary appear in a pine tree. Patricia de Menezes, from Surbiton, has since been campaigning for the Catholic Church to proclaim aborted babies as martyrs.
Their website publishes a dialogue between de Menezes and "Jesus", where the latter calls abortion a "wholesale slaughter". According to the order, Jesus spoke to de Menezes saying children are "put to death because their presence is inconvenient". In another "conversation", de Menezes is visited by "Infant Jesus".
Despite these "visitations", de Menezes was previously dismissed as a fraud by the Vatican in 2007.
Mother of three Sally Gooding, 32, from Surbiton told a local paper she was "shocked" by the signs.
"They are mostly old ladies and it all seemed quite sweet and innocent. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but this kind of stuff is very right wing and fundamentalist.
"There is a primary school in this road and I would not want my kids exposed to such a narrow-minded view."
The order meets daily in Manor Drive, Surbiton, which is within minutes of the primary school.
A local resident, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal, described the posters as "dreadful".
Both the order and the school have been contacted by the Huffington Post UK but have yet to reply.