Commonwealth of Massachusetts State-Sanctioned Kidnap Victim Justina Pelletier Denied Visit with Family and Church Outing on Easter Sunday – Protest and Church Service Held Sunday 20 April 2014 outside Framingham, Massachusetts Psychiatric Facility Holding Justina
Justina Pelletier, the now fifteen-year-old girl in permanent custody of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who resides in the Wayside Youth and Family Residence psychiatric facility in Framingham, Massachusetts, was denied an Easter Sunday 20 April 2014 visit with her family and a trip to church on Easter Sunday, and instead was taken to church on Saturday 19 April 2014. Every other Wayside resident was allowed an on-campus visit with their family on 21 April 2014.
Justina was taken from her family fourteen months ago when her parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier, took her from their home in Connecticut to Boston Children’s Hospital to see her gastroenterologist for treatment of mitochondrial disease, which she had suffered from and was being successfully treated for several years. Justina was instead declared by an admitting physician to be suffering from a psychiatric problem, the physician opining that there is no such thing as mitochondrial disease.
When Mr. and Mrs. Pelletier objected and tried to have Justina released to go to another medical facility, the hospital escorted Justina’s parents out of the hospital and served them a “no trespassing” notice. The hospital took custody of Justina, and later Massachusetts juvenile court Judge Joseph Johnston placed Justina in the permanent custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. The Pelletier family is allowed only a one hour a week supervised visit with Justina at a location away from the psychiatric facility.
Forty or so of Justina’s supporters, including the editor, gathered outside of the Wayside facility on the afternoon of 20 April 2014 to protest the unjust treatment of Justina and the Pelletier family and to hold an outdoor church service to pray for the Pelletier family and for the government officials keeping Justina from her family. The protest and service were organized and conducted by Reformed Presbyterian minister and Chairman of the Christian Defense Coalition the Rev. Pat Mahoney.
The service began with an update on Justina’s situation by Lou and Linda Pelletier. They spoke of the anguish they have suffered for the past fourteen months while their daughter is forcibly kept from her parents and sisters, the capricious actions of the Wayside facility in making family visits as difficult as possible, and other actions such as Wayside’s withholding from Justina for ten days after her birthday the presents given to her by friends and family. They described how Justina has been denied for fourteen months her medication for her mitochondrial disease, and how before being taken away from her family that Justina was ice skating competitively and how now Justina is paralyzed from the waist down and is confined to a wheelchair. They described how Justina, who has serious learning disabilities due to a stroke she suffered as a young child, has been denied the educational assistance she requires and is only receiving one-half hour of school instruction per week.
Mr. Pelletier told of having to leave his job in order to pursue Justina’s release, the huge expenses, legal and otherwise, the family has incurred during Justina’s imprisonment, and how the family is in danger of losing their home and all of their assets because of the resultant financial problems. Mr. Pelletier additionally described how Massachusetts politicians from the governor on down and from both ,ajor political parties have rebuffed all requests to intervene on Justina’s behalf.
The outdoor church service was then begun by the Rev. Pat Mahoney with responsive readings and prayer. Mahoney gathered Mr. and Mrs. Pelletier and their daughters in attendance, and prayed specifically for the various needs of Justina and her family. Prayer was offered for the police officers guarding the entrance to the Wayside facility and monitoring the gathering, and for the Wayside employees and government officials involved in the Pelletier case. The service ended with a benediction, and the Pelletier’s remained afterwards to answer questions and to receive encouragement from their supporters.
Mr. Mahoney said that efforts will continue to free Justina and return her to her parents using legal and political strategies, and a continuation of the social media and telephone campaigns to raise awareness and support for the Pelletiers. A protest in front of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s residence is being planned, and noon protests in front of the Massachusetts State House on Justina’s behalf were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday 22-23 April 2014.
Shortly before 9:00 p.m. EDT on 22 April 2014 Pastor Mahoney reported the following on his FaceBook page “Rev. Patrick Mahoney”:
“Tragic news. After Justina requested to meet with [her mother] Linda [Pelletier] on [Mrs. Pelletier’s] birthday [Wednesday 23 April 2014], DCF (Massachusetts Department of Children and Families) just told the Pelletier's they would not allow it! It is hard to believe that DCF would not allow Justina to meet with her mom on her [mom’s] birthday. Let's continue to pray for Linda and the entire Pelletier family and ask God to bring Justina home quickly!”
More information about the Justina Pelletier case can be found on the Facebook page “A Miracle for Justina”, the Facebook page “Rev. Patrick Mahoney”, and at the website freejustina.com. Contributions to the Pelletier family can be made at freejustina.com.
Pastor Mahoney recommends the following article “Justina Pelletier And The Rule Of The Little Eichmanns” as an excellent perspective on the Justina Pelletier case:
+ Christian Observer, Post Office Box 1371, Lexington, Virginia 24450
+ Redstate, 1 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Suite 600, Washington DC 20001, firstname.lastname@example.org