Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Peaceful Church Vigils Broken Up By Cops, Archdiocese


Middle of the night raids.

No negotiations.



I'm not Catholic, will someone parse this out for me?

Amongst the complaints from the Archdiocese:

Hughes and Comiskey also cited other reasons for their change in concern, among them reports that children had spent the night inside the churches and that people were exercising in the buildings.

That apparently referred to some occupiers' walking laps around interiors during their two- and four-hour shifts -- as well as to "reports of people bringing yoga mats, things like that, " Comiskey said.

The archdiocese believes that either is inappropriate. Even though neither church contains the Blessed Sacrament, consecrated bread that Catholics believe is the body and blood of Christ, the churches are still sacred, consecrated spaces, she said.

Seems pretty harsh to me, but others would know better. Anyone care to enlighten?


The author Poppy Z. Brite was one of the arrested parishioners. Check out this diary from just this past Sunday, after officials from the Archdiocese entered the Church in the middle of the night to scout the premises in advance of this morning's bullying.

We gathered at the church yesterday, gave a unified statement to the media, held our rosary service at 11:00 this morning as we do every Sunday, and plan to continue our vigils until Archbishop Hughes can treat us like the committed Catholic parishioners we are instead of fallen criminals who deserve to be raided in the night.

And raided they were. For real this time.


jeffrey said...

It's a bunch of bullcrap. If it's "inappropriate" for children to spend a night in a "consecrated space" what does it mean to abandon and/or demolish that space instead?

Civitch said...

Well someone better tell St. Alphonsus, because that is still an active church and they do movie shoots and fundraisers and private dinners IN THE CHURCH to raise money.

I was raised Catholic, and I have never heard of restrictions on what you can do inside a church. Hughes is grasping at straws to rationalize this brutal overreaction.

jeffrey said...

Not to mention the prominent tourist attraction "consecrated space" in Jackson Square.

Leigh C. said...

It is a load of BS. This church's parishioners exceeded the financial obligations that the Archdiocese held them to in order to keep the church open and it was STILL closed.

The vigilists here are taking their cues from church vigils in Boston.

Puddinhead said...

Progressives should know the deal on civil disobedience, which is exactly what the "vigils" became once the Archdiocese officially closed the churches. You peacefully protest...if part of your protest includes breaking laws with sit-ins ("vigils"), you expect to be "cordially" arrested and to submit to the appropriate civil penalties for your actions.

I feel for the people of these two parishes. The parish in which I was baptized was closed by the time I was of school age. As a young adult I saw (I think) five separate neighboring parishes consolidated into one new parish serving the same geographic area. My own parish at the time was unaffected, but was contiguous to the affected parishes. The sad truth is that so few American Catholics have been answering the calling for decades that we've had to "import" priests for years...and even with that, there just aren't enough ordained priests to supply every parish. Plenty of otherwise viable parishes are being closed because of this, and Katrina only served to speed the process locally.

My understanding is that neither St. Henry's or Good Counsel had an active school, while St. Stephen's a few blocks away does have an active school program. I would think that this would carry a lot of weight in any decision making process once consolidation was considered.