Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sacrilege Shutdown
Archbishop cites sacrilege for immediate closing of a NO church. CNS has the brief. Local news coverage here. Archbishop Alfred Hughes, during a news conference, said he had no choice but to close St. Augustine Church because protesters had desecrated it by interrupting Mass. It cannot be reopened, he said, until it is consecrated again.

Sandra Gordon, the president of St. Augustine's pastoral council, said that in the meantime, parishioners and protesters would stay at the church. "We will continue to peacefully occupy the facilities because this is our parish. It is the property of the congregation, not the archdiocese," she said, trembling as she read a statement on Monday.

Great. Another local parish stands off against their bishop. The timing between the disruption of Mass (Sunday) and the order to close (Monday) seems a bit short to me. I suppose if you're going to close a church for that reason, the closure needs to be quick to avoid obvious questions like, "If the protest was an actual sacrilege, why did you let other liturgies take place there in the interim?"

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