Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Good Idea / Poor Execution

The following was posted on Free Republic.

St. Rose Latin Mass: COPS CALLED, Parishioners Banned from Mass

This past Sunday, April 30, Robert Petratos, a parishioner of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Cleveland, was shoved by an usher and banned from attending Mass by the new associate pastor of St. Rose, Father William Rooney, O.F.M. Petratos, a longtime parishioner, was accosted for passing out to other parishioners a personal letter he had written concerning the abrupt decision by the new "pastoral team" (including Father Bill Rooney) to end the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Rose.

According to Petratos, a humble man and devout Catholic, "after passing out a few letters at the 8:00 am Mass (a Novus Ordo Mass), I was pushed and followed by one of the ushers." He continues, "when Fr. Rooney saw this, he rushed right over and said to me 'Don't do that!' (referring to the letter distribution)" According to Patrastos, Father Rooney then said to the usher: "We're going to have to call the police."

Thereafter, Petratos went home to obtain more copies of his letter to distribute at the 10:00 am Traditional Latin Mass.

"I was passing them out in the parking lot as people were coming in and putting them on windsheilds...when I noticed a cop car."

Petratos approached the police to determine if there was any problem with his actions.

"They asked what I was doing and I said I was passing out a personal letter to my fellow parishioners with my phone number to call me. They didn't seem to care."

At this point Father Rooney came over and very adamantly told them Petratos had to leave parish property and that Petratos was forbidden from handing his letter to his fellow parishioners.

Petratos gives the following account of what happened next:

After several minutes of a back and forth between all of us, I asked Father Rooney point blank to clarify if he was saying that I could not attend Mass. He said "I want you to leave right now."

I repeated myself a second time and asked for another clarification by saying "are you saying that I can not go to Mass? He repeated himself and said "I'm telling you to leave right now and NOT to come back at the 12:00."

I was then told by the police that "since Father does not want you here, ff you come back you will be aressted for tresspassing."
The individual who posted this account appears to have been pretty ticked off by the treatment of the gentleman passing out letters. Now in fairness, it does sound like the parish priest could have handled the situation a bit more tactfully. However, there is a really basic rule that I think should always be followed. One never does anything on church property and especially at Liturgy (or Mass) beyond the normal things expected without the permission/blessing of the priest. Readers of this blog will know that I am highly sympathetic to those in the Roman Church who yearn for greater access to the Traditional Roman Rite of the Liturgy. And no one has ever accused me (outside of FR anyways) of being cozy with liberals. However there are limits to the right to dissent. A church is NOT a public sidewalk or park. There is NO right to behave in a disruptive or disrespectful manner. You do not have "freedom of speech" in your church or on church grounds unless your priest/bishop says you do. There are appropriate ways to communicate your unhappiness with your pastor if you have a grievance. This was not appropriate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! »