An interesting story is developing in Denver. This just in via The Rocky Mountain News.
By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
August 24, 2007
A group of breakaway Catholic traditionalists who will embark on an annual pilgrimage through Denver today has been banned by the archdiocese from going inside two downtown Catholic churches.
"This is just stunning," said Grider Lee, spokesman for St. Isidore the Farmer parish in Watkins.
Since 1999, the hardier members of the parish have made a 50-mile pilgrimage to the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden to thank God for the completion of their church.
This is not the first time the pilgrims have clashed with Archbishop Charles Chaput and his representatives over their use of Catholic sites during the pilgrimage.
The congregation of 250 families belongs to the Society of St. Pius X, an international sect, which relies upon a 16th century version of the Latin Mass and opposes the Second Vatican Council and its modernizing influences on the church.
Pius X members insist they are faithful Catholics, but the Catholic Church disagrees.
In 2002, Chaput stopped the group’s plan to celebrate a Latin Mass at Cabrini because of its schismatic standing. Since then, the pilgrims have celebrated their Mass at the highway turnout below the shrine.
Until now, however, the group was never stopped from praying in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception or Holy Ghost Church, two flagship parishes that are along the route to Golden.
"By then (the pilgrims) are 25 miles into it and they’re pretty tired," Lee said. "It’s nice to get into air conditioning, frankly, and spend time with our Lord, praying."
The ban was imposed because the archdiocese was receiving complaints from worshippers in past years that the St. Isidore crowd was leaving Pius X literature in the churches and trying to make converts, Communications Director Jeanette DeMelo said.
St. Isidore’s pastor, the Rev. Joseph Lester, said the group will abide by the archdiocese’s decision.
I have two point and a piece of advice.
First, because I know that His Excellency Archbishop Chaput has for many years been very friendly to groups wanting the older Mass, I am confident this decision does NOT stem from any dislike for the older form. Archbp. Chaput was one of the very first bishops in the USA to welcome the FSSP, when he was in Rapidopolis, South Dakota.
Second, when guests start scratching eyeballs, even the well-disposed shut down the welcome. The SSPXers, it seems, wore out their welcome by – can you believe it – leaving their literature in the churches they visited. Brilliant move, that.
Folks, I am sorry to hear this news from Denver, especially when some positive expectations have been raised by the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Nevertheless, we can take this as an object lesson. It would be great if something could be worked out.
Remember that when you are very zealous for the traditional liturgy, and you are faced with convincing priests and bishops to be open, don’t do stupid things. Don’t get in their faces. Don’t be rude. Don’t insist on your superior position. Persuade, don’t bludgeon.