Phoenix, AZ: secularist pogrom focused on church bells

The late Msgr. Richard Schuler loved church bells.  The lofty bell tower of St. Agnes Church in St. Paul with its four bells, would ring the hours and half hours 24/7, as well as the Angelus at noon and 6 pm, summons bells before masses, a somber toll on 3 pm every Friday, as well as ringing for the Resurrection on Saturday evenings.   The great bell, "Richard", would toll at the consecration on Sunday Masses, for funerals and all the bells would peal at the end of funerals and for weddings.

These bells functioned to remind the people of the neighborhood what day it was, when to go to church for Mass, what was going on in church, when to to to pray during the day … the echo of an era when the once heavily Catholic immigrant neighbors could walk to church.  A reminder to us today that religion should be woven into all our daily activities.  Our Catholic identity is 24/7.

If perhaps someone would call the rectory to complain about the bells… usually someone with a snoot full or simply bilious by nature… Msgr. Schuler would make the observation that, after decades of studying the question, he had come to the conclusion that if someone didn’t like church bells, it was because they had a bad conscience about something. 

I was interested, therefore, by this story from CNA about the ringing of church bells in Arizona.

My emphases and comments.


Arizona Catholic church sues to ring its bells

Phoenix, Ariz., Sep 6, 2009 / 04:23 am (CNA).- Three churches have filed a lawsuit against the city of Phoenix, charging that its noise ordinance which prohibits the ringing of their church bells is unconstitutional and suppresses a long American tradition. [Get this…] One pastor was sentenced to jail [!?!]  for violating the ordinance, which allows an exception for ice cream trucks but not for churches.  [What’s wrong with this picture?]

St. Mark Roman Catholic Parish, First Christian Church, and Christ the King Liturgical Charismatic Church have challenged the ordinance in a lawsuit filed by attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).  [True ecumenism.]

Christ the King Church joined the lawsuit after its pastor, Bishop Rick Painter, was sentenced for ringing his church’s bells as a way of praising God. He was given a suspended sentence of ten days in jail and three years’ probation on June 3.  [probation… talk about the Clapper of Damocles!]

“The church bells chime a short, ancient melody of praise to God no louder than an average conversation,” Bishop Stanley explained. [Must be a carillon.] “It’s true that people can hear the bells at that low level. After all, bells are meant to be heard. But the city’s problematic ordinance is being used to inconsistently single out the peaceful sound of this time-honored expression of worship while allowing exceptions for others.”

A judge [One wonders about this judge.  Is this an elected judge?] has issued an order restricting chimes at the church to no more than 60 decibels for two minutes on Sundays and specific religious holidays.

An ADF statement reports that the bells at Bishop Painter’s church normally chime every hour from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Their volume has been registered as emitting 67 decibels at the nearest property line. By comparison, a whisper is 30 decibels and a normal conversation runs from 60 to 70 decibels.

Under an exception to the ordinance, ice cream trucks are allowed to emit sounds of up to 70 decibels at a distance of 50 feet.

In August, after a neighbor complained about the bells, [Wouldn’t it be interesting to interview that person?] city officials told St. Mark Roman Catholic Parish that ringing its bells could be considered in violation of the same noise ordinance. The officials included two representatives from the Phoenix city prosecutor’s office and two city police officers.

St. Mark has rung its bells for the last 20 years. Christians have used church bells since at least the early middle ages.

ADF senior legal counsel Erik Stanley explained the suit, saying that churches shouldn’t be published “for exercising their faith publicly.”

He charged that the law is “unconstitutionally vague” and has been abused to silence a form of worship that has “peacefully sounded through the streets of our nation since its founding.”

“No one should be sentenced to jail and probation for doing what churches have traditionally done throughout history, especially when the sound of the church’s bells does not exceed the noise level that the law allows for ice cream trucks,” Stanley said.

The suit seeks to ensure that the churches can ring their bells without fear of future prosecution and criminal penalties.


Once upon a time in a place such as Arizona, heavily Hispanic, you would never have heard this.  Now that Arizona has been invaded by lefties and progressivists from the East, suddenly religion in public is a problem.

Bad consciences? 


Would this judge issue a similar edict about an adhan? A mosque’s call to prayer? 

Would the judge jail a muezzin?

UPDATE 7 Sept 1705 GMT

The Bourdon of Notre Dame in Paris



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  1. medievalist says:


    One of the few remaining joys of the overly-secular UK is that many churches still ring bells, especially here in York. As for their noise level…a busy street of traffic can drown them out, yet I don’t see drivers jailed for causing noise pollution.

  2. TNCath says:

    We had a similar objection to an electronic carillon that rang the Angelus daily (Noon and 6 p.m. only) and that played a couple of hymns after the 6 p.m. ringing. Within six weeks someone cut the wires on the roof. Every time we would have them repaired, they would be cut yet again. After at least ten times repairing the wires, we finally gave up.

    I don’t know so much about the guilty consciences down here. Anti-Catholicism is alive and well here in the South.

  3. Jayna says:

    We just got a carillon system at my church and I’m pretty they’re ringing it at louder than 60 decibels (you can hear it inside the church with the doors closed) and the houses that are literally about 50 feet away from the church have not said a single thing about it. Then again, I am in Georgia – the buckle of the Bible Belt (though there is a mosque right down the street).

    And you are right, Father, this would not be an issue for any other religion. Even if someone had complained, there certainly wouldn’t have been jail time involved. And three years probation for violating a city noise ordinance? That seems excessive.

  4. MikeJ9919 says:

    This is clearly going to be ruled unconstitutional. While the Supreme Court has taken a more restrictive view of the Free Exercise Clause in recent years, even their most restrictive rule says only that religions are subject to generally applicable laws that don’t single out religion. The ice cream truck exception is the death knell for this law. By including an exception for ice cream trucks, it’s no longer a generally applicable law.

    And that’s even assuming that Arizona doesn’t have a more expansive view of religious rights. In the wake of the SCOTUS case to which I’m referring, many states passed their own acts expanding protection of religious freedom. Arizona may be one of them, I’m not sure.

    Regardless, it may take awhile, but I find it very likely this law won’t last forever.

  5. Andrew Hollingsworth says:

    Westminster Cathedral and St James’s Spanish Place to name but two London Churches which I have worked close too, have the Angelus Bell every day. It is clearly audible in surrounding buildings. No one seems to complain. But then Big Ben can be heard for quite a distance perhaps the British are just used to bells.

  6. Supertradmom says:

    Sadly, something similar happened in north London a year ago and in Italy, only that was by a priest. I suggest the method used by the Italian villagers–pots and pans. Here, I am at this moment listening to a lawn mower, and earlier, at 10:00 a.m., a hedge clipper. Some towns in Germany do not allow yard work using electric or gas motors on Sundays.

    By the way, the reason in England why people really made a fuss was that they wanted to “sleep in” and not be awakened by Church bells. Isn’t that the point of the bells, besides praising God?

  7. trad catholic mom says:

    Father asked if a muezzin would be charged and jailed? The answer is yes. In many cities including mine [So, you live in Arizona? In Phoenix? The story is about Phoenix.] the local masjid cannot even get permission for the adhan. Although one parish I visit does have lovely bell tower in regular use, it is not something most parishes have here.

    Considering how often I am forced to listen to someones boom boom from the bass in their car, I can’t believe people are complaining about church bells. I hope they win the lawsuit.

  8. mpm says:

    In my home-town, in Bergen County, NJ, the bells of the Community Church have been ringing the hours and appropriate hymns and patriotic ballads since before my family moved there in 1961. I don’t think anyone complains (it adds something nice to the atmosphere of the small town), and over the last 20 years or so, many non-Christian Asians have moved into town, and I think they like it, too!

    So, the complainers about bells chiming must be mere cranks, rootless, no class, no culture.

  9. mpm says:

    “I suggest the method used by the Italian villagers—pots and pans.”

    Sounds like a plan, but what was the method? It sounds like a great story there!

  10. Mitchell NY says:

    I too miss hearing Church bells walking the streets during the day..I don’t think this is what noise laws were deigned for, and if so they should be modified to exclude Churches. I have a beautiful Gothic Cathedral Church across the street from me and I never hear the bells…I imagine it was different in the 40’s when it was built. Laws are meant to protect not be used to extremes, or pretty soon they become so abused they are meaningless. I too wonder how they would handle a loud call to prayer at a Mosque..

  11. Catholic Dad says:

    It is not a matter of Catholic worship that church bells are to ring on the hour, every hour from 8am to 8pm. In Catholic worship, bells are rung for specific religious devotions, such as The Angelus, at the Consecration, to call people to Mass, etc. I doubt the city would have interfered if that is what the bells were being rung for, but to announce the hour every hour for 12 hours every day – can we really argue in the courts that this a liturgical function?

  12. patrick_f says:

    Satan is definately at work.

    I seem to recall, legend as it is, that the bells at St Francis Xavier college church rang after Satan was cast back to hell in St. Louis.

    That’s where my comparison is. Obviously there is some demonic influence there

    And I WOULD argue, yes, there is a function to the bells ringing on the hour. It is a reminder that our days arent truly for us. Just as all things have a time, a purpose a season under God and Heaven, so too the bells remind us of this

    Also, since Churches are a “Sacramental” there is supposed to be a minor exorcism associated with it. Er Go, if people are getting upset that the bell rings, maybe there is something more to it then simply being redundant or annoying.

    If I was a demon…. I would HATE church bells, especially if they did have a minor exorcism attached to it.

    You all might be thinking, Patrick has gone off the deep end. But its becoming increasingly my experience, that part of our problem is, we arent calling the “Satan Card” anymore. We as a people, as a church, treat the demonic as the “Crazy Uncle”

    Also, I would considerably be concerned that its a Goverment attempting to do this, under the guise of “Noise Ordinances” … truly troubling indeed

  13. pjsandstrom says:

    Have you ever heard the Bourdon bell of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris rung on 11 November, 14th July, and for Easter Vigil, or other civil and religious great occasions? It can be heard (and felt) all over Paris! When you hear it you know something important is happening or being remembered (anamnesis). And Notre Dame and most of the Churches of Paris have a series of bells which are rung each day. Most of the people who complain about Church bells, also complain about cock’s crowing, and about the ‘smells’ of country life — but of course, they would not complain about the over amplified music of ‘rock and roll’ — and all its variants which make for at least ‘temporary deafness’ for the band and also for the listeners if they get too close to the loudspeakers.

  14. trad catholic mom says:

    Father, I don’t live in Phoenix anymore. I do miss attending mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Church there though.

  15. pjsandstrom: The Bourdon of N.-D. de Paris… yes… more than 60 decibels. I have a great recording of it.

  16. I am having a hard time imagining Sheriff Joe Arpaio arresting a clergyman for ringing a church bell in Maricopa County.

  17. Virgil says:

    What does this have to do with “leftists and progressives from the east?”

    Must everything about politics and political philosophy?

    Face it. We love church bells. Progressives and conservatives. Christians and Muslims. Just because someone is cranky and nuttey does not make him a “leftist” or “progressive” or “from the east.” He is just a moonbat. And moonbats can be lefty and righty.

  18. Jayna says:

    “Face it. We love church bells. Progressives and conservatives.”

    Actually, the progressives in my parish hate church bells and are rather upset by the carillon that was recently installed. They seem to be against bells in general, so much so that the liturgist would have an absolute fit if we were to use them for the consecration and elevation at Mass. I don’t know how it is elsewhere, but I can without doubt say that the progressives round these parts most emphatically do not like church bells.

  19. patrick_f says:

    “They seem to be against bells in general, so much so that the liturgist would have an absolute fit if we were to use them for the consecration and elevation at Mass.”

    The key word in this phrase is “Liturgist”

    We have a liturgist…its the Congregation for Divine Worship..

    They publish a liturgy guide….its called the “Ordo”

    So… Liturgists, go find something else to do. I am sure there is coffee and donuts to serve, or Bingo to play somewhere that requires your immediate attention

    This is yet another problem. Let the Priest do his job, he, and the Bishop alone are responsible for how a church is ran, and how mass is said. They both went to school a minimum of 5 years to learn. I doubt they need the help of a lay liturgist.

  20. Leonius says:

    Don’t bells help to chase the demons away?

    Anyway I would think the bells where there long before the resident complaining and as such have precedence. It’s like buying a house next to a football stadium and then complaining the crowd cheer to loud, utterly ridiculous.

    The church near me has a clock tower and the bells chime every fifteen minutes its not a disturbing sound at all.

  21. Leonius says:

    “Every time we would have them repaired, they would be cut yet again. After at least ten times repairing the wires, we finally gave up.” TNCath

    I suggest the men in your parish make use of their second amendment rights for the purpose they were granted to them.

  22. Girgadis says:

    Every church in Phoenix, Catholic or not, should start ringing its bells on the hour. I’d like to know of what religious persuasion, if any, is this judge? And how did this ordinance pass in the first place?

  23. MargaretMN says:

    This is incredibly stupid. These same people would think it charming to live in Paris or London in a neighborhood full of church bells are upset by their local church here in the USA. They’d rather have churches as museums than full of living breathing people. If you hate church bells, don’t live near one. I’m sure it’s possible to do so.

    As for a mosque’s call to prayer, that is something quite different and I bet it is pretty restricted by the decibels required for such a thing. It’s a lot more like the Richter scale quality medieval ringing that was to call peasants out in the fields to pray. I once lived in a city with a mosque with a tower and 4 bullhorns and it was like the Wednesday noon air raid siren/tornado horn here in Minnesota.

  24. Hidden One says:

    “Every church in Phoenix, Catholic or not, should start ringing its bells on the hour.”

    Now that’s a good idea.

  25. Agnes says:

    I feel so blessed to be in St. Paul, hearing the sounds of bells wafting across the river as a reminder to pray (or get to the last gasp slacker Mass!). I think there would be a major fit if our bells were silenced.

  26. albizzi says:

    I know a similar case of a factory in a big town’s remote suburb. There were no residential houses in the vicinity when it established by the early XXth century. This factory was a bit noisy and stinky.
    In the early fifties a few houses were built. People in the beginning made the best of the noise and of the stench, until the number of houses had grown enough up to the point the neighbours founded a syndicate by the eighties with the aim to chase the factory away. They recently succeeded: The factory was closed and 40 workers became jobless.
    Wiil our bells undergo the same fate?

  27. Denis Crnkovic says:

    Church Bell Stories

    This thread on the obvious infringement of freedom of worship calls up a few reminiscences.

    In the mid 1920’s, the Soviet government banned the ringing of church bells in all cities in Russia. In the mid-1980’s an elderly woman in St Petersburg spoke to me nearly rapturously about her memories of the church bells from her childhood. She described the sound as “shimmering music in the wind.” Fortunately the advent of perestroika in the late 1980’s led to permission to ring church bells once again in Russia. If you are ever in Moscow or St. Petersburg stop and listen to the distinctive sound of those bells, masterfully rung by the Orthodox change ringers. It is spectacular.

    Also spectacular are the seven enormous bells in Giotto’s campanile in Florence. When they are rung at their heartiest it is impossible to carry on a conversation in the streets and squares below, so loud is the rolling peel of that thunderous and glorious sound. I can not imagine what would happen if they were silenced! East or West the repression of the bells is untenable.

    In the mid 1930’s the then Auxilliary Bishop of Harrisburg was appointed interim pastor of a local parish in Lancaster, Penna. The soon-to-be (regular) Bishop issued two edicts during his three month pastorate in the Red Rose City, one renovating and updating the sizable and comfortable rectory, the other silencing the bells in the church tower that rang on the hour. The latter included the Angelus, then rung at 6 A.M., noon and 6 P.M. Years later the bishop would fondly and only half jokingly recall his dislike of the sound of the bells outside his bedroom window. The issue of dampening the bells is not new and not restricted to “progressivists”.

    So, I must take great and respectful exception to the comment about “lefties and progressivists from the East.” In my quarter century in the Midwest I have not heard nearly as much bell ringing as I did back East. I grew up under the sound of those bells that had once been repressed by the Auxilliary Bishop of Harrisburg, and not far from the regular peel of the downtown carillons and, on warm days when the breeze came up out of the southwest, within earshot of the bells of St. Joseph’s Church. I spent a number of years in secular New Haven, where bells and carillons were a regular part of the daily routine. Indeed, St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse dedicated newly cast bells in the early 1980’s with great liturgical pomp. Here, however, I feel lucky to hear the Angelus. And I miss the death knell at funerals.

    I, were I an elected judge, would sentence all bell haters to spend a year in Oxford, U.K. where the tintinabulations of hundreds of bells are to be heard every day at nearly every minute.

  28. P.McGrath says:

    If I could jump off the bell thread for a moment …

    … and bring your attention to the Alliance Defense Fund, who are defending our holy bell-ringers.

    ADF Founder Alan Sears and his fellow litigators are on the forefront of religious liberty defense all across the country.

    The irony is that ADF is headquartered in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale! Whoever wrote that Phoenix ordinance must have had Dumb Flakes for breakfast, because that person should have known that ADF would have been on their case in a flash!

    They’re an important organization. You should support them!

  29. EXCHIEF says:

    I wonder is they zealously enforce those who drive by the Church playing their boombox stereos at well over 100 db?

  30. MargaretMN says:

    Agnes, here in the other twin city, we can hear the bells of the Basilica of St. Mary and some other church, that I’ve never quite figured out, perhaps in Northeast Minneapolis (since I’m in North Minneapolis).

  31. tioedong says:

    sounds like another clapper caper…


  32. Agnes says:

    MargaretMN, I can’t resist… Our St. Paul bells are better than your Minneapolis bells! So lah-dee-dah!

    Maybe you’re hearing St. Mark’s Episcopal across the street?

    EXCHIEF, we have boomboxes, cussing, and once in a blue moon a gunshot, right alongside the bells. Sure gets noisy sometimes on a Saturday night and I would bet the priests in the confessionals are spending their lull time praying for the folks in the neighborhood (if not – do it!). So the solution proposed for Phoenix is to get rid of the bells? Huh???

  33. JackG says:

    So, the church buys an ice cream truck. Installs a set of bells on it. Parks it in the parking lot. And, voila, the law can’t touch ’em.

  34. Clinton says:

    JackG, I believe you were carved from a large and flawless block of brilliant. You, I like.

  35. Matins says:

    I hate to admit, but I agree with noise rules, from any cause. I once worked 12 hour rotating shifts, with hour and twenty minute comute each way. I vividly recall being awakened by *loud* bells from a nearby parish church/school complex. The torture would arrive perhaps 45 minutes into my badly needed sleep.

    When we all worked by day and slept by night, bells were a community asset. In times where many must rest during the day, they can be very offensive.

    Think of this: How would most of us feel of a morning mass was routinely disturbed by a carillion in a near by protestant church? Noise that is not part of a liturgy, but rather a daily “reminder”?

    Church bells have a valid use as liturgical adjuncts. They should be used briefly, and rarely.

  36. AlexE says:

    IMHO, bells are still an asset, they communicate the life of the parish. This is a terrible event, people trying to hide thier guilt. I remember one Sunday I wasn’t going to go to Mass, just because I didn’t want to. All day those bells rang and rang and seemed very loud, that was until I went to Mass. Granted, the noise level should be controlled but this is a sad attack on Churches. I mean if a normal conversation is 70 decibels whats wrong with a 67 decibel bell? Let’s pray the ADF blows this case out of the water and when it does all the church bells peal in thanksgiving. And if it doesn’t let them ring in protest.

  37. Scarlett says:

    I love church bells. I never lived close enough to my parish church – or any of the Protestant churches downtown – to hear them regularly growing up.

    When I was at Georgetown, they rang on the hour, half hour, and quarter hour. They were mostly just background that I didn’t pay too much attention to, until I was a junior – and I lost my watch. Even from my house a block away from campus, I could hear the bells, and they kept me on schedule and on time for class until I found my watch, several weeks later. I didn’t take the bells for granted after that.

    When I was studying abroad in Italy, the church I attended was right at the end of my block, and I always knew that if I could only get out the door as they started ringing on Sunday morning, I could be at church by the time they finished ringing and not be late for Mass.

    I haven’t thought about it in a while, but I miss having that kind of intimate relationship between my life and my schedule and the life and schedule of the church regularly presenting itself to me.

  38. Sixupman says:

    When in Germany, I find it reassuring to hear single sonorous church bells ring out around the city each day and every day, starting at six a.m., Angelus, etc. More on Sundays.

  39. JaneC says:

    I very fondly remember the bells of the church on my college campus. A group of us used to say the Angelus every weekday near the statue of Our Lady outside the church–we started praying when the bells stopped ringing. If I left my dorm when the bells began, I would arrive right on time. When one of our regular attendees left for seminary, I bought him a little brass bell to remember us by.

    As for enforcing noise violations–can those paranoid people who arrested and sentenced that pastor please come to my city and arrest the drunkards who carouse outside my window on Saturday nights? I hope they focus some attention on that, and on the folks who play their stereos so loud that they vibrate the windows of neighboring cars.

  40. Ellen says:

    I have great difficulty finding a quiet place anymore. The mall has muzak and so do all the elevators. Out in the streets it seems as though every car is playing very loud and very obscene rap. The ice cream trucks are ANNOYING! But church bells? They last for a short time and are not in the least obtrusive. I

  41. Mrs doyle says:

    Blimey, just as well we’re not talking about Europe. I lived in Slovenia for 7 months and the bells rang every 15 minutes (and sometimes inbetween)!.
    I love hearing them! You actually get used to them after awhile, I ended up not even noticing.

  42. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    Yes, here is the Bourdon of N-D de Paris. bourdon wonderful!

    Here you can hear it ringing over the Holy Father’s voice giving the Papal Blessing. papal blessing

    HE didn’t object!

  43. Sid says:

    The Sanctification of the Day, as it says in the Ordo of the Divine Office, includes sacred times of day. Bells ought mark these sacred times, and not the 24hr clock. These times are

    1. sunrise, the hour of the discovery of the Resurrection
    2. 9am, the hour of Pentecost
    3. noon, the hour of Peter’s conversion of the first gentile
    4. 3pm, the hour of Our Lord’s death
    5. sunset, the beginning of a Vigil
    6. the call to Holy Mass (and particularly striking [pun intended] at the Cathedral in Florence)
    7. on Sunday and Solemnities at the Solemn Mass from the Sanctus to the end of the Consecration (particularly striking at Solemn Mass at San Marco in Venice)
    8. weddings and funerals
    9. at the Gloria for Holy Thursday and the Easter Vigil, and no bells at all in between.

  44. When we built our new church 3 years ago, we installed an electronic bell system. (I know, but there is no way we could have afforded the real thing.) It rings on the hour between 0800 and 2000, plays a hymn at 5 minutes past the hour, and peels before each Mass. We have received only one complaint but over a score of compliments. One was from a nice Mormon lady who wanted to thank us for “the beautiful bells”. While giving the mayor of our city a tour of the church, I told him about this. He thoughtfully listen to them when they rang and said, “Tell anyone who complains, I said they were OK.”

    If they want to do something about noise, they should look at car stereo and glass-pack mufflers.

  45. Jordanes says:

    One of the things I’ve long enjoyed about living in my town is hearing the bells of various churches at their appointed times. I’m closests to a Lutheran church which rings it’s bells at 6 p.m., followed by a few hymns. A little bit further is my parish church, which rings at noon and 6 p.m. follwed by hymns. On the other end of town is a Congregationalist Church that also has regular chimes and hymns, and not too far from that is a Methodist church with bells and hymns as well. It’s all quite lovely and peaceful, not at all disturbing or annoying. It’s a monstrous notion that the persons who wrote, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” could have ever intended local noise ordinances to be used to silence church bells. Any judge who would issue such a ruling is unfit to exercise his duties.

  46. Girgadis says:


    I wouldn’t be bothered by bells ringing in the least. In fact bells ringing at a Protestant church would be a welcome change from the obscene rap music and loud street conversations that regularly disrupt Mass now. By the way, I worked night shift in a medical/respiratory ICU for 5 years. I would much rather have heard church bells than sirens and car radios and truck horns blaring.

  47. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    Frigidus est, Domne! Agimus tibi gratias. In Tempore magno!

  48. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    Thank you “Sid”, but why not share? Florence Duomo bells

  49. Face it. We love church bells. Progressives and conservatives.

    Funny…it’s always the liberals that won’t allow the sanctus bells to be rung at Mass.

    According to the complaint filed against the city of Phoenix, the city prosecutor and police called St. Mark’s on the carpet on account of the complaints of ONE (1) resident living a block and a half away from the church, which had been ringing its bells for the last 20 years. How come it only takes a handful of nobodies to ruin things for everybody? Why do we allow ourselves to be subjected to the tyranny of a few whiners? The whiners should just cope, instead of demanding that the whole rest of the world turn itself upside down in order to accommodate their petty grievances.

  50. Whoops, link to the complaint didn’t work. Here it is for real:

  51. rosebudsal says:

    Oh no… this saddens me to read. A little over a year ago, we had a county commissioner complain about the church bells ringing at my parish. Bells have tolled for years here and so, there was a bit of an outrage in the paper for a couple of weeks. My pastor wrote a wonderful letter to the editor and pretty much put an end to the controversy.

    In fact, for Pentecost, our Cathedral blessed four new bells to celebrate the parish’s 400th anniversary. Bells here are important. :)

    Maria in Santa Fe

  52. The Corpus Christi Cathedral (in Corpus Christi) revived ringing its tower
    bells a couple of years ago. They do it during Mass at the Consecration.
    I have heard that ringing tower bells during the Consecration is standard practice in
    parts of Europe, like Germany. kind of letting the world know ‘Something’s
    happening!” as well as paying solemn, sometimes joyous, tribute the


  53. I have heard that ringing tower bells during the Consecration is standard practice in
    parts of Europe, like Germany. kind of letting the world know ‘Something’s
    happening!” as well as paying solemn, sometimes joyous, tribute the

    I’d like to see us do that here. I’m not in favor of imitating Europe in too many things, but I could make an exception for this.

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