Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Meanwhile, in New Orleans

This morning's New York Times informs us of 2 Arrested as Police End New Orleans Church Protests . Parishioners in 2 New Orleans churches had been keeping vigil since October. The article states that Church officials tie the closings to a severe shortage of priests. Again, the truth, but perhaps not the whole truth. Salient quote:

"One of the protesters, Harold Baquet, a photographer, dismissed the priest-shortage argument, saying that Our Lady of Good Counsel had been making good use of retired priests. Mr. Baquet, who was not arrested, decried both the closing of his church and the forced entry on Tuesday.

“We turned that community into something ethnically, racially and culturally diverse,” Mr. Baquet said. He added, “Breaking down the old cypress door was abominable, anti-Christian, anti-justice, anti-peace. It’s a drastic overreaction. We weren’t trying to hurt anybody. We were just trying to maintain a Christian community.”

The article mentions the vigils that continue outside New York City churches as the 2 year anniversaries of the closures approach. These arrests echo what happened more precipitously 2 years ago in the Archdiocese of New York with the arrest of the passionate and principled parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Angels in East Harlem. The New York Times chronicled this event in their February 13, 2007 piece, After Vigil to Protest Church Closing, Six Women Are Arrested.

Below, parishioners from Our Lady Queen of Angels stand for their principles outside of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

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