Cleaning Out The Trash From St Cecilia Cathedral – Would We Do The Same?

Cleaning Out The Trash From St Cecilia Cathedral – Would We Do The Same?

[Hat-tip to gpmtrad: “Make this man an honorary Knight Templar! (Mary Poppins Makes Unscheduled Landing)”]

“Cultural presentation” – my arse!

A Mary Poppins mannequin hanging from the ceiling of a Catholic cathedral. A Buddha statue in one of the side chapels. These abominations really occurred in St. Cecilia Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Omaha last January. What I just described isn’t mere sacrilege; the Buddha statue raised the ante to idolatry. At least one faithful Catholic had enough – and did something about it!

First let’s set forth some details. In late January, the cathedral hosted its 31st “Flower Festival” and this year’s “theme” (?) was “A Night At The Movies”. Mark Kenney, a custodian of the cathedral – in the true sense of the word – recognized the insult to the Faith and Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. He cut down the Mary Poppins thing from the ceiling and tossed out the Buddha idol and a few other monstrosities as well. The pastor confronted him. Kenney admitted to his deeds, saying, “Father, this is bullshit! We can’t have this in the church. This isn’t culture, it’s Disney crap!” Later Kenney correctly stated that what happened was sacrilege for the most part, idolatry with respect to the Buddha junk. He did not resist arrest when the police came for him.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 24, Holy Thursday. I think it’s rather appropriate since it was on the evening of Holy Thursday that Jesus was arrested in preparation for His Crucifixion.

Let’s look at some facets of this matter, shall we? Firstly this pastor, allegedly a canon lawyer, stated, “Cathedrals are kind of the epicenter for culture presentation and development.” No they aren’t! They are sacred places dedicated to the worship of the One True God! They should NOT be used to “present culture” that is idolatrous and at enmity with the teachings of Jesus Christ. As I read further down the article, I saw that one of the exhibits was one devoted to Queen Elizabeth I of England – you know, the English protestant monarch who was responsible for the large-scale persecution and murders of hundreds of English Catholics. So “cultural development” means heaping honor on an unrepentant persecutor of Catholics?

Our Lord Damaging Personal Property

The article states that Kenney was fired and that his “safe environment” certificate was revoked, prohibiting him from volunteering or working when children are present. In a sane world, such revocation would also have occurred with regard to the pastor and the other masterminds behind the obscenity. Clearly they pose a serious threat to the immortal souls of all parishioners, owing to their allowance of idolatry in the Cathedral.

The writer of the article, towards the end, engages in a bit of “editorializing”. He opines that the damage to personal property was not appropriate. Normally I might agree, except that this “personal property” was used to commit multiple sins against the First Commandment. Think of it this way; had swastikas been affixed to the walls of the cathedral, would anyone in their right mind have had any bones about ripping them from the walls? Of course not (cowardice issues notwithstanding)! Once again I think the Principle of Double Effect applies. The good effect is the cessation of the idolatry by its removal; any damage is corollary.

Kenney hopes that the incident will spark some conversation in the Church about what is permissible in a Catholic Church wherein the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. I do too. I also hope that it causes us all to consider what we might do if we should ever find ourselves confronted with blatant affronts to Our Lord in His church. Will we have the courage and resolve to correct the situation?

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