National Media Watch

Archbishop Closes New Orleans Church After Sacrilege

TIMES-PICAYUNE, March 28 — Following a week of protests, New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes decided to close St. Augustine Catholic Church until worship can take place without the threat of disruption, reported the Times.

Archbishop Hughes’ order came following sign-waving protesters who interrupted a priest during Mass at the parish. The protesters are reacting to the archdiocese’s decision to merge the small parish with neighboring St. Peter Claver while keeping it open for a single Mass each Sunday.

Protesters marched up the aisle with signs during the Mass. During the homily, several protesters interrupted the priest.

Archbishop Hughes described the protest as “sacrilege” and stated that worship there is suspended indefinitely until the Church can be reconsecrated.

“This is a very painful, painful decision to have to make and to have to implement,” said Archbishop Hughes. “I don’t take any joy in this. I wish that St. Augustine was a flourishing parish. It’s not.”

‘Most Tolerant City’ Can’t Tolerate Christians

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, March 25 — More than 25,000 evangelical Christian youth attended a two-day San Francisco rally against popular culture that glamorizes sex and violence. The city of San Francisco condemned the rally, describing the gathering as a “fascist mega-pep rally,” reported the Chronicle.

San Francisco is the first of the “Battle Cry for a Generation” rally’s three stops. The event, which features concerts and speeches, will also take place in Detroit and Philadelphia.

Organizer Ron Luce hopes to use the event to call young people to godliness and purity. “This is more than a spiritual war,” he said. “It’s a culture war. … An enemy has launched a brutal attack on them.”

The city’s Board of Supervisors condemned the event as an “act of provocation … by anti-gay, anti-choice” people to “negatively influence the politics of America’s most tolerant and progressive city.”

The evangelical event was not the only thing denounced recently by the Board of Supervisors. The city fathers March 21 unanimously approved of a resolution condemning former San Francisco Archbishop William Levada, who is now prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for an e-mail in which he instructed the archdiocese to stop adoptions through its Catholic Charities agencies to same-sex couples.

Prom Will Not Condone Homosexual Date

BUFFALO NEWS, March 27 — Villa Maria Academy school officials say that senior Laura Murphy may attend the prom alone, but she cannot bring her homosexual date, reported the News.

“There are some principles we need to stand by,” said Sister M. Ambrose Wozniak, provincial minister of the Felician Sisters, who sponsor the Buffalo school. “The prom would not be the place for this.”

“It’s senior prom,” said Murphy. “I want to share it with someone special.”

According to the News, the couple attended a semi-formal dance at the high school in December without incident. The school will close at the end of the year due to declining enrollment.