Staffers for Sen. John McCain at the annual convention for the Latino civil rights group La Raza have received mostly positive feedback on a picture of the senator praying at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Mexico City, but one teenager disliked the picture enough to steal it.
On Saturday, the McCain booth at the National Council of La Raza convention was displaying a picture of Sen. McCain praying at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
The shrine is dedicated to the famous apparitions of the Virgin Mary to St. Juan Diego. The apparitions and the miraculous image of Mary which appeared on Juan Diego’s cloak are credited with bringing about the conversion of most of Mexico to the Catholic faith.
The photo of John McCain praying at the shrine received a steady stream of supportive comments throughout the day, with some people even stopping to pose for pictures with the image and requesting copies.
Occasionally a negative comment was heard from passersby about how they thought the photo was disrespectful, but nothing else was said or done.
However, on Saturday afternoon the McCain booth was approached by a group of approximately 50 high school youths protesting and shouting "take it down" in reference to the photograph.
There was no indication of who or what organization sparked the protest.
The staff at the booth refused to take the picture down and tried to talk to the protesters, but got nowhere.
Eventually, one of the teenagers stole the photo and had to be apprehended by security.
La Raza organizers apologized to the McCain staffers and promised to post more security around the booth.
Hessy Fernandez, a spokeswoman for the McCain campaign, told CNA that the incident was “nothing major” and that it was “just a couple of kids” trying to make trouble.
Explaining why Sen. McCain—who is Baptist—would pray at a Catholic shrine, Ms. Fernandez said that, since the Arizona senator has had several Catholics on his Senate staff, he understood the significance of the shrine and went to pray there “as a sign of respect.”