.- The Archdiocese of Mexico City has condemned the âbrutal profanationâ during Mass at the Cathedral last Sunday carried out by over two hundred sympathizers of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and its leader, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The protesters forced their way into the Cathedral and began shouting insults against Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City.
In a statement signed by spokesman Father Hugo Valdemar, the archdiocese condemned the âbrutal profanationâ of the Mass and the Cathedral, âas well as the physical aggression that the faithful sufferedâ. He also berated âcity and federal officials [who] have failed in their duty to safeguard freedom of religion and the respect for the most cherished sacrament we Catholics have: the Eucharist.â Father Valdemar called the protests âan unequivocal expression of religious intolerance and hatred for the Catholic Church.â
This past Sunday, some two hundred PRD sympathizers violently entered the cathedral to âprotestâ the ringing of the bells before Mass because, they said, they interrupted the Third National Democratic Convention taking place in the plaza. As is commonly known, the ringing of bells is the traditional call to Mass that has been in use for centuries at Catholic churches.
Those responsible for this âcondemnable and cowardly act of terrorâ entered the cathedral by âkicking open the doors, breaking the security barriers, destroying things, scratching the pews and physically attacking the faithful, which caused a panic among those present, which included old people, women and children,â the statement indicated.
The archdiocese announced that it has decided to close the Cathedral until authorities seriously guarantee âfreedom of religion and the integrity of the faithfulâ who attend Mass and that the âsacrilegious criminals who committed this act of terror be punished as an example.â
Armando Martinez, president of the College of Catholic Lawyers, said his organization would file a lawsuit in response to the protests, and he blamed Senator Rosario Ibarra, who was speaking at the political Convention, for inciting the acts by asking during her discourse if the bells were being rung to greet them or to silence them.
âThese are acts of terror that we must not permit, above all because they put the security of the faithful, the cardinal, the bishops and those in attendance at risk,â Martinez said.