.- The Archdiocese of Mexico City has condemned the “brutal profanation” 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 “brutal profanation” of the Mass and the Cathedral, “as well as the physical aggression that the faithful suffered”. He also berated “city 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.” Father Valdemar called the protests “an unequivocal expression of religious intolerance and hatred for the Catholic Church.”
This past Sunday, some two hundred PRD sympathizers violently entered the cathedral to “protest” 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 “condemnable and cowardly act of terror” entered the cathedral by “kicking 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,” the statement indicated.
The archdiocese announced that it has decided to close the Cathedral until authorities seriously guarantee “freedom of religion and the integrity of the faithful” who attend Mass and that the “sacrilegious criminals who committed this act of terror be punished as an example.”
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.
“These 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,” Martinez said.