.- Harassment from a fundamentalist group calling themselves the âMinistry of Annoyanceâ caused some faithful visiting an Ohio Marian shrine for the Feast of the Assumption to take up fists in defense of their Church. According to WNWO News in Ohio, three teens and one adult were arrested in the melee which took place at the Our Lady of Consolation Shrine on Sunday.
For the past 130 years, the shrine has hosted a celebration on the feast of the Assumption of Mary, which falls annually on August 15th.
According to reports, the groupâs presence at the shrine is nothing new. They have shown up at the pilgrimage site for the last two years calling on Catholics to abandon their belief in God and the Church, but this year was different.
On Sunday, instead of staying together in one location, the so-called âstreet preachersâ dispersed themselves into the crowd of thousands where arguments began among some 300-400 people.
Fr. John Raphael, rector of the shrine, told WNWO that, "They show up with video cameras, send threatening faxes, and are there to cause problemsâ¦I instruct my staff and those faithful who show up to ignore them.â
"They go to other placesâ, he added, âand do the same thing. I tell my staff to pray for them."
David Hartline, a frequent shrine visitor, noted on his blog, the Catholic Report, that âthe âMinistry or Minister of Annoyanceâ marched with the pilgrims shouting that Catholic dogma about Mary and just about anything else that Catholics believe is wrong.â
He added however, that no major Evangelical leader or church backs âsuch an angry group.â