Administrators from the University of Barcelona, Spain have announced that its weekly Wednesday Mass will be suspended due to protests by a group of self-proclaimed “secular progressive” students.
The university stated that no more Masses will be celebrated “until the university can guarantee the security of students who wish to attend the liturgy.”
At the beginning of November, shortly before Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Barcelona, a group of “secular progressive” students tried to boycott one of the university Masses, reported the Spanish newspaper ABC. Police then began providing security at the chapel.
On Dec. 15, some 40 students interrupted Mass at the chapel. Fr. Mosen Lluis Ramos, one of the university chaplains said, “It is sad that these kinds of boycotts” are taking place because they “prevent people from freely expressing their beliefs, and this must not be allowed.”
“What happens here on many Wednesdays has no justification,” he told ABC.
Officials have decided to build a direct entrance to the campus chapel as a security measure for Catholics who wish to attend Mass without being berated and assaulted by anti-Christian groups on their way.
The university has maintained an agreement with the Archdiocese of Barcelona since 1988. The agreement ensures that an area on campus can be used for Catholic liturgies.
“Article 18 of the Law on Human Rights and our own Constitution guarantee this right for citizens,” Fr. Ramos added.
In the wake of the decision to suspend Mass, the university now screens those who wish to enter the chapel. Catholics must identify themselves and ask permission from university administrators. Despite these measures, some professors say they have not been allowed access to the chapel.
The anti-Catholic group on campus is made up of some 40 students and a handful of professors. “They have gotten the administration to do whatever they want so far. First they got the chapel closed and then they made it difficult to go there to pray. It’s intolerable,” said one professor who asked not to be named.