Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Ioan Grillo

11/21/2007 (7 years ago)

Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

100 Political Protesters Disrupted Sunday Mass chanting slogans and threatening the faithful, including the priests.The Archdiocese of Mexico called the event a "condemnable and cowardly act of terror, unequivocal expression of religious intolerance and of the hatred toward the Catholic Church."

Police stand in front of the cathedral in Mexico City in this file photo from April. Services at the cathedral were suspended by the Mexico City Archdiocese after leftist protesters disrupted a Nov. 19 Mass. (CNS photo/Reuters)

Police stand in front of the cathedral in Mexico City in this file photo from April. Services at the cathedral were suspended by the Mexico City Archdiocese after leftist protesters disrupted a Nov. 19 Mass. (CNS photo/Reuters)

Highlights

By Ioan Grillo

Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

11/21/2007 (7 years ago)

Published in Americas


MEXICO CITY (CNS) - Church officials closed and locked Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral and suspended all services after about 150 leftist protesters stormed into a Sunday Mass shouting slogans and kicking over pews.

Father Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Mexico City Archdiocese, said Nov. 19 that the cathedral will not resume Masses until federal and city police can guarantee security. It is the first time the cathedral has suspended services since Mexico's Cristero uprisings in the 1920s, he said.

"We have to take this action before there is bloodshed," Father Valdemar told Catholic News Service. "We need police to launch a public campaign showing we are being protected."

Leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who lost the 2006 presidential race by a razor-thin margin, was leading a protest in the plaza adjoining the cathedral. Lopez Obrador claims the election was rigged and calls himself Mexico's "legitimate president."

The ringing of the church bells during one of the rally's speeches angered the demonstrators.

A breakaway group stormed past a line of police and charged up the cathedral aisle. They finally left after the bells stopped ringing and other protesters called for moderation.

Father Ruben Avila Blancas, who was in the church, described it as an act of terrorism.

"The protesters came in threatening and assaulting. Many of the faithful were injured: old people, crying children," Father Avila said. "We cannot go on like this."

Guadalupe Acosta, head of Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party, condemned the incident but called for an investigation into why the church bells were sounding for such a long time.

"We deny responsibility for these acts," Acosta said on Mexico's W Radio.

Lopez Obrador, who says he wants to lift millions of Mexicans out of poverty, has always described his movement as nonviolent and says he supports demonstrations and civil resistance.

He accused Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of supporting President Felipe Calderon during the 2006 election campaign. Mexico's 1917 Constitution bans clergy from any intervention in politics.

Cardinal Rivera's vocal opposition to Mexico City laws permitting abortion and gay civil unions also angers leftists.

Cardinal Rivera was in Rome Nov. 19 but has voiced full support for the suspension of Masses, Father Valdemar said.

In 1926, the Catholic Church suspended Masses across Mexico after assailants carried out bombings and killings in churches and President Plutarco Elias Calles introduced tough anti-clerical laws.

Some 90,000 people were killed in the ensuing Cristero war before the government and church reached an accord in 1929.

---

Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops



Comments


More Americas

Women, children freed from slavery in Peruvian coca operation Watch

Image of Peruvian Special Forces rescued 26 children and 13 women, some of whom had been raped and held captive for three decades, when they raided a southeastern jungle camp of the left-wing Shining Path rebel group.

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Peruvian Special Forces rescued 26 children and 13 women, some of whom had been raped and held captive for three decades, when they raided a southeastern jungle camp of the left-wing Shining Path rebel group. BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - "Many of these ... continue reading


U.S. and Cuba reopen embassies in groundbreaking move to normalize relations Watch

Image of Official relations between the two countries were severed back in 1961, a diplomatic gulf widened by an embargo on travel and trade.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

The U.S. and Cuba formally re-established diplomatic ties for the first time since 1961 on Monday; a groundbreaking development advocated by Catholic bishops from both countries and set in motion by Pope Francis. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's an ... continue reading


CORRUPTION RAMPANT: Few surprised with prison escape of Mexico's 'El Chapo' Watch

Image of Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman from maximum-security prison last week. Mexico is notorious for having one of the most corrupt governments in the world.  LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


How did he do it? Surveillance video released with inside look at El Chapo's elaborate escape plan Watch

Image of Joaquin

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the second time in 14 years, the most powerful drug trafficker in Mexico and FBI's Public Enemy No. 1 has escaped prison using a tunnel. After Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was confirmed to have escaped from the country's most secured prison, the largest manhunt in ... continue reading


Did Pope Francis chew coca leaves during his visit in Bolivia? Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During Pope Francis' recent visit in South America, there were claims he requested to chew some coca leaves to help him cope with the high altitude. Bolivian authorities stated earlier that the Pope made the request during his stay in La Paz, but the Pontiff clarified ... continue reading


Thousands of Argentineans cross into Paraguay to see their country's Pope Francis Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of prideful Argentineans crossed in to Paraguay to see their Pope Francis speak at the border town of Caacupe. The Pontiff praised the women of Paraguay in his sermon. He recalled how many were left widowed and orphaned after the War of the Triple ... continue reading


Pope Francis stays calm after receiving shocking, outrageous gift from Bolivia president Watch

Image of Pope Francis appeared stunned by the strange gift.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During Pope Francis' short trip in Bolivia, President Evo Morales gave him a crucifix of Jesus, nailed in the symbol of communism: hammer and sickle. The Pontiff maintained a neutral and diplomatic approach as he was handed the gift, which is a significant item in the ... continue reading


ON THE LOOSE: Mexico's most feared drug lord - They Can't Keep Me - 'El Chapo' escapes maximum-security prison Watch

Image of The leader of one of the world's most powerful and deadly drug trafficking operations, El Chapo was able to escape from custody previously in 2001 from a high-security prison by hiding in a laundry cart.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a humiliating blow to the Mexican government, the nation's most feared and powerful drug lord -- Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman skipped out of maximum security prison. Guzman is believed to have crawled through a hole in the shower area of his cellblock at the ... continue reading


Paraguayan women need to preserve nation's heritage, and build its future, Pope says Watch

Image of These are

By CNA/EWTN News

Saying Mass at the Marian shrine of Caacupe on Saturday, Pope Francis reflected that it is the task of the "women, wives and mothers" of Paraguay to keep alive their nation's faith and heritage. Caacupe, Paraguay (CNA/EWTN News) - The Roman Pontiff said July 11 ... continue reading


Pope's trip to Ecuador has very special meaning for missionary Watch

Image of On July 6, his first day in Ecuador, Pope Francis has already visited the Divine Mercy Shrine in Guayaquil.

By CNA/EWTN News

Everyone at the Vatican is praying for the fruits of the Pope's apostolic visit to Latin America, but there is one person with a special insight into the papal trip. Quito, Ecuador (CNA/EWTN News) -- Sister Andrea Romero Saltos is an Idente Missionary and the ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Numbers 13:1-2, 25--14:1, 26-29, 34-35
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,2 'Send ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 106:6-7, 13-14, 21-22, 23
6 Like our ancestors, we have sinned, we have acted ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 15:21-28
21 Jesus left that place and withdrew to the region ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 5th, 2015 Image

St. Addal
August 5: A disciple of Christ sent by St. Thomas to the court of King ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter