Washington archdiocese warns pastors of demonstrations, disruptions at Catholic churches
November 04, 2014
The Archdiocese of Washington, DC, has warned priests that an unidentified group of protesters has staged demonstrations outside local Catholic churches, and in at least two cases entered the church to disrupt services.
Bishop Barry Knestout, the vicar general of the archdiocese, has written to all local priests, alerting them to the possibility of demonstrations. He reports that the group has used bullhorns to shout anti-Catholic slogans and has passed out “fundamentalist literature.” The bishop’s letter advises priests to alert their parish staff members, to be prepared for the possibility of demonstrations, and to contact police if there is any danger of disruptions.
Priests and parish staff should react calmly to provocations, Bishop Knestout says, but ushers should not allow people to enter the church with bullhorns or placards. The bishop’s letter includes proposed announcements that might be read to protesters if they enter the church and to the congregation if a protester is removed.
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