Catholic World News

Custodian fined for destroying images of Buddha, Mary Poppins in Omaha cathedral

March 25, 2016

The former custodian at St. Cecilia cathedral in Omaha was fined $100 and order to pay court costs after pleading guilty to the destruction of a display in the cathedral that had included a Mary Poppins figure and an image of Buddha.

Mark Kenney acknowledged that he had cut through the steel cable that suspended the Mary Poppins figure from the ceiling of the cathedral, and destroyed the cardboard image of Buddha that was displayed in a chapel. He argued that the images-- part of an art show in the cathedral's nave-- were inappropriate for a Catholic church. 

Cathedral officials told the court that they would not seek restitution for the costs of the damaged display. However, Kenney was fired from his position. 



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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Mar. 27, 2016 9:57 AM ET USA

    I believe the custodian should be commended for his strict adherence to the First Commandment! I pray the people of the parish will seek his reinstatement with back pay!

  • Posted by: space15796 - Mar. 27, 2016 3:06 AM ET USA

    How often does it happen that lay people instruct those who (supposedly) have the training to shepherd their flock? This kind of thing seems to be happening more and more. Thank God Mark Kenney saw this nonsense for what it is, and stood up to it. I saw the photos of the suspended Mary Poppins figure - disgusting.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 26, 2016 12:11 PM ET USA

    Why should he be fined? What are Mary Poppins & Buddha doing in a Catholic church in the first place? The bishop should be congratulating him!! Those images don't belong in a Catholic Curch in the firsgt place.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Mar. 26, 2016 9:53 AM ET USA

    AS for me, I like that guy. I am surprised that the disordered minds that chose such figures for display in their Cathedral, no less, didn't include Mohamed. Oh, but of course not, Muslims would be offended. They don't even make images of their so-called "prophet".

  • Posted by: rfr46 - Mar. 26, 2016 8:58 AM ET USA

    How about a little mercy for this man?! His instincts were better than those of the people who approved the exhibition. They should be admonished or worse, not this poor misguided but well meaning janitor. What is our Church coming to? Don't answer. I think I know.

  • Posted by: Daniel Conte - Mar. 25, 2016 11:01 PM ET USA

    I'd contribute to a fund to pay his fine.

  • Posted by: mhains8491 - Mar. 25, 2016 8:19 PM ET USA

    I can understand his zeal, when Mary Poppins and Buddha are used to mock the Lord's House. Christ knotting a cord and driving out the money changers and merchants from the Lords House comes to mind.

  • Posted by: Arms of Moses - Mar. 25, 2016 7:49 PM ET USA

    It has got to be really hard to come up with a reasonable EXCUSE for this type of display in a Catholic church...Cathedrals are not multi-purpose rooms...

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Mar. 25, 2016 6:53 PM ET USA

    Fire the bishop and rector of the Omaha Cathedral and put the custodian in charge!

  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Mar. 25, 2016 6:30 PM ET USA

    What were a Mary Poppins figure and a cardboard Buddha doing in a Catholic cathedral? An art show in the nave? Dear God.