Friday, April 14, 2006

Matters take a nasty turn in Chicago: an overview.

A very sad occurrance occured today in the Cathedral of Chicago:

A man was arrested for criminal trespass after he reportedly yelled at Cardinal Francis George during a mass Thursday at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, according to police.

Colleen Dolan, communications director for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, said the cardinal told her that the man carried a knife and a sign demanding the cardinal step down, but police said they found no knife or sign.

The incident occurred sometime after 5:15 p.m.

Police said that the man had been warned against entering the church, but that he went inside and created a disturbance. He was charged with criminal trespass, according to Police Officer Hector Alfaro.

According to the cardinal's version, the man stood up at the rear of the church and began shouting at him. [source]

A bit more backstory has since been revealed:

(STNG) CHICAGO A man has been charged with criminal trespass after he was arrested for causing a disturbance at Holy Name Cathedral on Thursday.

Joseph Quinn, 46, was charged with one count of criminal trespass after entering and causing a disturbance at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State St., about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, according to police News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak.

Quinn, of the 7300 block of South Phillips Avenue, had been previously warned not to be on the property, Kubiak said.
Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said protesters were outside the cathedral Thursday evening, but she said she had not heard about the arrest.

A grassroots gathering of those calling for the cardinal's resignation was scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. Friday in front of Holy Name, according to Blaine. A speech would be made at the gathering, she said.

Dianne Dunagan, spokeswoman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, said she was aware that a group was planning to meet outside the cathedral Friday, but could not
immediately provide information about Thursday's alleged incident."

Maybe this guy got a jump on the planned activity, I don't know," Dunagan said. [source]

The group holding the protest outside the Cathedral, according to my sources, was the Louisville chapter of Voice of the Faithful,* who now join S.N.A.P. and the Rainbow Sash Movement in calling for the Cardinal's resignation.

The United Press International reports that Quinn's mother, who lives on the South Side of Chicago, said she hadn't seen him in more than a year. [source]

In recent weeks, two more groups have called for the Cardinal's resignation (as Shelray has blogged on below):

Michael Tario of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Prevention of Clergy Sex Abuse, and Paul Picchietti of the Roman Catholic Faithful lambasted George as being unresponsive to parishioners' concerns about sexual misconduct committed by priests.

They made their allegations at a press conference held outside the Archdioceses of Chicago's offices at 155 E. Superior.

"It just doesn't seem like our leadership is willing or able to do anything about it," said Picchietti, whose group condemns homosexuality and nontraditional Latin masses.
Tario asked all Catholics to withhold donations to the church during the Easter weekend because he believes the money will be misspent on payoffs to keep victims of priest sex abuse silent.

Roman Catholic Faithful founder Stephen Brady said the week's religious significance was also a factor in his group's decision to publicly call for George's resignation.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [SNAP] national director David Clohessy, whose group organized Wednesday's press conference, said he welcomes the support of the conservative groups.

"We don't necessarily agree with them on a whole host of issues," he said, "but we will gladly accept the help of any organization that seeks Cardinal George's resignation."

News coverage of groups that have been supporting the Cardinal, however, seem to be relegated to last-paragraph mention:

While the archdoicese preferred to comment off camera on Wednesday, Ahern said a spokesman pointed out that a large group gathered Tuesday night at Holy Name Cathedral in support of the cardinal. The group met, she said, knowing that the cardinal is facing tough criticism. [source]

It looks like the Cardinal and the members of the Archdiocese of Chicago could use all of ours prayers, especially this Good Friday.

* Oddly enough, it seems that the Chicago-based VOTF membership has not joined in calling for the Cardinal's resignation - source.