WEDNESDAY
February 11, 2004
vol 15, no. 42

Diocesan Basilica of St. Adalbert







The POWER of the Rosary!
AMBUSHED BY GRACE!

    Den of Thieves overturned Prayerfully, Powerfully and Peacefully!

Initial Report from the field by Jacob Michael

The Power of Prayer once again Prevailed over Evil as Traditional Catholics gathered at the Grand Rapids Basilica while countless other loyal Catholics prayed from afar just as the Christians prayed for victory at the Battle of Lepanto. The results: Victory for Christ and Our Lady!

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. I'd like to welcome you all to the basilica this evening. My name is Father Michael McMahon, and I am the pastor of St. Margaret Mary church in Allendale. I have here a pamphlet that I found in the pews - I guess the basilica is undergoing some restoration - and it says, 'Restore the glory of the basilica.' That is what we are here to do tonight... shame on the Catholic men who have allowed this thing to happen here tonight. I apologize if this is not what you came to hear tonight, but we are going to do here what this basilica was made for... In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

      "I got choked up. Who wouldn't? From the first few lines, 'I believe in ONE GOD, the Father almighty,' we had effectively denounced the heresy of Buddhism's polytheism, and filled the air with the reaffirmation of the Truth: there is one God, and He alone is all-powerful."
   How can I possibly thank you all for your prayers? Please find in this initial (and rough) report my gesture of gratitude. You've prayed tonight, and your prayers were answered in a big way. Not to keep you in suspense regarding the showdown between True Catholicism and the ecumaniacal pan-religious agenda at St. Adalbert's Basilica in Grand Rapids, Michigan tonight: WE WON!

   Now for the details chronologically:

Den of Thieves

   I arrived at the basilica, along with some 150-200 protesters in tow, at around 7:30 pm.

   I milled around inside the basilica, taking pictures and chatting with the event organizers.

   There were 6 or 7 monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, most of whom were standing behind a product table, selling their demonic wares, prior to the concert.

   Our Lord's words came to mind the words from Matthew 21: 12-13,

    "And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves. And He saith to them: 'It is written: My house shall be called the house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves. '"

   Among the items for sale were books by the Dalai Lama (with titles, shockingly enough, that sounded like something John Paul II might have written - "Universal Responsibility and Love," for example), various bells, what looked like stoles, prayer cloths, jewelry, and prayer beads.

   The monks, all the way from India, are on a 3-month tour of the North-Eastern states. They intend to visit PA, RI, NY, and other locations (including Carnegie Hall). Be forewarned.

   I spoke with the monks' driver/photographer/coordinator, a young man by the name of Douglas Herman. I was saddened to hear him mention that he was raised Roman Catholic.

   He explained that the monks were on tour for several reasons: to raise international awareness about Human Rights; to help free the Panchen Lama (the "10th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama"), a 6-year-old boy who apparently has been abducted by the Chinese government; to share the Buddhist culture with other cultures; and to raise money for the building of a new monastery.

   I am saddened to report that perhaps the most oft-repeated phrase I heard tonight, when the organizers were confronted with angry Catholics who wanted the monks out of the sanctuary, was the line, "maybe you should take it up with the pope - he's a good friend of the Dalai Lama."

   Such is the state we are in.

   The front area of the sanctuary was decorated mostly in signs and pictures. A large black and white photo of the Panchen Lama nearly covered the entire front of the main altar. On either side of the altar were signs that read, "Free Tibet," "Release the Panchen Lama," and similar things.

   Our group filed into the basilica and were in their places, in the front 15 rows or so, by 8:00. Father Michael McMahon wandered around the front of the sanctuary, waiting for an opportune moment to announce the purpose of our presence there.

"As cunning as serpents, as guileless as doves"

   Fortunately, Deo gratias, he was handed that opportunity on a silver platter: one of the organizers approached the microphone to introduce the monks, but, seeing Father there, and mistaking him for the basilica pastor, asked him if he would like to say a few words first.

   Father jumped at the opportunity.

   He stepped up to the microphone and began (I will reproduce his announcement here as best as I can, using my memory and scribbled notes):

   "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. I'd like to welcome you all to the basilica this evening. My name is Father Michael McMahon, and I am the pastor of St. Margaret Mary church in Allendale. I have here a pamphlet that I found in the pews - I guess the basilica is undergoing some restoration - and it says, 'Restore the glory of the basilica.' That is what we are here to do tonight... shame on the Catholic men who have allowed this thing to happen here tonight. I apologize if this is not what you came to hear tonight, but we are going to do here what this basilica was made for... In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

   The poor event organizer who had asked Father to speak, and who stood by him the entire time, waiting for Father to finish so he could introduce the monks, was visibly nervous - it took a few seconds for the realization to hit him.

   By this time the monks had already filed onto the "stage," and they, too, looked rather dumbfounded as Father finished his announcement, kneeled in front of the altar, and intoned the "Credo" (Credo III, for those of you who know your Gregorian chant).

VICTORY!

   It was truly a glorious moment: the coordinator, standing with his mouth agape in front of a clearly hostile audience; the monks, all lined up and staring at a man in a black cassock who was now kneeling in front of them, chanting, having clearly hijacked the event; and the sound... oh... the sound of some 200 Catholics, chanting "Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentam," in a basilica whose acoustics easily make 200 voices sound like 200,000 voices.

   I got choked up. Who wouldn't? From the first few lines, "I believe in ONE GOD, the Father almighty," we had effectively denounced the heresy of Buddhism's polytheism, and filled the air with the reaffirmation of the Truth: there is one God, and He alone is all-powerful.

   As the protesters chanted, Father motioned to two of the sturdier, stockier men of the Holy Name Society, who then approached the Buddhist's display (which was covering the altar, you'll remember) and began tearing it down. The large picture of the Panchen Lama was removed first, followed by the several signs.

   The altar was visible again, as was the empty tabernacle - thank God they at least thought to remove the Blessed Sacrament.

   After the Credo was finished, and the decorations removed, the two men kneeled alongside Father on the altar steps, and one of them began leading the Holy Rosary.

   About half-way through the first decade of the Joyful Mysteries, many in the audience who had come to hear the monks were picking up their things and leaving.

   Here are a few of the things I overheard:

    "No, these people are not members of this church - they're part of some fringe off-shoot of the Catholic Church."

    "That priest hijacked this service!"

    "Did I walk into a protest against the MONKS? You gotta freaking' be kidding me! This is the SICKEST things I've ever seen!"

    "Let's go up there and stand with the monks!"

    "You might as well be committing genocide - you have no respect for human rights!"

   It was almost too much to bear without either laughing or crying. The Holy Rosay is the "sickest thing" you've ever seen? Praying to Our Lady "might as well be" genocide?

When ecumenism fails, call in the cops!

   The basilica pastor, who was NOT on vacation after all, was called in. He attempted to speak with Father McMahon, but Father would not be moved.

   The pastor called the police in at around 8:30, but this, too, was to no avail.

   The protesters were simply not doing anything illegal.

   The police eventually escorted Father McMahon out of the building to try and sort things out with him, but it was clear that they were confused by the whole situation. Why was a Catholic priest calling in law enforcement to have another Catholic priest removed from the scene? They were as confused as I was.

   Meanwhile, the protesters continued reciting the Rosary, while the monks continued to stand up front, looking silly.

   Finally, mercifully, one of the coordinators went up front, whispered to one of the monks, and escorted them all off the platform.

   At last, the altar and sanctuary were once again clear and undefiled.

   The sound of 200 voices, still sounding like 200,000 voices, continued to fill the entire basilica: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, amen."

   I closed my eyes: yes, this was the sound of a veritable army. The forces of evil were being beaten back with hardly a whimper of protest.

   I approached the basilica pastor, who was still pacing the aisles and trying to get a word in with the man leading the Rosary. It was no use: the leader kept blasting his "Hail Mary's" and ignoring the protests of the basilica pastor.

The New Order Spin

   I asked the pastor, with my notepad in hand, "Father, what's going on here tonight?"

   He asked who I was and who I represented, but when he found out I was writing for a Catholic periodical, he smiled half-heartedly and simply said, "I don't know your organization, I have no comment." And then he walked away.

   But not before I overheard him say (to a question from an audience member) perhaps the saddest and most damning thing I heard all night: "I didn't invite these guys, I invited the monks!"

   If that doesn't sum up the entire post-conciliar experiment...

    "And He suffered not that any man should carry a vessel through the temple. And He taught saying to them: 'Is it not written: My house shall be called the house of prayer to all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves.' Which when the chief priests, and the Scribes, had heard, they sought how they might destroy Him for they feared Him, because the whole multitude was in admiration of His doctrine" (Mark 11: 16-18)

   It was truly sad. I must have heard it said 20 or 30 times: "Why are they protesting us? We were INVITED here by the pastor of this church!"

   And it was true. In a certain sense, we were committing the injustice. The monks were not invading, they were invited. We were the ones who invaded.

   And indeed, even now, as I write, this is how the evening news is portraying the event: "An evening of peaceful prayer soon got out of hand when a group of angry Catholics disrupted the service... police were called in to remove the protesters... no one was injured."

   The basilica pastor was quoted as saying, "They [the monks] are such peaceful souls... to be accosted in this way I'm sure was shocking to them, as it was to us. To use prayer as a weapon like that..."

Felled by the most powerful weapon available

   Yes, Father, prayer is a weapon. And we used it tonight specifically for that purpose. And it worked.

   But already, you can see the way the world views us. The monks are called "peaceful," and we are the "angry disrupters," who "accosted" these "quiet" monks with our "weapon" of prayer - but don't worry, "no one was injured." No monks were harmed during the making of this resistance to scandal and blasphemy.

   Actually, several injuries took place tonight. The prince of this world took a severe blow, as did his evil minions.

   By 9:00 the organizers and the monks gave up, and agreed to move the concert to the basement. Seeing that our mission had been accomplished, Father McMahon allowed the protesters to finish the 5th and final mystery of the Glorious Mysteries (yes, they prayed through all 15 decades), the Hail Holy Queen, the prayer to St. Michael, and then released us to go to our homes.

   We gathered in the parking lot to thank Father and to receive his blessing, and we returned to our homes, deeply grateful to Our Lady for having crushed the serpent's head.

   We won. No question about it. And the victory was sweet. At the same time, I realize that this is only a foretaste.

Stop the Madness of Ecumania!

   Because the other injury that took place tonight was, in a very real way, the injury that Our Holy Mother Church suffered. Those monks should never have been invited in the first place. That pastor should have been taking his place beside us, not setting himself against us.

    "It is written: My house is the house of prayer. But you have made it a den of thieves" (Luke 19: 46).

   And most of the poor souls who went to hear the monks will not "get it." As far as they know, we're just that "fringe group" of Catholics who need to update our thinking. After all, the basilica priest had no problem with the monks coming. The other Catholic churches around the nation that have hosted these monks in years past certainly had no problem. Bishop Kevin Britt didn't seem to have a problem since, after all, as he admitted and so many this evening: The pope himself is a "good friend of the Dalai Lama."

   So who are we to protest?

   Victory never felt this good. But victory also never felt this nostalgic.

   Thank you all, again, for your prayers. Our Lady was pleased this evening, and Mother Church was defended.

   Long live Christ the King.

    February 11, 2004
    vol 15, no. 43
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