LETTER: Protesters harassing prelate shamefully disrupted blessing

To Ozaukee Press:

I am a proud product of Belgium with deep roots in Luxembourg. Since 1987, the Luxembourg Festival has been well attended and a very sweet and heartful event for anybody who is of Luxembourg descent and especially for those of us who were part of St. Mary’s Parish in Lake Church.

This year was especially heartfelt because Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich traveled all the way from Luxembourg to bless the “Bells of St. Mary’s” sculpture, which is now installed in the parish cemetery.

Thanks to the leadership of Bob Hubing, Mike Ansay and Kevin Wester, and the help of many others, the bells of St. Mary’s church rang again on Saturday, Aug. 13, for the first time in about 35 years. I was deeply moved when I heard the bells of my youth. It was a sad reminder that the parish was no longer and that a chapter had been closed for the community.

Cardinal Hollerich came with a message of inclusiveness and a reminder that all men are creatures of God, that Jesus taught us to love everyone. He even spoke of opening the priesthood to more than celibate men. St. Mary’s was closed because of a lack of priests, so this was a hopeful message and would be a significant change for a Catholic Church confined by dogma.

Unfortunately, during the Mass on Sunday, the sacredness of the event was damaged by the intrusive behavior of a group of very conservative and self-righteous Christians (including some Catholics for sure), who decided to protest the cardinal with signs naming him and opposing the inclusion of gays.

After the Mass, they sang songs that broke the silence necessary for good conversation. Few, if any, people there welcomed them. Some were angered by their presence. The presence of police to avoid any confrontation was a rare event in the quiet of Belgium. But all put up with the nonsense, which speaks to the decency of the attendees.

It may be legal, but it is shameful beyond comprehension that this group who claim to be believers and do-gooders would intrude in a sacred event conducted by a member of the clergy who came from Luxembourg with a message of inclusion and love to bless an act of faith in Ozaukee County, while exposing their delusion about the nature of God.

You might think that those who claim to be close to God would have a stronger sense of decency, but they don’t. They could learn a lot about love and inclusion from the cardinal they protested.

John S. Strauss

Campton Hills, Ill.


Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


User login