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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Parish Priest Pulls Plug On VOTF

Voice of the Faithless of Southwest Florida is upset. They're hurt. And disappointed. All because the pastor of St John the Evangelist parish in Naples FL told them "No can do" on holding a memorial Mass in the church later this month.

From Group Not Allowed To Celebrate Mass In Catholic Church by Jenna Buzzacco

The pastor, Rev. John Ludden, decided to deny the group use of the church because of what VOTF stands for. He's going to need a lot of prayers and support, because the following quote from Jessica Lillie, VOTF's director of communications for VOTF, sounds slightly threatening.

“We are the Eucharistic ministers, the parish musicians, the lectors, the CCD teachers (and) the pastoral and finance council members who constitute the backbone of numerous parishes,” Lillie said in a statement Friday. “It is shameful that any pastor would seek to deny the Eucharist to such faithful members of the church, or worse to defame those members by claiming they cannot be in the presence of the Eucharist.”

Kudos to Rev Ludden. He's making it very clear that he understands VOTF's beliefs, and refuses to give them any formal recognition. And he's not denying the Eucharist to the members of the group - he's just denying them permission to use the church. Big difference. I hope his bishop lends him support.

The story concludes with this:

Ludden’s decision not to allow the organization access to the church isn’t stopping the group from celebrating its annual Mass, though. Clark said the organization was able to rent out space at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church, 1225 Piper Blvd., for the Mass.

The service will be held in the church’s sanctuary, Clark said.

“We will have the Mass in the appropriate venue,” she said.

I agree with that - a non-Catholic group ought to hold their service in a non-Catholic institution. Sounds appropriate to me.