On Sunday, April 5, dissenters gathering for Dignity Detroit’s 39th anniversary were allowed to participate in a Mass celebrated by retired Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. Meanwhile, faithful Catholics who wanted to attend Mass were expelled. They were not allowed to enter the chapel at Marygrove College, and were escorted from the building by security guards.
“We entered the vestibule of the building and the president of Dignity asked our names and how we heard about the event,” explained Jay McNally, a political consultant who had hoped to attend Mass with his wife Gayle. “I said we heard about it from the newspaper. We were prevented from entering the chapel and waited for about five minutes. Then two security guards came and told us that we had to leave.”
“When my wife refused, the guard said that he would call the police,” McNally continued. “I didn’t want to go through that, so we were escorted out of the building. When I asked who was demanding that we leave, he said Dignity is demanding that you leave. So we left and joined the prayerful protest taking place outside.”
“It’s the first time in my life that I’ve been denied access to Mass,” said McNally. The McNallys and several others were not allowed to participate in the Mass. The media was also not allowed in the chapel.
The group Dignity opposes Catholic Church teaching.
Just off campus, nearly 40 protestors gathered to pray the Rosary in support of Archdiocese of Detroit’s Archbishop Allen Vigneron. One gentleman showed up in sackcloth and ashes and remained on his knees in prayer throughout the demonstration.
Those who were allowed to participate in the Mass defended their right to gather in support of Dignity.
“They’re fellow Christians and I believe it would not be following the example of Jesus to exclude them,” Fr. Justin Kelly, SJ, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Detroit Mercy told the Detroit Free Press.
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