Friday, January 15, 2021



I can’t remember the year, but I think it was around 1987 or so. I tried to google the event for any news stories but did not find any. Maybe someone here can find something with a photo or two.

But I was asked by Bishop Lessard when I was the Diocesan MC to coordinate a Mass of Civil Disobedience with Pax Christi USA. It would be held outside the fence and gate of Kings Bay Naval Base that docks nuclear submarines that carry nuclear weapons. 

Bishop Lessard’s concelebrants were two of the most liberal bishops in the country at that time, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton and Bishop Walter Sullivan of Richmond, Virginia. 

I can go into a long song and dance about how miserable I was trying to plan the Mass with Pax Christi nuns who wanted every liberal creative liturgical gimmick alive and I who had to make sure Bishop Lessard’s liturgical mandates were followed. There was almost a figurative liturgical bloodbath, mine, in the planning stages with these radical insurrectionist nuns, but I digress.

So, the day comes for the Mass. I made sure everything for the Mass was in place. The military knew that the Mass would happen outside their base’s gates and they knew the Mass goers, some of them, would breach the gate and base in an act of civil disobedience and insurrection and would be arrested.

And so it was. I in my cassock and surplice and the bishop in his Mass cap celebrated a long liturgy nap and then as soon as the bishop said, Ite Misa est, the insurrectionists stormed the base and were immediately arrested, placed on buses and shipped to jail.

I was a casual observer that day, watching from the sidelines and never breached the base but I saw one or two of our diocesan priests do it. I was a witness to insurrection. No one batted an eye. 

And thus started the slippery slope that led to the disgrace of the civil disobedience at our Nation’s Capitol. 

Is Pax Christi ultimately responsible for this slippery slope and their ideology of civil disobedience embraced by the likes of three bishops, Lessard, Gumbleton and Sullivan? I ask; you answer. 


Anonymous said...

"And thus started the slippery slope that led to the disgrace of the civil disobedience at our Nation’s Capitol. Is Pax Christi ultimately responsible for this slippery slope and their ideology of civil disobedience embraced by the likes of three bishops, Lessard, Gumbleton and Sullivan? I ask; you answer."

Of all your "I ask; you answer" scenarios, this has got to be the most absurd.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

And continuing your logic, the organization named Pax Christi is a misnomer if ever there was one and I am sure on the government’s watch list.

Anonymous said...

You need to re-read a few biblical passages, starting with the Lord driving the peddlers and money changers out of the Temple.

Your notion of Pax is far too simplistic.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you were both complicit. You need to be drummed out of the priesthood and your blog shut down, and Lessard's corpse needs to be dug up, put on trial, and burned, AND his benefits cut off plus any internet presence erased (likely taken care of mostly by shutting down your blog).

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A@11:39 πŸ‘

Anonymous said...

Oh, Father, you and Pax Christi nuns planning a Liturgy? If you were that day complicit in a crime following the Mass, you suffered the punishment for it PRIOR to the crime being committed!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...


Anonymous said...

I get a kick out of replies essentially saying, "But, oh, THAT was different! We were attacking and vandalizing in the name of PEACE, doncha now? FAR different than attacking and killing police in the name of law and order."

rcg said...

Unless Martin Sheen served Mass, or sent a pre-recorded homily, you were only playing around.

Anonymous said...

I am left with impression by Catholic progressives that there IS a choice selection to be made when the question is asked, "What kind of riot would Jesus attend?"

Of course, many right wing folk would have a firm answer, too.

Showing their ignorance in both cases.

John Nolan said...

The Soviets had always seen Western 'peace movements' as fertile ground for exploitation and as the Cold War intensified in the 1980s they made this one of their priorities. Pax Christi International would have been high on the list of targets. Lessard and like-minded bishops, whether or not they cared to admit it, were playing the KGB's game. It was noticeable at the time that groups like Pax Christi and the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, chaired by Monsignor Bruce Kent (since laicized), were quick to condemn NATO as the aggressor for planning to deploy GLCM and P2 in response to the very real threat of Soviet SS-20 missiles.

It was also claimed that US strategy was to confine a nuclear war to Europe, a useful bit of disinformation which suited the Kremlin's agenda of driving a wedge between America and its European NATO partners. Incidentally, in April 2019 Pax Christi US called for the disbanding of NATO on the grounds that it was a threat to Putin's Russia. The Left may be delusional, but it can display remarkable consistency.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Anonymous said...

Well. the statute of limitations likely has expired, so relax!

Sullivan was the bishop of Richmond for 30 or so years and aroused the ire of the military there often---his diocese includes Hampton Roads, perhaps the largest concentration of military in the eastern United States---and was focused more on nuclear arms (the "nuclear freeze" being a hot topic in those days) and less on abortion (same-sex marriage was not an issue in those days, thankfully). You might say he was a pacifist. He was a leading crusader against the death penalty. Incidentally, and yet another indication of how Virginia is moving in a liberal direction (Biden won it by 10 points last November), the state's current governor is pushing for abolition of the death penalty---but only for heinous criminals. He still favors the death penalty for the unborn. Kind of inconsistent, wouldn't you say?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

To "para bellum" by building and deploying nuclear weapons, the stated use of which is the annihilation of civilian populations, is grossly immoral.

"It is never permitted to direct nuclear or conventional weapons to 'the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their populations . . . 'The intentional killing of innocent civilians or non-combatants is always wrong." (The Challenge of Peace)

If you want peace, work for justice.