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.