If you ask the average man on the street, regardless of his religion, he'd probably tell you that anyone who would disrupt an Easter Mass with a political protest -- complete with stage blood and attempted "die-in" -- is a jerk with little if any reverence for God or the sanctity of a church as a place of worship.
But according to the Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear the so-called Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War are representative of a "frustrated faction" of Catholic faithful (emphasis mine):
Cardinal Francis George has long opposed politics at the communion rail. But Sunday’s anti-war protest at the start of his Easter homily spotlighted a frustrated faction in the Roman Catholic church who believe committed Catholics must do more than preach and pray for peace.
Chicago police charged six young protesters Sunday with felony criminal defacement of property and two counts of simple battery for spattering parishioners’ clothes with sticky red stage blood. Five of the protesters are being held in lieu of $25,000 bail. The sixth, who served time in prison for illegally entering a U.S. military installation, received $35,000 bail.
For her March 24 The Seeker blog post, Brachear found two liberal activists, one who disagreed with disrupting a Mass to convey a political point and the other who accepted in theory that such a protest could in some cases be proper:
Dan Daley, a founding member of Call to Action, a Chicago-based Catholic activist group, said that while calls for social justice are important, they must be carefully considered when they disrupt the worship experience.
"Peace and justice is part of what we believe. We always need to be challenging each other in the church to do more," Daley said. "[Where] very much depends on the individual situation and who they hope to communicate with."
Brachear closed her blog post by putting a question to her readers to answer in the comments field:
What do you think? Does political protest belong in the cathedral?
The better question to ask might be, "Would the Chicago Tribune have been this dispassionate if the worship service so rudely interrupted was a prayer service at a mosque and the misguided protesters were conservatives calling on moderate imams to condemn radical Islamic terrorism?"
On second thought, that's a dumb question. We know the answer.