Saturday, March 12, 2016

Cleaning Out The Trash From St Cecilia Cathedral - Would We Do The Same?

"Cultural presentation" - my arse!
A Mary Poppins mannequin hanging from the ceiling of a Catholic cathedral.  A Buddha statue in one of the side chapels.  These abominations really occurred in St. Cecilia Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Omaha last January.  What I just described isn't mere sacrilege; the Buddha statue raised the ante to idolatry.  At least one faithful Catholic had enough - and did something about it!

First let's set forth some details.  In late January, the cathedral hosted its 31st "Flower Festival" and this year's "theme" (?) was "A Night At The Movies".  Mark Kenney, a custodian of the cathedral - in the true sense of the word - recognized the insult to the Faith and Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.  He cut down the Mary Poppins thing from the ceiling and tossed out the Buddha idol and a few other  monstrosities as well.  The pastor confronted him. Kenney admitted to his deeds, saying, "Father, this is bullshit! We can’t have this in the church. This isn’t culture, it’s Disney crap!"  Later Kenney correctly stated that what happened was sacrilege for the most part, idolatry with respect to the Buddha junk.  He did not resist arrest when the police came for him.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 24, Holy Thursday.  I think it's rather appropriate since it was on the evening of Holy Thursday that Jesus was arrested in preparation for His Crucifixion.

Let's look at some facets of this matter, shall we?  Firstly this pastor, allegedly a canon lawyer, stated, "Cathedrals are kind of the epicenter for culture presentation and development."  No they aren't!  They are sacred places dedicated to the worship of the One True God!  They should NOT be used to "present culture" that is idolatrous and at enmity with the teachings of Jesus Christ.  As I read further down the article, I saw that one of the exhibits was one devoted to Queen Elizabeth I of England - you know, the English protestant monarch who was responsible for the large-scale persecution and murders of hundreds of English Catholics.  So "cultural development" means heaping honor on an unrepentant persecutor of Catholics?

Our Lord Damaging Personal Property
The article states that Kenney was fired and that his "safe environment" certificate was revoked, prohibiting him from volunteering or working when children are present.  In a sane world, such revocation would also have occurred with regard to the pastor and the other masterminds behind the obscenity.  Clearly they pose a serious threat to the immortal souls of all parishioners, owing to their allowance of idolatry in the Cathedral.

The writer of the article, towards the end, engages in a bit of "editorializing".  He opines that the damage to personal property was not appropriate.  Normally I might agree, except that this "personal property" was used to commit multiple sins against the First Commandment.  Think of it this way; had swastikas been affixed to the walls of the cathedral, would anyone in their right mind have had any bones about ripping them from the walls?  Of course not (cowardice issues notwithstanding)!  Once again I think the Principle of Double Effect applies.  The good effect is the cessation of the idolatry by its removal; any damage is corollary.

Kenney hopes that the incident will spark some conversation in the Church about what is permissible in a Catholic Church wherein the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.  I do too.  I also hope that it causes us all to consider what we might do if we should ever find ourselves confronted with blatant affronts to Our Lord in His church.  Will we have the courage and resolve to correct the situation?

This debacle occurred in the Archdiocese of Omaha.  Let's have some "conversation" with them, particularly in relation to the sentencing on Holy Thursday.  These charges should be dropped in the name of decency.  Here is the contact information.

UPDATE - On Father Z's blog, a commenter left this link to the rest of the abomination that was part of this debacle.  It includes "displays" from "The King and I", "Dr Zhivago (to celebrate adultery)", "ET", "Grease" and others.  It's a shame that Kenney couldn't eject the entire mess.


  1. It's an outrage that Mr. Kenney was fired, let alone much for the year of if he was an outraged sodomite, well....

  2. Thanks for this. I did contact and borrowed some of your words without using quotations. I hope you do not mind. Here is my message:
    Archbishop Lucas' Coat of Arms reads: "Grace and Mercy" Truly noble when applied but empty words/just alphabetic letters when not. This is the particular case scheduled (of all nights) Holy Thursday, March 24, with regard to a true custodian of the St. Cecilia Cathedral, Mark Kenney. This brave custodian acted, in imitation of our Lord, Jesus, by removing the insult to the Faith and Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. He cut down the Mary Poppins thing from the ceiling and tossed out the Buddha idol and a few other monstrosities as well. The Pastor is sadly mistaken and clearly needs to study the first of ten commandments. I pray that all charges against Mark Kenney be dropped immediately. That he be reinstated to his custodial position. That the Pastor, instead, be reprimanded for his sins against our Lord in this serious event, and publicly apologize for his sin against our Lord and His faithful servant, Mark Kenney.

  3. P.S. - is there a Go Fund Me site or anything similar to help Mr. Kenney out?

  4. St Cecilia Cathedral custodian cuts down Mary Poppins figure, tosses buddha from cathedral: This story remided me of:
    Matthew 21:12-13 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves: And he saith to them: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.

    Bravo Mr. Kenney

  5. It is especially ironic that Fr. Michael Gutgsell lacks mercy for his janitor after Gutgsell's own brother, Fr. Stephen Gutgsell, was recently forgiven and reinstated as a priest, assigned to a new Parish in Omaha, after having stolen $125,000 from his previous Parish. This reads like the story of the debtor who, once forgiven the huge amount he owed, refused to forgive his own debtor who owed him a far lesser amount.


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