By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Catholics are expressing shock and outrage over an event that occurred at St. James Church in New York City which involved a concert featuring secular rock/rap groups who used the sanctuary of the church as the stage.
According to a report by The American Catholic, the Jan. 15 event was organized by the parish’s youth group who wanted to do more to draw young adults into the Catholic Church. Father Walter Tonelotto, pastor of the parish, allowed the event, saying organizers promised the event would be nice and dignified.
It was anything but.
Various local independent bands – not Christian rock bands – performed in the Sanctuary all night long with photos and videos surfacing later that show beer cans on the altar and lewd dancing in the aisles of the church.
Only after seeing the scope of the sacrilege for himself did Fr. Tonelotto realize how misled he was by the organizers of the event.
“Father Tonelotto is deeply embarrassed and sorrowful for the turn of events,” The American Catholic is reporting. “He has written to Archbishop Timothy Dolan expressing his remorse by apologizing for this. He also wants to apologize to the parish and everyone else that this has caused scandal to.”
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