A message sent to me by a Franciscan Tertiary:

Not to keep you in suspense regarding the showdown between True Catholicism
and the ecumaniacal pan-religious agenda at St. Adalbert's Basilica
in Grand Rapids, Michigan tonight: WE WON!
Now for the details chronologically:

Den of Thieves

I arrived at the basilica, along with some 150-200 protesters in
tow, at around 7:30 pm.

I milled around inside the basilica, taking pictures and chatting
with the event organizers.

There were 6 or 7 monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, most of
whom were standing behind a product table, selling their demonic
wares, prior to the concert.
Our Lord's words came to mind the words from Matthew 21: 12-13,

"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all who were
selling and buying 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
. '"

Among the items for sale were books by the Dalai Lama (with
titles, shockingly enough, that sounded like something John Paul II
might have written - "Universal Responsibility and Love," for
example), various bells, what looked like stoles, prayer cloths,
jewelry, and prayer beads.

The monks, all the way from India, are on a 3-month tour of the
North-Eastern states. They intend to visit PA, RI, NY, and other
locations (including Carnegie Hall). Be forewarned.

I spoke with the monks' driver/photographer/coordinator, a young
man by the name of Douglas Herman. I was saddened to hear him
mention that he was raised Roman Catholic.

He explained that the monks were on tour for several reasons: to
raise international awareness about Human Rights; to help free the
Panchen Lama (the "10th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama"), a 6-
year-old boy who apparently has been abducted by the Chinese
government; to share the Buddhist culture with other cultures; and
to raise money for the building of a new monastery.

I am saddened to report that perhaps the most oft-repeated phrase
I heard tonight, when the organizers were confronted with angry
Catholics who wanted the monks out of the sanctuary, was the
line, "maybe you should take it up with the pope - he's a good friend of the Dalai Lama."

Such is the state we are in.

The front area of the sanctuary was decorated mostly in signs and
pictures. A large black and white photo of the Panchen Lama nearly
covered the entire front of the main altar. On either side of the
altar were signs that read, "Free Tibet," "Release the Panchen
Lama," and similar things.

Our group filed into the basilica and were in their places, in
the front 15 rows or so, by 8:00. Father Michael McMahon wandered
around the front of the sanctuary, waiting for an opportune moment
to announce the purpose of our presence there.

"As cunning as serpents, as guileless as doves"

Fortunately, Deo gratias, he was handed that opportunity on a
silver platter: one of the organizers approached the microphone to
introduce the monks, but, seeing Father there, and mistaking him for
the basilica pastor, asked him if he would like to say a few words

Father jumped at the opportunity.

He stepped up to the microphone and began (I will reproduce his
announcement here as best as I can, using my memory and scribbled

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost. I'd like to welcome you all to the basilica this evening. My
name is Father Michael McMahon, and I am the pastor of St. Margaret
Mary church in Allendale. I have here a pamphlet that I found in the
pews - I guess the basilica is undergoing some restoration - and it
says, 'Restore the glory of the basilica.' That is what we are here
to do tonight... shame on the Catholic men who have allowed this
thing to happen here tonight. I apologize if this is not what you
came to hear tonight, but we are going to do here what this basilica
was made for... In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Ghost. Amen

The poor event organizer who had asked Father to speak, and who
stood by him the entire time, waiting for Father to finish so he
could introduce the monks, was visibly nervous - it took a few
seconds for the realization to hit him.

By this time the monks had already filed onto the "stage," and
they, too, looked rather dumbfounded as Father finished his
announcement, kneeled in front of the altar, and intoned the "Credo"
(Credo III, for those of you who know your Gregorian chant).


It was truly a glorious moment: the coordinator, standing with
his mouth agape in front of a clearly hostile audience; the monks,
all lined up and staring at a man in a black cassock who was now
kneeling in front of them, chanting, having clearly hijacked the
event; and the sound... oh... the sound of some 200 Catholics,
chanting "Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentam," in a basilica
whose acoustics easily make 200 voices sound like 200,000 voices.

I got choked up. Who wouldn't? From the first few lines, "I
believe in ONE GOD, the Father almighty," we had effectively denounced the heresy of Buddhism's polytheism, and filled the air
with the reaffirmation of the Truth: there is one God, and He alone
is all-powerful.

As the protesters chanted, Father motioned to two of the
sturdier, stockier men of the Holy Name Society, who then approached
the Buddhist's display (which was covering the altar, you'll
remember) and began tearing it down. The large picture of the
Panchen Lama was removed first, followed by the several signs.

The altar was visible again, as was the empty tabernacle - thank
God they at least thought to remove the Blessed Sacrament.

After the Credo was finished, and the decorations removed, the
two men kneeled alongside Father on the altar steps, and one of them
began leading the Holy Rosary.

About half-way through the first decade of the Joyful Mysteries,
many in the audience who had come to hear the monks were picking up
their things and leaving.

Here are a few of the things I overheard:

"No, these people are not members of this church - they're part of
some fringe off-shoot of the Catholic Church

"That priest hijacked this service!"

"Did I walk into a protest against the MONKS? You gotta freaking' be
kidding me! This is the SICKEST things I've ever seen!"

"Let's go up there and stand with the monks!"

"You might as well be committing genocide - you have no respect for
human rights

It was almost too much to bear without either laughing or crying.
The Holy Rosay is the "sickest thing" you've ever seen? Praying to
Our Lady "might as well be" genocide?

When ecumenism fails, call in the cops!

The basilica pastor, who was NOT on vacation after all, was
called in. He attempted to speak with Father McMahon, but Father
would not be moved.

The pastor called the police in at around 8:30, but this, too,
was to no avail.

The protesters were simply not doing anything illegal.

The police eventually escorted Father McMahon out of the building
to try and sort things out with him, but it was clear that they were
confused by the whole situation. Why was a Catholic priest calling
in law enforcement to have another Catholic priest removed from the
scene? They were as confused as I was.

Meanwhile, the protesters continued reciting the Rosary, while
the monks continued to stand up front, looking silly.
Finally, mercifully, one of the coordinators went up front,
whispered to one of the monks, and escorted them all off the

At last, the altar and sanctuary were once again clear and

continued to fill the entire basilica: "Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, amen

I closed my eyes: yes, this was the sound of a veritable army.
The forces of evil were being beaten back with hardly a whimper of

I approached the basilica pastor, who was still pacing the aisles
and trying to get a word in with the man leading the Rosary. It was
no use: the leader kept blasting his "Hail Mary's" and ignoring the
protests of the basilica pastor.

The New Order Spin

I asked the pastor, with my notepad in hand, "Father, what's
going on here tonight

He asked who I was and who I represented, but when he found out I
was writing for a Catholic periodical, he smiled half-heartedly and
simply said, "I don't know your organization, I have no comment."
And then he walked away.

But not before I overheard him say (to a question from an
audience member) perhaps the saddest and most damning thing I heard
all night: "I didn't invite these guys, I invited the monks!"

If that doesn't sum up the entire post-conciliar experiment...

"And He suffered not that any man should carry a vessel through the
temple. And He taught saying to them: 'Is it not written: My house
shall be called the house of prayer to all nations? But you have
made it a den of thieves.' Which when the chief priests, and the
Scribes, had heard, they sought how they might destroy Him for they
feared Him, because the whole multitude was in admiration of His
" (Mark 11: 16-18)

It was truly sad. I must have heard it said 20 or 30 times: "Why
are they protesting us? We were INVITED here by the pastor of this

And it was true. In a certain sense, we were committing the
injustice. The monks were not invading, they were invited. We were
the ones who invaded.

And indeed, even now, as I write, this is how the evening news is
portraying the event: "An evening of peaceful prayer soon got out of
hand when a group of angry Catholics disrupted the service... police
were called in to remove the protesters... no one was injured

The basilica pastor was quoted as saying, "They [the monks] are
such peaceful souls... to be accosted in this way I'm sure was
shocking to them, as it was to us. To use prayer as a weapon like

Felled by the most powerful weapon available

Yes, Father, prayer is a weapon. And we used it tonight
specifically for that purpose. And it worked.

But already, you can see the way the world views us. The monks
are called "peaceful," and we are the "angry disrupters,"
who "accosted" these "quiet" monks with our "weapon" of prayer - but
don't worry, "no one was injured." No monks were harmed during the
making of this resistance to scandal and blasphemy.

Actually, several injuries took place tonight. The prince of this
world took a severe blow, as did his evil minions.

By 9:00 the organizers and the monks gave up, and agreed to move
the concert to the basement. Seeing that our mission had been
accomplished, Father McMahon allowed the protesters to finish the
5th and final mystery of the Glorious Mysteries (yes, they prayed
through all 15 decades), the Hail Holy Queen, the prayer to St.
Michael, and then released us to go to our homes.

We gathered in the parking lot to thank Father and to receive his
blessing, and we returned to our homes, deeply grateful to Our Lady
for having crushed the serpent's head.

We won. No question about it. And the victory was sweet. At the
same time, I realize that this is only a foretaste.

Stop the Madness of Ecumania!

Because the other injury that took place tonight was, in a very
real way, the injury that Our Holy Mother Church suffered. Those
monks should never have been invited in the first place. That pastor
should have been taking his place beside us, not setting himself
against us.

"It is written: My house is the house of prayer. But you have made
it a den of thieves
" (Luke 19: 46).

And most of the poor souls who went to hear the monks will
not "get it." As far as they know, we're just that "fringe group" of
Catholics who need to update our thinking. After all, the basilica
priest had no problem with the monks coming. The other Catholic
churches around the nation that have hosted these monks in years
past certainly had no problem. Bishop Kevin Britt didn't seem to
have a problem since, after all, as he admitted and so many this
evening: The pope himself is a "good friend of the Dalai Lama."

So who are we to protest?

Victory never felt this good. But victory also never felt this

Thank you all, again, for your prayers. Our Lady was pleased this
evening, and Mother Church was defended.

Long live Christ the King!

All I can say is, "Wish I was there!"

In Christ,
Michael McBee
Detroit Soviet Socialist Archdiocese