Buddhist Monks' Visit to Catholic Church Met by Protests

February 11, 2004

Source: The Grand Rapids Press


On February 11, 2004 The Grand Rapids Press reported, "Those who came to hear harmonious chants and prayers of Buddhist monks at the Basilica of St. Adalbert instead found themselves ousted from the sanctuary by a conservative Catholic splinter group bent on disrupting the performance. The Catholic parish on Grand Rapids' West Side allowed seven Tibetan Buddhist monks into the church Tuesday evening, where about 35 people gathered to see them. But a group of about 50 people and their spiritual leader from Allendale said allowing the Basilica to be used by non-Christians amounted to sacrilege. The members of St. Margaret Mary Church, which included several children, sat in the front pews beneath the giant crucifix and loudly recited prayers of the Rosary about 8 p.m. This prevented the monks from giving the demonstration, prompting the seven of them to move from the stage peacefully, confounded by the events... The group was led by the Rev. Michael McMahon, who said allowing the Buddhist monks into the Catholic Church was offensive. His congregation, which practices Latin Mass, is not part of the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. "