Mass Announcements End at Denver Airport

August 17, 2000

Source: The Denver Post

On August 17, 2000, The Denver Post reported that "Catholic Masses are no longer announced over the public address system at Denver International Airport because a traveler complained that the reminders were a violation of the separation of church and state...No other religious group that shares the two-room chapel - Protestants, Jews or Muslims - has regular service," although Muslim "employees and passengers stop in to pray if they're at DIA at one of the five times a day they are required to pray." Denver Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput in addition to other religious leaders in Denver have complained about the curtailment. The Rev. Lucia Guzman, who served on the chapel board and is the former director of the Colorado Council of Churches said, "It seems to me that the announcement of a service ought to be part of it...People are coming through an airport for all types of reasons, including crisis times in their lives." Rabbi Steven Kaye, "president of the chapel board, said there has been a handful of questions about why the airport would have a chapel, 'but I have received a lot more 'thank yous' from people about the announcement of masses,' he said...But the ACLU believes the announcements 'are a breach of the separation of church and state' unless each religion gets equal billing."