Montreal Gazette, 4 November 1901, page 4

Publicly Humiliated

Dramatic Scene in aChicagoCatholic Church

 

Chicago, November 3- There was an intensely dramatic scene in Holy Name Cathedral today, when in the presence of a fully 1000 parishioners, Jeremiah J Crowley, the excommunicated Roman Catholic priest was publicly humiliated by order of the authorities of the Church.

Father Crowley had entered the church unobserved, passing up the centre aisle and had taken a seat almost under the pulpit.  Solemn High mass was being celebrated at the time.  When the presence of Father Crowley became known, Rev Francis J Berry, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago was horridly sent for.  Upon entering the cathedral he went straight to the seat where the excommunicated clergyman was kneeling and ordered him to leave the church.  Father Crowley refused to go, saying: – “put me out if you dare.” The strain was intense, and one woman in the congregation fainted.  There was no resort to violence, however.  Chancellor Harry signalled to a man in the choir loft and the sound of the organ ceased and the singing of the choir was hushed. The priest on the altar stopped the solemn service at the end of “Gloria” and walked to the benches and laid aside their golden vestments. The altar boys marched out of the sanctuary through a side door, and the priests clad in their cassocks, followed.  The next moment the hundreds of incandescent lights in the vaulted arches were extinguished and the candle lights on the altar were put out.

The strain was broken when Chancellor Barry appeared in the pulpit said: – “Owing to the presence in this sacred edifice of an excommunicated priest the solemn high mass has been suspended.  We will proceed with a low mass.”

No sermon was delivered, however, and the mass was at an end before the congregation was calm again.  The parishioners lingered around the cathedral and watched the deposed priest as he hurried away.  None spoke to him.

In a statement issued tonight Father Crowley insisted that it had been his desire to avoid involving any of his brother priests in contesting the order depriving him of the privileges of worshipping in the Catholic Churches, and that accordingly he had attended thechurchofArchbishop Feehan’s own parish, which is the cathedral.  He announced that he should continue to attend the services of the Roman Catholic Church.

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