Chicago Rosary Rally Assaulted

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Since February 2022, Cardinal Blase Cupich’s restrictions on the Latin Mass have severely harmed the liturgical life of Catholics in the archdiocese of Chicago, and even led to the complete cancellation of Masses and Confessions at the Shrine of Christ the King. In response, Catholics from around Chicagoland have been coming together once a month for a “Rosary Rally for the Latin Mass” outside of Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Chicago. The number of faithful attending the rallies has fluctuated from 25 to over 250 attendees.

This past Saturday, November 5, a group of about 25 gathered once again outside the cathedral at 11AM. As always, we had two banners, many signs, and our rosaries. The weather was very windy and a little rainy, which precluded us from displaying a statue of Our Lady of Fatima as we normally would.

After singing two verses of “Immaculate Mary” and announcing the intention of the Rosary Rally, we started the Joyful mysteries. This was our 10th monthly Rosary Rally since February, and we expected it to be uneventful.

Suddenly, after a few decades, a professional-looking man (in a suit and tie) walked out of the Cathedral towards us. Followed by Cathedral security, the man came up to me and loudly demanded that we stop the Rosary, since “there is a Mass going on inside the Cathedral.”

Before I could respond, he violently tried to grab the megaphone I was using, shoving the microphone into my face as he did so. I was shocked – this was the first and only time anyone had physically assaulted any of us since we started doing these rallies.

I immediately stopped the Rosary and told the man that what he did was assault, and that I was going to call the police. He continued to argue that we should stop the rally, to which I responded that he should ask Cardinal Cupich to stop what he is doing to the Latin Mass. Before going back inside the Cathedral, the man said “I apologize” to me. You can see footage with the moments directly after the assault here.

Immediately after the assault, my wife called the police. They arrived about 20 minutes later and suggested that we go inside to see if we could find the assaulter.

As the Mass had just ended, we began asking the faithful attending if they recognized the assaulter from the picture I had taken during the incident. When I showed the assaulter’s picture to one of the Cathedral priests, he immediately said “that man is our music director.” At that point, the Cathedral staff led us (me and the police) to the Cathedral offices, where we met with the Cathedral rector, an assistant priest, and a secretary. None of them were able to get in touch with the music director. During the meeting, the member of Cathedral security who followed the assaulter outside confirmed that he witnessed the Cathedral music director grabbing at my microphone. Also, the Cathedral rector – Fr. Gregory Sakowicz – told me that he had no issue whatsoever with us doing the Rosary Rally, and that he appreciated our peaceful manner in expressing our concerns to the Cardinal.

Later in the day, the music director/assaulter sent me an email where he used the word “apologize” again. But tellingly, he didn’t apologize for assaulting me, instead saying he was “deeply sorry for our interaction” outside the Cathedral.

The path forward with this case is unclear to me at this point.

But what I do know is that this will not discourage us from continuing our monthly Rosary Rallies. We will never stop fighting for the Holy Catholic Faith as it has always been practiced. Up to now, the Cardinal has ignored our rallies, but we will continue, confident that Our Lady will take our poor efforts and use them for the greater glory of Her Son, and the removal of the restrictions on the Latin Mass in the Archdiocese.

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