It may come as no surprise to many Catholics that another modernist bishop has taken a stand against those promoting Traditional Catholicism. On the other hand, it is a far stretch for a bishop to ban Catholics, or a group of Catholics, from praying the rosary inside the cathedral. However, that is exactly what happened in Peoria, Illinois.
Catholic podcast Our Warpath, which promotes Traditional Catholicism and seeks restoration of Catholicism from modernism, is hosting the March for Catholics in Peoria, Illinois at the end of September. Joe Rigi, president of Our Warpath, says the bishop denied them the opportunity to pray the rosary inside the cathedral. In fact, according to Rigi, the group only wanted to pray one single decade of the rosary in the cathedral before the tabernacle. It would have taken, at most, five minutes and all other activities would be held at the hotel convention center. However, the bishop refused. In fact, he banned them from praying the rosary at any parish inside the diocese.
According to Our Warpath, Bishop Louis “Lou” Tylka (who is fairly new to being the bishop at the diocese), not only closed the doors of the cathedral to Catholics attending the March for Catholics, but also refused to have a conversation with Rigi, or anyone else from Our Warpath, about the issue. On their website, Our Warpath writes, “Tylka refused to speak to Rigi, or anyone associated with Our Warpath, regarding the denial. Diocesan attorney Patricia Gibson, on behalf of the bishop, called Rigi and informed him the diocese would not allow those in attendance to come and pray inside the cathedral or at any other parish in the diocese. “All we were wanting to do is come into the cathedral and pray a decade of the Rosary and we would hold all the other events at the hotel,” said Rigi.
The cathedral is open to the public, but apparently not to Catholics who disagree with the bishop’s pro-LGBTQ touting and pro-Protestant loving agenda. Members of the public, those who are anywhere between atheistic, Protestants, Mormons or even Muslims, could come inside the cathedral at any hour of the day that it is open, but baptized, confirmed Catholics living the faith are refused if they disagree with the bishop’s politics.
Rigi said the diocese initially made-up excuses, even lying, to Our Warpath about the reasons they could not use the cathedral. Initially, Rigi said, he was informed by Phil Lee, Director of Divine Worship, that the cathedral would not be able to secure enough volunteers to help with such a large group of people. Rigi countered by offering to pay the “volunteers” in order to ensure they could get enough to help. Following the failure of that excuse, Gibson later told Rigi the cathedral would conveniently be “under construction” those days and would be closed. When asked about the use of other parishes due to the construction of the cathedral, the diocese refused to answer right away and then Gibson blatantly refused Rigi by stating it was because of their guest speakers the diocese was refusing the participants the opportunity to pray.”
Bishop Tylka also refused Rigi a written explanation of the denial and reasoning behind it when Rigi requested a written response. After the diocese making countless excuses originally for the group not being allowed to use the cathedral, ranging from a lack of volunteers to the cathedral being under renovation conveniently during those days, representatives from the diocese finally admitted that it was because the group’s guest speakers were Archbishop Vigano and Fr. James Altman. Although the speakers would be speaking virtually, and not attending the March in person (therefore preventing any possibility of the controversial leaders entering the cathedral), the diocese still refused the ability to pray the rosary. The bishop, according to his representatives at the diocese, denied access to any parish (including the cathedral) for the use of any part of the March. That denial included the usage to pray the rosary.
Since the bishop has not provided a written explanation of the limits of the ban and reasonings, it is unclear if the ban includes the denial of the group praying the rosary outside the cathedral. Perhaps, that is a possibility and could even be in the plans for the March for Catholics.
Rigi said Our Warpath chose Peoria because it was home of Fulton Sheen. His remains are also housed inside the cathedral, which the prohibition of any of those attending the March to enter the cathedral also prevents them from venerating his remains. What kind of bishop refuses Catholics the ability to enter the cathedral (which belongs to all Catholics and not the bishop personally) and pray the rosary? Apparently, his name is Tylka and he is in Peoria, Illinois.
Rigi says the March, to be held September 29 and 30 in Peoria, will continue even without the permission of the bishop to use the cathedral for the rosary. The event is free and Rigi encourages those who want to take a stand for Catholicism and against those leaders who are more political than faithful, to attend the March. Rigi said there will be multiple Catholic vendors, speakers, and a rosary march as part of the events.