The Echo is glad to hear from the archdiocese that there is a policy of not ever charging to attend Mass in the cathedral.
However, the Echo is certain that, after speaking again to the people who say they were presented with a charge for this particular Mass, their bona fides in this matter is beyond question.
The archdiocese says there is never a charge. That at least is official policy. But in this case one of the individuals found himself in a roped off area and was informed that it would cost five dollars to remain seated there for Mass. The other was told that entering the roped area at that time would cost the same sum.
Is it not the case, we wonder, that for some Masses where, for example, outside musical accompaniment is employed, there is a charge?
The Echo certainly regrets any embarrassment caused the archdiocese if there has been any misrepresentation of official policy.
But we are satisfied that we did not misrepresent the facts of an incident that resulted in two visitors to St. Patrick’s leaving with sour tastes in their mouths.
Perhaps further investigation into this matter by the archdiocese would be helpful.
In the meantime, we would like to take the opportunity to repeat what was the bulk of the initial editorial, that being an appeal to people, Catholic and otherwise, to be generous in their donating should they visit St. Patrick’s.
The cathedral is an extraordinary treasure, in the religious, cultural and social sense. The cost of its upkeep is enormous but given its location it has a very small parish roll relative to its size and this is a challenge that does indeed require dollars and cents on a daily basis.