After reeling in horror at Cardinal Mahoney's Religious Education Video, I thought you might be interested in this visit by someone to his Cathedral. Wasn't there that song, "All are welcome?"
.... His customer service couldn't have been better. His shiny jewelry and over-the-top attitude was a bit off-putting, but it was California, after all. My friend was looking for a rosary for his girlfriend, and the store worker started asking him about her favorite colors, what kind of clothes she wore, what sort of textures she liked, etc., in order to help him pick a rosary that best agreed with her fashion sense. So far, very Californian, but not a big problem. Kind of HGTV: Rosary Edition.
Then he asked what I did for a living and I told him that I teach architecture and theology, and he said with a casual smile: "oh, that's great, my partner would love that. He was a monk for 4 years." Again, this was California, and maybe even the cathedral shop has legal issues about who it can hire and who it can't. Then I started talking to my friend about one of the architects who was a finalist for the cathedral design a few years back, whose architectural philosophy is radically anti-Incarnational and anti-Catholic, and the salesman said "well, everyone is welcome in this cathedral." Being cheeky, I said "how about Satanists?" He responded: "Satanists aren't devil worshipers, you know. I know some Satanists and they aren't devil worshipers." So, following up, I said: "OK, then what about devil worshipers? Are they welcome here at the cathedral?" He replied: "Well, devil worshipers are actually Christians, because God made the devil." Another woman in line chimed in with a smile: "that's right, God made the devil." I decided it was best to leave at that point.
Honestly, I couldn't have made this up. A staff member of the cathedral gift shop might be the first and only person a visitor might talk to who represents the cathedral, as it was in my case. And what do we get? A person who gladly flaunts his open defiance of the Church's moral teaching and has a positive view of devil worship.
Who's asleep at the wheel here?
It couldn't happen in an English Cathedral, could it?