CHARLOTTE — Mere steps away from the site of the upcoming Democratic National Convention, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte has posted two larger-than-life messages about the sanctity of life, marriage and religious liberty – proclaiming the teaching of the universal Church to the thousands of party delegates, visitors and the national media who will descend on Charlotte starting next week.
The diocese has suspended two banners on property at St. Peter Catholic Church on South Tryon Street: one on St. Peter’s administrative building and another on a large brick wall adjoining the church.
A six-foot by 10-foot banner will hang from St. Peter’s administrative building, stating: “A Message from the Catholic Church: Religious Liberty, The Soul of Democracy.” This building looks out over The Green between South Tryon and College streets.
A six-foot by 27-foot banner will be posted on a large brick wall behind the church, and will read: “A Message from the Catholic Church: Protect the Unborn, Defend Marriage, Safeguard Religious Liberty.”
This wall faces an area designated as The Legacy Village, where Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx will host special guests during the convention to highlight community efforts to support Foxx’s Legacy Projects. Some of the topics that will be discussed in programs there will address children, families, youth employment, civic education, the economy, energy, technology and sustainability.
These very visible banners are meant to provoke dialogue and encourage evangelization, diocesan officials said, during a time when the national spotlight will shine on Charlotte like never before – and where attention will especially be drawn near St. Peter Church, the oldest Catholic church in the diocese and located in the heart of the convention area.
Bishop Peter J. Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte was personally involved in the planning for the banners, along with diocesan Respect Life Director Maggi Nadol, diocesan spokesman David Hains and St. Peter’s pastor, Jesuit Father Pat Earl.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for evangelization,” Bishop Jugis said.
Though likely the dialogue that will occur will involve vandalism. The words of this banner could be used directly during the Democratic convention, just as long as you replace “Protect”, “Defend”, and “Safeguard” with “Attack”