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Church members decry changes at state’s 1st Hispanic parish

November 22, 2021 GMT

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — About 50 parishioners protested outside Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in St. Paul on Sunday over what they say is the eradication of culture and tradition from Minnesota’s first Hispanic parish.

Many of the demonstrators were third-generation members of the Roman Catholic church, which has a 90-year history in St. Paul. Among specific complaints, they say Aztec dancers are no longer allowed inside the church, there is no Sunday school or choir, masses previously led in Spanish are now in Latin and women are not allowed on the altar.

One of the protesters, Vincent Mendez, said “it feels like we’re being forced out again” and added that the parishioners “just want to save our church.”

The Rev. Michael Tix, with the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, said in a statement that he and Archbishop Bernard Hebda are involved in conversations between parish leadership and parishioners, the Star Tribune reported.

Tix said it is “through open and honest conversation that concerns will best be addressed and solutions reached for the good of everyone involved.”