Local News

Weekly mass postponed at Robeson County church after priest lock out

Posted August 19, 2009 11:27 p.m. EDT

— Bishop Michael Burbidge has postponed the weekly mass at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Red Springs.

This comes after 150 church members gathered over the weekend to protest Rev. Walter Ospina. They even padlocked the church’s doors to keep him from entering and said no mass would take place until Ospina was removed.

Ospina was appointed to St. Andrew, 301 Mercer Ave., a year ago.

Protesters said Ospina, who's from Colombia, is out of touch and looks down on the Latino community.

Burbidge said Wednesday he is looking for a facilitator to help the parish work through its problems, but that mass will be postponed “for the foreseeable future,” according to Frank Morock, a spokesman for the Catholic diocese in Raleigh.

“What happened Sunday was a hostile act – locking people out of mass, which is very important to the Catholic faith,” Morock said.

Monsignor David Brockman also read a statement to the congregation Wednesday night in which Burbidge expressed his “love, respect and appreciation for the parish community.”