DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Catholic Diocese of Dallas is responding to Dallas mother Deirde Hairston’s allegation that she was escorted out of Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, while holding her baby — for not wearing a mask.
And there’s video of the incident.
Appearing on Dr. Taylor Marshall’s podcast, Hairston, who’s pregnant, described how she was escorted out by officers after Holy Communion with the eucharist “still on her tongue,” and told the church didn’t want her there. One of the three officers tells Hariston that she will “place her in handcuffs,” if Hairston doesn’t leave.
“Am I getting arrested?” Hairston asks.
“No, not right now. But if you don’t listen you will be,” replies the officer.
Cell phone footage shows Hariston asking what crime she has committed, to which police replied she was “trespassing on a business.”
Hariston said her parish-priest, Father Ryan called police.
Once outside, Hariston said the usher ran to her car and took photos of her license plate as police were taking her information. She also said she was issued a ticket for trespassing.
Holy Trinity, which serves the uptown community near Oak Lawn and Lemmon Ave. responded on March 29, two weeks after the incident and two days after Marshall shared the interview on Youtube.
In it, they state that Hairston wasn’t arrested or ticketed, merely issued a trespass warning. They also said the pastor of the parish has required masks at Mass out of concern for the health and welfare of its entire congregation. Hariston and her husband said that isn’t true. They said it wasn’t required – only encouraged.
Furthermore, the church expects “the faithful to wear masks out of charity and concern for others,” the church continued.
The Diocese is looking into the details regarding the incident, and said, “recognizing that this pandemic has been stressful for everyone, an increase in patience and charity is necessary during these days.”