Page 2, 27th June 1980

27th June 1980
Page 2
Page 2, 27th June 1980 — Klansmen threat to US monks
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Klansmen threat to US monks

TI1E wake of an offer by Benedictine monks to house 1502(X) Cuban rtsfugees in Cullman. Alabama, a Cross was burned near the entrance to the 90-yearold abbey and there are reports of threats made against the religious order by the Ku Klux Klan, Speaking for the Abbey Prior Columban Geerken, said "a Cross was burned here (around June 1) but there have been no threats that I know of, with the exception of one 'phone call to an employee at the order's Ave Maria Grotto," ,ie said. An anonymous woman

said "You people should be tarred

and feathered and run out of

town."

He said that on the other hand the monks have received several offers to help from local people, and assurances that offering aid to the refugees vh as "the Christian thing to do".

Prior Geerken said about a month ago the order wrote a letter to Alabama Senator Howell Heflin, offering the use of some of the 250 dormitory rooms of the former Southern Benedictine College for "interim" housing for

the Cubans.

So far the abbey has received no official word from the government accepting the offer, but local Floss-papers say sources confirm the abbey's name is listed among possible sponsors.

According to an article in The Tennessean. a Nashville daily. Klansmeo are planning a protest march to the abbey if Cubans arrive,

Prior Geerken said the monks made the offer "because we saw the need and we have vacant buildings.




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