With festivals and bazaars, do we have money changers in the temple?

I am asking this question for my dad. He was asked why Catholics have parish festivals or bazaars. In the Gospels, we read about Jesus making a whip and chasing the moneychangers and merchants out of the temple. This is what was brought up by a protestant about our parish festivals and bazaars. He said that we shouldn’t be doing these as we are doing the same thing as the merchants and moneychangers. How do we explain why parishes hold these festivals and bazaars? Thank you in advance.

Dear Donna,

Our Lord did not chase the money changers out because there is anything wrong with carrying on financial transactions. He was angry because they were doing it in a sacred place where people should be praying.

If our bazaars and festivals were held in the sanctuary, around the tabernacle, then your Protestant friend would have a comparable situation to Jesus driving the money changers from the Temple. They were doing business in a sacred place. Parish bazaars and festivals are held outside of the Church.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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