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Catholics Struggle to Worship Openly with LGBT People

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As reported in the Boston Globe, the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has ordered the cancellation of a Mass in celebration of Pride Month under the theme “All Are Welcome” that was to have taken place on June 19.

The cancellation came after a blogger using the pseudonym Joe Sacerdo criticized the Archdiocese for allowing such a Mass to take place.

The Mass was organized by The Rainbow Ministry of St. Cecilia parish. The Rev. John J. Unni, parish priest for St. Cecilia’s, has not spoken publicly. The blog for The Rainbow Ministry has had all its posts deleted. Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the Archdiocese, has stated that he is now speaking on behalf of the parish.

Dignity/Boston Marchers at Pride, Photo courtesy of www.dignityboston.org

Even as LGBT and allied Catholics determine next steps, support is being offered to LGBT Catholics. On Friday night, the Annual Pride Interfaith Liturgy ended with strong words of support from faith leaders across Boston. Additionally, the Boston chapter of DignityUSA is holding its annual Pride Liturgy Sunday evening at 5:30 at the Church of St. John the Evangelist. Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, stated that the Dignity liturgy is an annual event, but must be held “in exile,” outside of a Catholic parish. Many local Catholics were excited for the opportunity to worship in a Catholic parish.

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church has earned many headlines lately. The Catholic bishops in Minnesota are advocating for a constitutional amendment that would ban marriage equality in the state.  Catholic bishops are trying to prevent the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from allowing needy same-sex couples to live in publicly funded housing. And a Catholic social service agency is suing the state of Illinois over access to adoption.

However, these actions come as many recent polls have suggested that Catholics overwhelmingly support LGBT equality, despite communication to the contrary from Catholic leadership. Even a retired Catholic bishop has spoken out about ministry to and with the LGBT community.

GLAAD calls on all faithful supporters of LGBT equality to attend the Dignity/Boston liturgy in solidarity with the Catholics who so strongly support LGBT people. The liturgy is open to all people, Catholic or otherwise. GLAAD is also working to ensure that the voices of pro-LGBT Catholics are amplified in Boston and around the United States.