Since the announcement of a cancellation of a Pride Mass under the theme “All Are Welcome,” Catholics have rallied in support of the LGBT worshipping community.
St. Cecilia’s Parish priest, the Rev. John J. Unni, had not spoken to the press regarding the cancellation. On Sunday’s Mass, that silence was broken in his homily. According to the Boston Globe, Rev. Unni preached strong words about unconditional love and the acceptance of all. His sermon received thunderous applause at both Sunday Masses. At the second Mass, Bishop Robert F. Hennessey was in attendance. Rev. Unni addressed the bishop directly, stating, “We are being called to do not what is easy, but what is holy.’’
In place of a Mass, The Rainbow Ministries of Saint Cecilia Parish invites everyone to attend a prayer service on Sunday, June 19 at 6:00 p.m. The prayer service will be on the sidewalk outside the doors of the church and will include readings and reflections from lay people. The Rainbow Ministries’ announcement states, “We seek to reaffirm our Roman Catholic faith community as one which is supportive of and open to gay, lesbian and transgender persons. The service is open to all who seek to worship together in dignity and respect.” The Archdiocese has stated that it does not object to a prayer service, provided it is held outside the church building.
GLAAD continues to call on its members to support The Rainbow Ministries of St. Cecilia’s and affirming Catholics around the United States. GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said, “As a Catholic from Boston, my heart breaks for the people of St. Cecilia’s. I know how life-giving my faith has been to me, but the actions of the Archdiocese contradict the church’s teaching of God’s love for all people. I pray the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church will follow the lead of its members, who are overwhelmingly LGBT supportive.”