The Minnesota Independent reports on Archbishop Nienstedt’s order to stop a GLBT Pride prayer service in a Catholic church, while the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities plans a prayer/protest tonight in response.
As hundreds of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their supporters descend on Minneapolis for Twin Cities Pride, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has made it clear that they are not welcome in Twin Cities’ Catholic churches. St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church’s “Annual LGBT Pride Prayer Service” that was to be held Wednesday evening has been canceled. The event has been held for several years.
“That descriptor (LGBT) was not possible on church property. We suggested they shift it, change the nature of it a little bit, and they did,” archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath told the Pioneer Press. “The reason is quite simply because it was a LGBT pride prayer service, and that is really inimical to the teachings of the Catholic church.”
Co-founder of the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities, David McCaffrey, called the decision “yet another volley of dehumanizing spiritual violence directed at LGBT persons and their families under Archbishop Nienstedt’s reign of homophobic hatred.”
The archbishop told the church that it could hold a “peace” prayer service without any mention of LGBT people.
Michael Bayly, the committee’s executive coordinator said in an email, “I’ve heard from a number of LGBT folks and family members that this ‘solution’ leaves them feeling once again abandoned, unnamed, expendable.” He continued, “I’m even wondering if the ‘Inclusive Catholics’ banner that we’re encouraging people to march behind at the Gay Pride Parade, is really an accurate description of any Catholic parish in the archdiocese.”
Inclusive prayer services will be held on Sunday morning at Loring Park by All God’s Children Community Church. In addition, Twin Cities Pride is hosting a screening of “For the Bible Tells Me So,” a film that looks at the negative impacts that anti-LGBT religious views have on families with LGBT members. That screening is scheduled for Tuesday evening at Plymouth Congregational Church.