Hate Your Neighbor

Everyone’s Welcome in the Boston Catholic Archdiocese. Just Not You.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston—those wonderful people who brought us the pedophile priest scandal—welcomes everyone to services. As long as you’re not gay, that is. The diocese has ordered St. Cecilia Parish to cancel a Mass to commemorate gay pride because, well, it commemorated gay pride. The parish had noted its plans in a church bulletin, which was enough to send conservative Catholics into orbit (assuming they believe the earth is round).

“The Rainbow Ministry of St. Cecilia Parish invites all friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month,’’ the notice in the parish bulletin read. “The theme of the liturgy, ‘All Are Welcome,’ honors Christ’s message of hope and salvation to all people. We will also celebrate the diverse community that finds its home at St. Cecilia.’’

The Archdiocese couldn’t move fast enough to pull in that particular welcome mat. “The wording and placement of a bulletin notice announcing that the St. Cecilia Rainbow Ministry will be joining the parish at a Mass on June 19 may have given the unintended impression that the Mass is in support of Gay Pride Week; it is not,’’ Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the archdiocese, told the Boston Globe.

During his sermon on Sunday, Rev. John Unni of St. Cecilia’s told the congregation, “You are welcome here, gay or straight, rich or poor, young or old, black or white. Here, you all can say, ‘I can worship the God who made me as I am.’” Unni, who is classic case of someone caught between the devil and the deep blue sea (you figure out who the first is), received a standing congregation for his remarks.

Instead of the Mass, St. Cecilia’s Rainbow Ministry will hold a prayer service. In a fit of magnanimity, Donilon said the Archdiocese had no problem with the prayer service—because it was being held on the sidewalk outside of the church. Too bad the Archdiocese couldn’t didn’t throw pedophile priests in its midst out on the street nearly as fast.

Photo via Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe