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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 27 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 26
Baltimore Catholic church hosts Pride event
Section One
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Baltimore Catholic church hosts Pride event

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Strange as it may seem, a Roman Catholic church in Baltimore has hosted a Pride celebration.

According to a post on the website of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, St. Ignatius Church had a Pride celebration June 13.

'Celebrate Pride Month with the St. Ignatius community!' the post said.

'Embracing God's Gifts, St. Ignatius' Gay & Lesbian ministry, is inviting you to join us on Friday, June 13th at 7 p.m. in the Chapel of Grace, where we will give thanks to God for the gift of family. Through music, readings, prayer and a spirit of gratitude, we will gather to celebrate being members of God's family.'

A flyer for the event calls 'diversity of sexuality' a 'gift' from God.

'As members of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, we are called to celebrate and share the gifts of diversity of sexuality in our church today,' the flyer says.

'Our organization, Embracing God's Gifts, has been formed as an instrument for recognizing these gifts and incorporating their goodness and use into the life of our parish. Our mission is to create opportunities for the spiritual enrichment, support and inclusion of all diverse individuals, while being informed by church teaching, and to promote awareness and community building among them. We will accomplish this through a variety of endeavors that foster support, communication and social activities. We invite all to participate in this group with open-mindedness and compassion.'

The LGBT-inclusive message did not sit well with all the Catholic website's visitors.

'Someone needs to be fired. Someone needs to be reassigned,' one person commented.

'Someone needs to be excommunicated,' the next comment said.

That was trumped by a later remark: 'I'd recommend an old fashioned stake and some kindling...'

St. Ignatius is a Jesuit church, and its Pride celebration may reflect a more liberal attitude toward LGBT parishioners than would otherwise be expected in a Catholic church.

The Archbishop of Baltimore, William Lori, is known as a theological conservative, who campaigned against Maryland's 2012 ballot measure legalizing same-sex marriage. The fact that publicity for the event appeared on the Archdiocese website may indicate that Lori is moderating his views, or it may simply indicate carelessness on the part of his staff.

Although Pope Francis famously asked 'Who am I to judge' Gay people, the official doctrine of the Church remains that LGBT people are 'objectively disordered' and that Gay sex is inherently sinful.

As yet, no disciplinary action against St. Ignatius or its priests has been reported.

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