A Catholic nun appreciates the Dodgers’ management of the Pride Night dispute while some archbishops label it as sacrilege

by Madison Thomas
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Pride Night controversy

A range of religious individuals and high-profile faith leaders, including Catholic nuns, and the team’s renowned All-Star pitcher, have shared emotive responses to an event unrelated to the Dodgers’ performance on the field.

Earlier this week, three influential U.S. Catholic leaders suggested the Dodgers were guilty of blasphemy.

The Dodgers have celebrated Pride Nights for a decade. However, this year’s event, scheduled for Friday night, was mired in a significant controversy last month.

The team rescinded an invitation extended to a satirical LGBTQ+ group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, following criticism from conservative Catholics. The group, primarily comprising men dressed in flamboyant nun attire, are known for their involvement in protests and charity work.

A week following the initial decision, and in response to a strong backlash from LGBTQ+ groups and their supporters, the Dodgers changed their stance. The Sisters’ Los Angeles chapter was re-invited to receive honor for its philanthropy, and an apology was issued to the LGBTQ+ community.

This decision to change course was welcomed by LGBTQ+ supporters, including several Catholic nuns. However, it was met with considerable opposition from conservative Catholics, even from those occupying the highest ranks within the U.S. hierarchy.

On Monday, the team was rebuked in a statement issued by Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, and Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ president.

They called upon Catholics to pray on Friday “in reparation for the blasphemies witnessed in our culture today.”

Official Catholic doctrine opposes same-sex marriage and sexual activity. However, many Catholics hope for the Church to exhibit greater inclusivity toward LGBTQ+ individuals. These include U.S. nuns who minister empathetically to LGBTQ+ Catholics and took notice when the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence made headlines.

Sister Jeannine Gramick, who has ministered to LGBTQ+ Catholics for over 50 years and is a co-founder of New Ways Ministry, shared a letter she wrote to the Dodgers. She approved of their decision to re-invite the drag group and suggested they deserved acknowledgment for their charity work.

In contrast, Sister Luisa Derouen, known for her outreach to transgender Catholics, expressed deep offense at the Dodgers’ decision.

Catholic bishop Robert Barron of southern Minnesota, formerly an auxiliary bishop in Los Angeles, described the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as “an anti-Catholic hate group” to his Twitter followers.

Criticism extended beyond the Catholic community. Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, accused the Dodgers of “complete capitulation.”

Some religious leaders voiced their opposition to the concept of Pride Nights as a whole.

Despite the controversy, Rev. Alex Santora, presiding over an LGBTQ+-welcoming parish in Hoboken, New Jersey, supported the usefulness of Pride Nights in combating prejudice.

The Dodgers’ Pride Night controversy aligns with the recent LGBTQ+-related difficulties experienced by well-known companies such as Bud Light and Target.

Laurel Powell, a spokesperson for the largest LGBTQ+ rights organization in the country, the Human Rights Campaign, shared the encouraging view that the growing number of Pride Nights and related gestures in other economic sectors are essential signals of acceptance and value to the LGBTQ+ community.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Pride Night controversy

What is the Pride Night controversy involving the Dodgers?

The Pride Night controversy involving the Dodgers revolves around the team’s decision to initially rescind an invitation to the satirical LGBTQ+ group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, for their annual Pride Night event. This decision was met with criticism from conservative Catholics. However, after facing backlash from LGBTQ+ groups and allies, the Dodgers reversed their decision and re-invited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, causing further controversy.

What was the reaction from Catholic leaders?

Some Catholic leaders, including Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, and Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services, criticized the Dodgers’ decision and accused them of blasphemy. They called upon Catholics to pray as an act of reparation for what they considered blasphemies against their faith.

How did the LGBTQ+ community and their allies respond?

The LGBTQ+ community and their allies, including some Catholic nuns, welcomed the Dodgers’ reversal and supported the recognition of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for their charity work. LGBTQ+ groups and supporters voiced their outrage at the initial decision to rescind the invitation, highlighting the importance of inclusivity and acceptance.

What were the arguments from different perspectives?

Conservative Catholics and religious leaders opposed the Dodgers’ decision, considering the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s actions as mocking and offensive towards their faith. Some Catholic nuns and LGBTQ+ advocates supported the Dodgers’ reversal, emphasizing the importance of honoring groups that serve the community, particularly those on the margins.

Did this controversy affect other sectors?

The controversy surrounding the Dodgers’ Pride Night is part of a larger pattern seen in other sectors. Companies like Bud Light and Target have faced similar LGBTQ+-related difficulties, with both support and backlash from different perspectives.

What is the significance of Pride Nights?

Pride Nights, hosted by sports teams and supported by various businesses, are seen as important in promoting acceptance and combating prejudice against the LGBTQ+ community. They send a message of inclusivity, particularly to children and teenagers, contributing to their mental well-being and promoting diverse orientations as normal in society.

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