Praise for Dodgers’ Response to Pride Night Dispute from a Nun, Some Archbishops Label it Blasphemy

by Gabriel Martinez
Pride Night controversy

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ response to a recent controversy, rather than their performance on the field, has elicited a strong response from religious individuals, including high-profile faith leaders, Catholic nuns, and even the team’s star player.

This week, three senior U.S. Catholic leaders insinuated that the team had committed blasphemy.

For the past decade, the Dodgers have hosted Pride Nights. This year, however, the event scheduled for Friday night was caught up in a significant controversy last month.

Facing criticism from conservative Catholics, the team withdrew an invitation to a satirical LGBTQ+ group known as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who were to be honored at Pride Night. The Sisters, primarily men dressed ostentatiously as nuns, are involved in protests and charity initiatives.

A week later, the Dodgers reversed their decision in response to strong criticism from LGBTQ+ groups and their supporters. They reinvited the Los Angeles chapter of the Sisters to honor their philanthropic efforts and apologized to the LGBTQ+ community.

This change of heart was welcomed by LGBTQ+ supporters, including some Catholic nuns. However, it incensed many conservative Catholics, even those holding high-ranking positions within the U.S. church hierarchy.

On Monday, the team faced sharp criticism from Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services. They called on Catholics to pray on Friday to atone for “blasphemies against our Lord we see in our culture today.”

The archbishops said, “A professional baseball team has shockingly chosen to honor a group whose lewdness and vulgarity in mocking our Lord, His Mother, and consecrated women cannot be overstated.”

Even though official Catholic doctrine opposes same-sex marriage and same-sex sexual activity, numerous Catholics want the church to adopt a more inclusive stance towards LGBTQ+ individuals. This includes U.S. nuns who have shown empathy to LGBTQ+ Catholics, such as when the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence made headlines last month.

Sister Jeannine Gramick, who has ministered to LGBTQ+ Catholics for over five decades and co-founded New Ways Ministry, wrote a public letter to the Dodgers supporting their decision to reinvite the drag group, lauding their charity work.

However, Sister Luisa Derouen, known for her work with transgender Catholics, expressed deep offense at the Dodgers’ decision.

Catholic Bishop Robert Barron of southern Minnesota, a former auxiliary bishop in Los Angeles, described the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on Twitter as an “anti-Catholic hate group.” He urged his followers to boycott the Dodgers in defense of their Catholic faith.

The criticism was not exclusive to Catholics. Reverend Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, accused the Dodgers of capitulation.

Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Washington Nationals’ Trevor Williams criticized the Dodgers’ decision to reinvite the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence but voiced no objections to Pride Nights in general.

Some conservative religious leaders opposed the entire concept of Pride Nights. Megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress said, “MLB teams have no business sponsoring highly divisive events like Pride Nights and instead need to concentrate on playing baseball.”

On the contrary, Reverend Alex Santora, who runs an LGBTQ-friendly parish in Hoboken, New Jersey, sees Pride Nights as crucial for battling prejudice.

In the wake of the Dodgers’ Pride Night saga, other big-name businesses have also struggled with LGBTQ+-related issues. Bud Light and Target’s support for

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Pride Night Controversy

What controversy surrounded the Dodgers’ Pride Night?

The controversy surrounding the Dodgers’ Pride Night involved the initial rescinding of an invitation to the LGBTQ+ group Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, followed by a subsequent reversal of that decision.

Why did some religious leaders label the Dodgers’ actions as blasphemy?

Some religious leaders, particularly high-ranking Catholic figures, considered the Dodgers’ decision to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as blasphemy due to their perception of the group’s lewdness and vulgarity in mocking religious figures.

How did the Dodgers respond to the controversy?

After facing backlash from LGBTQ+ groups and their supporters, the Dodgers reversed their decision and reinvited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to be honored for their charity work. They also issued an apology to the LGBTQ+ community.

Did all Catholic nuns support the Dodgers’ decision?

No, there was a divide among Catholic nuns. While some, like Sister Jeannine Gramick, expressed support for the Dodgers and the recognition of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s charitable efforts, others, like Sister Luisa Derouen, were deeply offended by the decision and felt that it demeaned their religious life.

How did other religious leaders and individuals respond to the controversy?

Opinions varied among religious leaders and individuals. Some, like Catholic Bishop Robert Barron and Reverend Albert Mohler, criticized the Dodgers’ decision and called for boycotts, while others, like Reverend Alex Santora, saw Pride Nights as a positive way to promote acceptance and combat prejudice.

Were there broader debates about Pride Nights and LGBTQ+ support?

Yes, the controversy surrounding the Dodgers’ Pride Night reflected broader debates about the concept of Pride Nights and LGBTQ+ support. Some religious leaders, like Robert Jeffress and Brent Leatherwood, opposed the idea of Pride Nights altogether, while others, like Laurel Powell of the Human Rights Campaign, saw them as valuable for promoting inclusivity and acceptance.

More about Pride Night Controversy

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DodgerBlueFan June 16, 2023 - 4:43 pm

I’m a huge Dodgers fan, but I have to say I’m disappointed in their handling of this controversy. They should have stuck to their original decision and not caved to the pressure. #SticktoYourGuns #DodgersLetMeDown

FaithfulCatholic June 17, 2023 - 6:00 am

Finally, some religious leaders standing up against the blasphemy of mocking our Lord and His Mother. The Dodgers should be ashamed of themselves! #CatholicValues #StandforFaith

BaseballFan25 June 17, 2023 - 10:04 am

lol so the Dodgers invited some drag group to their Pride Night, then chickened out and uninvited them? That’s just plain wrong! Glad they got called out for it. #LGBTQrights #DodgersFail

LGBTQAdvocate June 17, 2023 - 11:14 am

It’s great to see the Dodgers reversing their decision and reinviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. LGBTQ+ groups deserve recognition and respect for their charity work. Let’s celebrate diversity and inclusivity! #PrideNight #LoveIsLove

ProudTransCatholic June 17, 2023 - 11:56 am

As a transgender Catholic, I’m torn about this whole situation. I appreciate the charity work of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, but their mockery of religious life is hurtful. We need more understanding and respect on all sides. #TransCatholic #IntersectingIdentities


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