After inviting then disinviting one controversial group, only to relent and reinvite them days later, the Los Angeles Dodgers are set to welcome LGBTQ+ advocates and allies to their Friday night game for Pride Night.
The presence of the invitation of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and drag queen Sister Roma drew controversy from those opposing the event. Roma is self-described as the "most photographed nun in the world."
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were originally disinvited from the Pride Night event with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the baseball club relented. The group was set to receive a Community Hero Award "for their countless hours of community service, ministry, and outreach to those on the edges, in addition to promoting human rights and respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment."
Religious groups and conservative leaders have snapped back at the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The group was also invited to a Pride Month event in the California legislature earlier this month, to the chagrin of Senate Republicans.
"Frankly, it's a slap in the face to Catholics who cherish their faith and hold it as a cornerstone of their identity. Sister Roma and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence do not share the Senate's values of tolerance and understanding, and honoring them on the Senate Floor is simply inexcusable," Senate Republican Leader Brian Jones said.
Roma countered that her organization has the backing of religious groups and provides services to the community.
"We are actually nuns," Roma said. "We serve our community; we minister to the sick; we help the unhoused; we feed the hungry; we promulgate universal joy and expiate stigmatic guilt. It's as simple as that."
The inclusion of Sister Roma's group has split Catholics. While some are planning on holding protests outside Dodger Stadium, others encouraged the club to go through with Pride Night festivities.
"Just as I have great respect for Catholic nuns because of their compassion and good works over the centuries, I applaud the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for their financial assistance to those in need," Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministries, wrote to the club."I support them because of all their good works. I believe that any group that serves the community, especially those who are less fortunate or on the margins of society, should be honored. I support your honoring the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence."
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement calling for its faithful to pray.
“This year, on June 16—the day of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus—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. This is not just offensive and painful to Christians everywhere; it is blasphemy," the bishops said in a statement. "It has been heartening to see so many faithful Catholics and others of good will stand up to say that what this group does is wrong, and it is wrong to honor them."
The event comes as a number of states have passed anti-drag legislation. It also comes as a number of drag events have been disrupted due to ongoing threats.
"In the weeks ahead, we will continue to work with our LGBTQ+ partners to better educate ourselves, find ways to strengthen the ties that bind and use our platform to support all of our fans who make up the diversity of the Dodgers family," the Dodgers said in May when they decided to host their 10th Pride Night.
Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com