By Hilary White
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  SAN FRANCISCO, November 17, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The pastor of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic parish in the heart of San Francisco’s heavily homosexual Castro neighbourhood, is back in his position after spending some time “on leave from his duties,” following a scandal involving a homosexual activist group.
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  Father Stephen Meriwether, who also serves as Chancellor of the San Francisco Archdiocese, was placed “on leave” after his permission to allow a virulently anti-Catholic homosexual activist group to hold “revival bingo” games was revealed by faithful Catholic bloggers.
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  Earlier this month, World Net Daily reported that Most Holy Redeemer parish had hosted a fundraising event for a group considered by Catholics to be one of the most offensive homosexual activist groups in existence.
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  The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a loosely organized association of gay men who dress up in bizarre mockeries of nuns’ habits in homosexual parades and demonstrations, was invited to hold their “bingo games” at the parish that is a centre for homosexual activism in the local Catholic community. World Net Daily reported that a parish employee informed them that Fr. Meriwether was aware of the group’s presence.Â
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  The games at Most Holy Redeemer were described in a local homosexual newspaper, the San Francisco Bay Times, who said the event included sexually explicit activities. Prizes included porn DVDs and “sex toys” the paper said.
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  The “Sisters,” whose motto is “go and sin some more” and describes itself as a “leading-edge order of queer nuns,” planned to hold regular bingo games including one that featured, as master of ceremonies, “Peaches Christ” on the Feast of All Souls, the day on which Catholics traditionally pray for their dead. The money raised by the games was to go to a number of AIDS and homosexual organizations including the parish’s own AIDS outreach group.
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  After a local Catholic posted information about the event to the popular ‘blog of Catholic apologist and writer, Mark Shea, the Archdiocese issued a statement on Oct. 30 saying that permission should not have been given and the group’s activities at the parish were to cease “immediately.”
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  Archdiocesan spokesman Maurice Healy said, “For years the group has directed contempt and ridicule at Catholic faith and practices… Fr. Meriwether is on leave from his duties.”
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  Another Catholic blogger and former editor of the magazine Catholic World Report, was sceptical of the veracity of the Archdiocese’ action.
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“This is public relations damage control,” Domenico Bettinelli wrote. “A true attempt to stop the scandal to the faithful and assert Church teaching would take stronger and more public steps. This sounds like they’re doing just enough to take the heat off without having to do anything substantive that would annoy certain people.”
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  The “Sisters” issued a statement saying that they were “stunned and deeply saddened” by the action of the Archdiocese in cancelling their events. “The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence believe that our commitment to giving is in alignment with the philosophy of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which represents a cross-section of the San Francisco population,” the statement said.
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  Bettinelli’s scepticism seems to have been justified. Most Holy Redeemer parish website now carries a notice for a celebratory pancake breakfast, set for November 19, in honour of Fr. Meriwether’s return from “leave.”
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  The parish website carries a message from Fr. Meriwether saying, “You will find the good people of our parish old, young, married, gay, lesbian, transgender, affluent, homeless, blue-collar, converts, cradle Catholics, radical, traditional, questioning, fervent.”
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  The website also includes links to various homosexual activist groups including Dignity San Francisco, the Gay Catholic Forum, the Conference of Catholic Lesbians, and the dissident anti-Catholic organization, Voice of the Faithful.
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  Father Meriwether was appointed to his post as archdiocesan chancellor by the former archbishop of San Francisco, William Levada. Levada is now a cardinal and serves in Rome as the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. As such, he is considered the second most powerful man in the Catholic Church.
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  San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2005 that Levada once told parishioners that he enjoyed visiting Most Holy Redeemer because it was among the most welcoming in the diocese.
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  The website of the parish features photos of Fr. Meriwether blessing the regular parish contingent of marchers preparing to participate in the San Francisco “Gay Pride” parade. Included is a shot of Fr. Meriwether sprinkling the marchers with holy water while wearing full Mass vestments. Marchers from Most Holy Redeemer carried a banner sign and marched in the parade as a group. The photos show participants carrying the homosexual emblem of the rainbow flag and wearing t-shirts with the slogan, “Most Holy Redeemer, Pride 2006”.
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  Read coverage by World Net Daily:
http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52769
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  Read commentary by Domenico Bettinelli:
http://www.bettnet.com/blog/index.php/weblog/business_as_usual_in_san_francisco/
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  View the photos of the Gay Pride parish participation:
http://www.mhr.org/pride2006.html
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  To Contact the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco
  One Peter Yorke Way
  San Francisco, CA 94109
  415 614 5500
  E-mail: info@sfarchdiocese.org
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  To Contact the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
  Piazza del S. Uffizio,
  11, 00193
  Roma, Italy
  Telephone: 06.69.88.33.57
  06.69.88.34.13
  Fax: 06.69.88.34.09
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  To Contact the US Nunciature
  Archbishop Pietro Sambi
  3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W, Washington, DC, USA
  Telephone: (202)333-7121
  Fax: 337-4036