NEW YORK CITY (LifeSiteNews) — The New York City Catholic church that provoked backlash over its display of a blasphemous painting series titled “God is Trans” is planning to host a “Pride Mass” at a monument commemorating the 1969 homosexual Stonewall Uprising.
The Church of St. Paul the Apostle, run by the now notoriously liberal Paulist Fathers, will hold the “LGBTQ” Mass on June 22 at the Stonewall National Monument in New York City, which contains sculptures of two homosexual couples entitled “Gay Liberation,” as well as “LGBTQ” flags signifying a spectrum of “sexualities.”
A Facebook event page indicates that the Mass will be held at 6:30 p.m. inside the Sheridan Square Viewing Garden at the monument in Greenwich Village and that the group will gather afterward at a nearby bar for “fellowship over drinks.” It is being hosted by St. Paul’s “LGBTQ+ ministry,” “Out at St. Paul,” which heretically endorses homosexual lifestyles in addition to transgender ideology.
Father Thomas Petri, OP, a moral theologian and president of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., denounced the plans to associate the Mass with a lifestyle that “can destroy one’s relationship with God” in a statement to Catholic News Agency on Wednesday.
Fr. Petri noted that the Mass is meant to “turn our minds and hearts to things that are above and not to things below.”
“All the more is this the case for the Mass at Stonewall, where the monument, the statues, and the flags carry a meaning that most people rightly identify with a lifestyle, sexual activity, and an ideology that are all contrary both to the Christian understanding of the human person and to a life of chastity and virtue,” he said.
He added that “reveling in any identity and lifestyle that we know is contrary to living in the freedom of the children of God ultimately damages the soul and can destroy one’s relationship with God.”
“It’s not pastoral to facilitate anyone walking that path. There are much better ways to seek justice in the world without abandoning the vocation we all have to grow in holiness,” he continued.
Paulist Fathers defend blasphemous ‘Pride Mass’: ‘Nothing special happens’
Paul Snatchko, a spokesman for the Paulist Fathers, told CNA on June 6, “It’s just a Mass that happens right before the Pride weekend in New York City, that’s all. It’s just a Mass. Nothing special happens,” he said.
Catholics believe that the Mass is the Sacrifice of Christ renewed in an unbloody manner, during which the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ are made truly present under the appearances of bread and wine.
Snatchko said that the Church of St. Paul the Apostle has previously held a “Pride Mass” at least four times.
When asked by CNA if using the term “Pride Mass” gives the appearance that it celebrates same-sex acts, Snatchko replied “no,” claiming that the church “isn’t making any statements about anything.”
He doesn’t believe it’s inappropriate to hold the Mass in the park with statues of homosexual couples, telling CNA, “You’re not seeing a same-sex act happen in those statues.”
‘Stonewall is doubtfully honorable’
Canon 932.1 requires that Mass “must be done in a decent place” if celebrated outside of a sacred place, Father Philip-Michael Tangorra, a canon lawyer and priest for the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, told CNA on Wednesday.
“The first question becomes: What constitutes a ‘decent place’? The Latin is ‘loco honesto,’ an honorable place. Stonewall is doubtfully honorable considering the decor,” he said.
Moreover, according to canon law, a Mass may only be held outside a sacred place due to “necessity,” which typically is constituted by large numbers of attendees or sickness and old age.
“There does not seem to be a necessity to celebrate at Stonewall. Rather, this location seems more opportunistic for sensational reasons,” said Tangorra.
He added that while celebrating a Mass outside of a church is at the discretion of the priest according to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, “the diocesan bishop can order the priest to locate the Mass in a sacred place.”
Catholics commemorate the Sacred Heart of Jesus during the month of June, but LGBTQ activists have dubbed June “Pride Month” because of the Stonewall Riots, a series of violent uprisings by homosexual residents of Greenwich Village after the police raid of a homosexual bar.
Among the events being held this month to celebrate homosexuality are a few so-called “Pride Masses,” including one in Pittsburgh that was canceled after the protest of locals and the request of the local bishop and another one that was held at President Joe Biden’s parish in Washington D.C., leading a group of faithful Catholics to pray outside in protest of and reparation for the blasphemous event.
Among those gathered outside the D.C. Mass was Sister Deidre Byrne, known to many as “Sister DeDe.” She told LifeSiteNews, “We just want to say that we love people — we love who God loves — but we have to love the sinner, not the sin.”
Anna-Kate Howell, a theology student and recent convert to Catholicism who has admitted to having same-sex attraction (SSA) and called for the protest of the planned “Pride Mass” in Pittsburgh, has shared her experience of conversion from a homosexual lifestyle, sharing on Twitter:
We are not “LGBTQ.” Our attraction is a thing we experience, not an identity we are defined by. The majority of faithful Catholics with same-sex attraction I have talked to prefer to say that we have or we experience same-sex attraction, rather than that we are gays, lesbians, or bisexuals. It is the Father of Lies, the Accuser, who insists on calling us by our sins. Our loving Father in Heaven calls us by our names. We do not want to be identified by our disordered impulses or celebrate our past sins. This is what Pride does.
Nor do we want others outside the Church to believe that we celebrate those impulses or sins in others. When the Church is involved in Pride, scandal is unavoidable. People will be confused or misled about what we teach and believe in a time when it has never been more important to be clear about what we teach and believe. Perhaps some within the Church even intend to create and weaponize this ambiguity. We cannot allow that.
Catholic News Agency asked the Archdiocese of New York whether it approved the scheduled “Pride Mass” but has not received a response. LifeSiteNews attempted to contact the archdiocese on Monday but found its offices closed in observance of Juneteenth.