PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (LifeSiteNews) — A so-called “Pride Mass” to celebrate “LGBTQ” lifestyles planned at a Pittsburgh Catholic university was called off after the local bishop publicly denounced the event and asked for its cancellation.
The Mass was scheduled for the Feast of Corpus Christi, with the co-theme “Body of Christ, God’s Gift to All,” as the event flier states, sacrilegiously suggesting that Catholics unrepentantly living gravely immoral homosexual lifestyles are permitted to receive the Body of Christ in the Eucharist.
The event was to take place at Duquesne University, which was founded by members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit.
Crisis magazine editor-in-chief Eric Sammons tweeted an image of the event flier on May 27, stating that the bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, currently David Zubik, “has a sacred obligation to shut this sacrilege down and discipline all clerics associated with it.”
— Eric Sammons (@EricRSammons) May 27, 2023
The flier shows that the Mass was advertised for “LGBTQ Catholics, Families,” and “Allies” and was to be held as part of the “LGBTQ ministry” of St. Mary Magdalene Parish, a heterodox Pittsburgh parish. The church’s “LGBTQ ministry” coordinator, Vicki Sheridan, was to serve as a “Scripture commentator” during the “Pride Mass” at Duquesne.
According to The Daily Signal, St. Mary Magdalene pastor Fr. Tom Burke has said regarding homosexuality, “I’ve always been taught by my parents that you don’t judge people, that you love people … Being a police in the bedroom, that’s not my job. My job is to be the pastor.”
The day after Sammons’ tweet, theology student Anna-Kate Howell, a recent convert to Catholicism who has admitted to having same-sex attraction (SSA), took to Twitter to ask that people request from the Diocese of Pittsburgh that the Mass be shut down.
One man shared in response to her tweet, “Things like this *really* hurt not only my faith but the faith of a lot of others,” later clarifying that he was referring to what the “Pride Mass” “represents”: “Members of the Church capitulating to the world. Clergy as well as laypeople.”
A few days later, Bishop David Zubik called for the Mass to be canceled, noting that while “we all have the responsibility to love those who have same-sex attraction,” “at the same time, the Church cannot support behavior that goes against God’s law,” The Daily Signal shared.
In a letter to clergy and those who opposed the “Pride Mass,” Bishop Zubik pointed out that neither he nor Duquesne University President Ken Gormley “knew anything about the Mass until calls came in to our respective offices over the holiday weekend.”
“Many of the responses to the flyer jumped to the conclusion that I gave approval to this event. I did not. Many of the responses also used condemning and threatening, and some might say hateful, language not in keeping with Christian charity, especially of the Lord’s command ‘to love one another as I have loved you,’” wrote Bishop Zubik.
He noted that the “event was billed as a ‘Pride Mass’ organized to coincide with Pride Month, an annual secular observance that supports members of the LGBTQ community on every level, including lifestyle and behavior, which the Church cannot endorse.”
Pittsburgh’s NPR news station has reported that the event was to be co-hosted by the Pittsburgh-based group Catholics for Change in Our Church (CCOC), and CCOC “was told by Duquesne University officials that the on-campus mass was canceled.”
“When asked for comment, the university forwarded Bishop Zubik’s letter, but didn’t respond to specific questions,” the local news outlet shared.
Duquesne did not immediately respond to LifeSite’s requests for comment.
Following the cancellation of the “Pride Mass” planned at Duquesne Holy Spirit Chapel, Howell tweeted an open letter to Washington Archbishop Cardinal Wilton Gregory asking that he cancel the “Pride Mass” scheduled for June 14 at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C.
Sharing her experience of conversion from a homosexual lifestyle, Howell wrote:
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.