SAN FRANCISCO, California, June 1, 2011 ( – Some members of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic parish in San Francisco are getting ready to march in the city’s annual gay pride parade, and their priest is alleged to have given them his unofficial blessing, reports the California Catholic Daily.

According to the Catholic journal, several parish bulletins from May have stated “PRIDE Outreach: May 29th. Short planning meeting after 10:00am Mass in Ellard Hall” and listed Jim DeWan, a member of the church’s parish council as the contact for more information.

California Catholic Daily also noted that the parish’s participation was publicly listed and explained in Communion, a journal of the dissident group Catholics for Equality. An April 2011 issue explained that the parish will be “participating and have a marching contingent at this year’s annual Pride Parade.”

However, it explained that they had to march “as private Catholic citizens,” not as official participants.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco cracked down on Most Holy Redeemer parish in 2008, and told its pastor Rev. Stephen Meriwether that they could no longer participate officially in the city’s sexually graphic gay pride parade.

The entry in Communion, however, said that Meriwether was very supportive of the group organizing to participate in the parade. They stated he has “generously given us blessing and support in this effort.”

Most Holy Redeemer (MHR) church has a long history of involvement with the homosexual community in the Castro district and the San Francisco Pride Parade, which has caused enormous embarrassment to the Archdiocese and Archbishop Niederauer.

Meriwether was suspended by the Archdiocese from his position as pastor and archdiocesan chancellor in October 2006 for permitting the parish to play host to the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” The “Sisters” are a strident anti-Catholic homosexual organization that has as their slogan “go and sin some more.” The group’s style of bingo prompted the Archdiocese to ban them from using the parish facilities once the press discovered that the “sisters” bingo nights involved sexual games and prizes that included porn DVDs and “sex toys.”

Rev. Meriwether was later replaced as the archdiocesan chancellor by the Very Rev. C. Michael Padazinski.

The parish again got Archbishop Niederauer in hot water in October 2007 after he gave communion to two clownishly dressed persons, who were well-known by Rev. Meriwether and the parish as the ill-reputed “Sisters.” Footage of the incident was picked up by the media and the embarrassment forced Archbishop Niederauer to give a public apology to Catholics in San Francisco and beyond.

Find more information at California Catholic Daily here.


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