Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Archdiocesan Policy: No Drag Queens at Most Holy Redeemer

This is a battle we have been fighting for a long time. From a long article (read the whole thing) in today's Bay Area Reporter:

"A local gay recovery group will not be holding its annual fall fundraiser in the social hall of the Castro neighborhood's Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church after officials said that no drag queens would be allowed.

For the past couple of years the Castro Country Club has held its event in the church's social hall and had drag queens as entertainment.

As a statement issued by the country club's board of directors explained, the new no-drag-queen policy at the church is simply unacceptable.

'The Castro Country Club had planned to hold our third annual Harvest Feast on October 20, 2012, at Most Holy Redeemer Church, where we have held this and other events in the past,' the directors said in a statement.

But that changed when the club was notified by the church last week that they would not be able to hold the dinner if any drag queens were part of the program, the board said.

'In previous years, we have had Ivy Drip and Heklina, both well-known entertainers and community fundraisers, serve as emcees of the event, and we felt we could not in good conscience abide by the church's new policy,' the board said.

'It is our organization's policy to be inclusive and welcoming to all. Drag queens are no exception. We are currently seeking an alternative venue for the Harvest Feast, which provides an important source of revenue for our annual budget,' the board added.

Individual members of the country club declined to comment and referred to the board's statement.

Most Holy Redeemer's new pastor, the Reverend Brian Costello, confirmed over telephone on Monday, August 6, that drag queen performers and emcees are no longer permitted to participate in events at the church.

Costello said that during a telephone conversation with a Castro Country Club representative, when the topic of drag queens came up, he told the person, 'That is not going to work under the present circumstances.'

'I said work with me. You can still have the dinner. You can have a regular emcee, but not drag queens on church property,' Costello said."

We applaud Fr. Costello's action, and we pray for him as he shepherds his flock. His love for his parishioners seems clear. So does his understanding of his duty towards them.

The BAR article continues:

"It seems the directive is the result of several factors.

'I am the new pastor,' Costello added. 'There is a new archbishop. The archdiocese told me straight out, 'No drag queens.'"

The response of LGBT activists to the action of Fr. Costello and the Archdiocese speaks volumes. Dignity SF, the "Rainbow Sash" movement, and New Ways Ministry all objected. Joe Murray, a founder of the Rainbow Sash Movement told BAR: "Either gay and lesbian people are welcome at Most Holy Redeemer or they are not. It's that simple." That's utter nonsense. The new policy says nothing about same-sex attracted persons. It deals with drag queens. Mr. Murray is saying that same-sex attracted persons and drag queens are identical.

The article also mentions this website:

"During Sunday Mass on Sunday, October 7, 2007, Archbishop George Niederauer gave communion to two members of the activist group and drag troupe Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an indecent that angered, hurt, and even horrified some conservative Catholics, as well as it grabbed local and national headlines.

Called to task locally by the California Catholic Daily and a '90 years young' priest, the Reverend John Malloy, on A Shepherd's Voice blog, Niederauer apologized for giving communion to gays dressed as nuns.

Attempts to reach the Sisters for comment on the recent change of policy at Most Holy Redeemer were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, as recent as April 29, in a Shepherd's Voice post Malloy blasted the 'gay parish' for hosting an April 14 'drag show' to benefit the Castro Country Club, 'a substance abuse treatment organization.'

'Hosting a drag show at [Most Holy Redeemer] is the equivalent of sending a case of wine to Castro Country Club,' wrote Malloy. 'It is beyond irresponsible for the Archdiocese of San Francisco to allow it.'"

We are glad to see that the Archdiocese now shares this view.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Good on you Fr Molloy. Thank you for your Faithful priesthood.