Washington D.C., Jun 9, 2023 / 13:38 pm (CNA).
Prominent Catholics and other Christians, including baseball players and bishops, continue to denounce the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to honor an anti-Catholic drag group called the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” at a game on June 16.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a national drag queen group that impersonates nuns and uses Catholic religious imagery and themes in protests and sexualized performances to raise awareness and money for LGBTQ+ causes. The performers call themselves nuns and regularly use the images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and women religious.
The Dodgers will be honoring the L.A. chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with a “Community Hero Award” before a game against the San Francisco Giants.
Here is what some of the country’s leading bishops are saying about the decision.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, New York City
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, blasted the Dodgers’ decision to honor the drag group in an episode of his talk show “The Good Newsroom” on June 2.
Dolan pointed out that beloved former Dodgers who were devoutly religious such as Sandy Koufax, Tommy Lasorda, and Vin Scully would be outraged today.
“Sandy Koufax, a great Dodger, there was a guy that loved religion so much he wouldn’t pitch on Yom Kippur,” Dolan said. “Now the Dodgers … are honoring this viciously anti-Catholic group.”
“We here in New York are well aware of them,” Dolan said of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. “These are the ones that spit on Cardinal John O’Connor, these are the ones that threatened to desecrate the holy Eucharist, these are the ones who exposed themselves in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We’re well aware of their antics. This isn’t some benevolent, humorous group.”
“You shouldn’t do this to any group,” Dolan added. “Why is the only group that they feel free to attack Catholics?”
— USCCB Freedom (@usccbfreedom) June 8, 2023
Archbishop Jose Gomez, Los Angeles
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, the archbishop of the city in which the anti-Catholic group is being honored, called on Catholics and people of goodwill to “stand against hate in any form” in a May 23 tweet.
“The decision to honor a group that clearly mocks the Catholic faith and makes light of the sincere and holy vocations of our women religious who are an integral part of our Church is what has caused disappointment, concern, anger, and dismay from our Catholic community,” the archdiocesan statement said.
.@lacatholics call on Catholics and people of goodwill to stand against hate in any form after the @Dodgers reinstated plans to honor the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” who were set to receive the Dodgers’ Community Hero Award. Read on @AngelusNews: https://t.co/I4xlXOEZsi pic.twitter.com/duqFZ32pmh
— Abp. José H. Gomez (@ArchbishopGomez) May 23, 2023
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, San Francisco
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, the city whose team the Dodgers will compete against on June 16, stated that “we now know what gods the Dodger admin worships.”
“Our Catholic sisters devote themselves to serving others selflessly. Decent people would not mock & blaspheme them,” Cordileone said in a tweet on May 23. “So we now know what gods the Dodger admin worships. Open desecration & anti-Catholicism is not disqualifying. Disappointing but not surprising. Gird your loins.”
Our Catholic sisters devote themselves to serving others selflessly. Decent people would not mock & blaspheme them. So we now know what gods the Dodger admin worships. Open desecration & anti-Catholicism is not disqualifying. Disappointing but not surprising. Gird your loins. https://t.co/JloPQe9tC1
— Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone (@ArchCordileone) May 23, 2023
Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Kansas City
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, called on the Kansas City Royals’ ownership to “communicate their disapproval to the Dodgers’ management for their actions that show disrespect for the Catholic faith,” in a May 31 statement.
Naumann also called on Major League Baseball to “not allow baseball to be used to advance ideologies that are offensive to many of their customers” so that fans could enjoy games “without having to be subjected to blasphemy and the mockery of the deeply held religious beliefs of many of its players and fans.”
“I am appalled and disgusted by the Dodgers honoring a group that calls themselves the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” Naumann added. “This group openly mocks Catholic beliefs, and their actions are nothing less than blasphemous.”
Naumann pointed out that former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda was a supporter of women religious.
“When Tommy was managing the Dodgers,” Naumann said, “he would always give some of his complimentary tickets to Catholic religious sisters. The real heroines for the care of HIV-positive patients are groups like Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, who operated AIDS hospice care facilities.”
“Tommy Lasorda would be appalled by the Dodgers’ actions,” Naumann said.
Archbishop Paul Coakley, Oklahoma City
“There are more than 4 million Catholics in Los Angeles,” Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City said in a June 2 tweet. “The decision by the Dodgers to invite a group that seeks to openly disparage them and the millions of Catholics around the world is abhorrent and should be rescinded.”
“This group specifically mocks the witness of religious sisters around the world who dedicate their lives to serving the poor and those in need,” Coakley added. “Would they allow mockery of other faiths — our Jewish or Muslim brothers and sisters? Of course not.”
Coakley also shared that during this month of the Sacred Heart, he would be praying for “the conversion of hearts” and called on Catholics and people of goodwill to join him in condemning “the vile mockery of any faith.”
I am appalled by the decision of the Los Angeles Dodgers to support a blatantly anti-Catholic group whose sole purpose is to mock the Church. Would they allow mockery of other faiths – our Jewish or Muslim brothers and sisters? Of course not.
This group specifically mocks the…
— Archbishop Paul S. Coakley (@ArchbishopOKC) June 2, 2023
Bishop Kevin Vann, Orange, California
Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange, California, released a statement on May 22 condemning the Anaheim mayor’s decision to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at a June 7 Anaheim Angels game.
“The decision to openly embrace a group whose demeaning behavior is anti-Catholic and anti-Christian is misguided and disrespectful to the sisters of the Catholic Church who minister in Orange County and selflessly dedicate their lives to God’s underserved people,” the diocesan statement said.
In a later tweet on June 7 the diocese said the mayor’s decision was “deeply offensive and divisive” and that “embracing this group provokes division in our community instead of fostering a unifying spirit.”
— Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange (@OrangeDiocese) June 8, 2023
Bishop Robert Barron, Winona-Rochester, Minnesota
Bishop Robert Barron of Winona-Rochester called for a boycott against the Dodgers in a video he tweeted on May 25.
“Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice in America, and we shouldn’t tolerate it,” Barron said in a tweet. “I’m a big baseball fan. I’ve even thrown out the first pitch at a Dodgers game. But I’d encourage my friends in L.A. to boycott the Dodgers. Let’s not just pray but make our voices heard in defense of our Catholic faith.”
Friends, it’s hard to imagine anything more offensive than some of the behavior of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” which I think can only be described as an anti-Catholic hate group. pic.twitter.com/VLZP28Soab
— Bishop Robert Barron (@BishopBarron) May 25, 2023
Bishop Michael Burbidge, Arlington, Virginia
“This is totally unacceptable and it’s so sad,” Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, said in a June 5 episode of his “Walk Humbly Podcast.”
“This is not going to change until we stop supporting organizations like that. So, if I was a Dodgers season ticket holder I’d cancel my season tickets,” Burbidge added. “We have to be a strong voice and we cannot back down to this kind of discrimination.”
“They mock the Catholic faith, and why is it, it seems, that the only ones that can be subjected to this kind of public mockery and agitation and discrimination are Christians? It’s not tolerated with any other group,” Burbidge pointed out. “It’s deeply, deeply concerning.”
“I’m a baseball fan and I just hate seeing this kind of division coming into sports because sports is supposed to be a time when you can bring your family, you can relax, you can enjoy the game, you’re not dealing with all this political agenda,” Burbidge said.
Bishop James Conley, Lincoln, Nebraska
In a June 1 tweet, Nebraska’s Bishop James Conley said that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence group “is slanderous toward our religious sisters and all women.”
The Dodgers’ decision to honor a group “that mocks Catholicism and all of Christianity,” Conley said, “is unwise and disappointing.”
“The Dodgers and MLB need to correct this decision,” Conley concluded.
This decision by the Los Angeles Dodgers to honor a group that mocks Catholicism and all of Christianity is unwise and disappointing.
This group is slanderous toward our religious sisters and all women. The Dodgers and MLB need to correct this decision.https://t.co/QgF5sHx3k8
— James D Conley (@bishop_conley) June 1, 2023
Bishop Donald Hying, Madison, Wisconsin
In a May 26 tweet, Bishop Donald Hying of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, said: “Let’s call this out for what it is: anti-Catholic bigotry and blasphemy against God.”
Let’s call this out for what it is: anti-Catholic bigotry and blasphemy against God. https://t.co/fGRD1g9GMO
— Bishop Donald Hying (@bishophying) May 26, 2023
Bishop Joseph Strickland, Tyler, Texas
Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, urged his followers to “please speak against this evil being promoted at Dodger Stadium,” in a May 24 tweet.
Strickland will be leading a “prayerful procession” at Dodger Stadium the day of the game, June 16, according a June 5 report by LifeSite News. The event is being organized by a group called “Catholics for Catholics.”
In another tweet on May 30, Strickland said: “Target, Kohl’s, Dodgers, the list grows. As for me and my house we will serve & honor Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and oppose any group that denigrates His Sacred Name and Truth.”
Target, Kohl’s, Dodgers, the list grows.
As for me and my house we will serve & honor Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and oppose any group that denigrates His Sacred Name and Truth.
— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) May 30, 2023
If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!