Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez called for “respect for the belief of others” at a noon Mass hours before the Los Angeles Dodgers honored a controversial drag group at its annual Pride Night event.
“When God is insulted, when the beliefs of any of our neighbors are ridiculed, it diminishes all of us,” said Archbishop Gomez in his homily during Mass marking the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. “When we reward such acts, it hurts our unity as one city and one nation, as one family under God.”
Nearly 2,000 people attended the Mass for healing and reparation as a response to the Dodgers’ decision to honor Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a self-described “leading-edge order of queer and trans nuns” that routinely mocks Catholic figures and customs.
In his homily, Archbishop Gomez said that only through the Sacred Heart of Jesus and his love can Catholics and the Church persevere through persecution.
“Jesus commands us to forgive those who trespass against us, and to pray for those who persecute us,” Archbishop Gomez said. “And he taught us to oppose what is wrong and ugly, with what is beautiful and true. Just as he did.”
Archbishop Gomez said Catholics should use that love to continue doing works of charity and mercy for all.
“We prove our love by working for peace and justice for every person,” Archbishop Gomez said. “That is why so many of us are offended by the decision to honor a group that insults Jesus and mocks Catholic believers.
“We are teachers and healers. We are advocates for those our society neglects — the poor, the homeless, the prisoner, the unborn, the immigrant. We do this because we are Catholics, and we are called to love with the heart of Jesus.”
In addition to the Mass, Archbishop Gomez invited Catholics to pray the traditional Litany of the Sacred Heart on Friday for “reparation for the blasphemies against our Lord we see in our culture today.”
Prior to the Dodgers’ game, Catholics gathered in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium at 3 p.m. to protest with prayers, music and special guest speakers.
LOS ANGELES- A huge group of Catholics and Christians have already arrived outside of Dodger Stadium to pray in protest of the Dodgers honoring the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
A drag group that has repeatedly mocked Christ and the Catholic faith: pic.twitter.com/oHPIeHoCI3
— Savanah Hernandez (@sav_says_) June 16, 2023
BREAKING: Thousands of Catholics have shut down the main entrance to Dodger Stadium on Vin Scully avenue in protest of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence being honored tonight.
They are now lining the sidewalks and have taken over the entire block: pic.twitter.com/F5CSDvuap8
— Savanah Hernandez (@sav_says_) June 17, 2023
The Dodgers played the San Francisco Giants and bestowed the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with the Community Hero Award during a pregame ceremony.