LA Dodgers cancel plans to honor group criticized as anti-Catholic

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Dodgers anti-Catholic
The sunsets over Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles May 16, 2023. The Dodgers said in a May 15 statement it was canceling a planned tribute to the California-based Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group criticized by many as anti-Catholic. The team was going to honor the group for its community service among several organizations being recognized during the Dodgers annual Pride Night in June. (OSV News photo/Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

LOS ANGELES (OSV News) — After criticism from Catholic groups and local fans, the Los Angeles Dodgers removed a self-described “leading-edge order of queer and trans nuns” from its list of honorees at its annual Pride Night celebration in June.

The California-based Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, founded in 1979, were set to receive the Dodgers’ Community Hero Award for their work organizing community service events, including drag displays and LGBTQ-themed comedy shows. Their motto, displayed on their website and in marketing materials, is “Go forth and sin some more!”

“Given the strong feelings of people who have been offended by the sisters’ inclusion in our evening, and in an effort not to distract from the great benefits that we have seen over the years of Pride Night, we are deciding to remove them from this year’s group of honorees,” read a May 17 statement from the Dodgers.

The group was scheduled to receive the award at the team’s 10th annual “LGBTQ+ Pride Night” celebration during a June 16 home game against the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers statement explained that the “event has become a meaningful tradition, highlighting not only the diversity and resilience within our fanbase, but also the impactful work of extraordinary community groups.”

“This year, as part of a full night of programming, we invited a number of groups to join us,” continued the statement. “We are now aware that our inclusion of one group in particular — the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — in this year’s pride night has been the source of some controversy.”

The group’s award had attracted attention after groups including Catholic Vote and The Catholic League criticized the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for mocking the Catholic faith, and in particular, Catholic women religious.

In a May 15 letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fla., questioned the commissioner’s previously stated commitment to being “inclusive and welcoming to everyone” and singled out one of the group’s recent Easter celebrations for featuring “children’s programming followed by a drag show where adult performers dress in blasphemous imitation of Jesus and Mary.”

Rubio and others also expressed outrage at events organized by the group that mix sexual references with observances sacred to Catholics, including the holy Eucharist and the Stations of the Cross.

“Do you believe that the Dodgers are being “inclusive and welcoming to everyone” by giving an award to a group of gay and transgender drag performers that intentionally mocks and degrades Christians — and not only Christians, but nuns, who devote their lives to serving others?” wrote Rubio. “Do you believe such an award is ‘apolitical’?”

Some of the biggest names in Dodgers history during their time in Los Angeles have been Catholic, including the late player and manager Gil Hodges; Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza; late manager Tommy Lasorda; and the legendary broadcast announcer Vin Scully, who died last year. The O’Malley family, which oversaw the team’s move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1955, also were known for being active in Catholic causes and events during their ownership of the team from 1950 until 1998, when they sold the team.

Angelus is the news outlet of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

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