Archdiocese of NY LGBT Ministry Plans to Hold Celebration at Notorious Gay Sex Bar

2017-04-25T19:44:23+00:00April 25th, 2017|Blog, The Church|

(Pictured above: Therapy NYC in New York City.)

The St. Francis of Assisi Gay and Lesbian Ministry, located at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish in the Archdiocese of New York, on May 5, 2017, will host a Cinco de Mayo Celebration at the notorious gay bar Therapy NYC (see pictures below) in Hell’s Kitchen:

¡Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro!

Confused on the meaning? Well come out for a drink or two or five to experience a Latino toast on Cinco De Mayo! No, Cinco De Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, rather, we celebrate Mexico’s unlikely victory against French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

Bring your sombreros and ponchos, and we’ll bring the maracas and mustaches as we drink and dance the night away.

Let’s toast to life!

Earlier this year, the Gay and Lesbian Ministry at St. Francis of Assisi Church hosted a Mardi Gras party at the Rise “gay” bar.

The Gay and Lesbian Ministry at St. Francis of Assisi has a history of radical dissent. The contact person for their “Gay and Lesbian Ministry” is Meredith Augustin. On June 26, 2015, the day of the Obergefell decision, Augustin reposted to Facebook a rainbow colored graphic (Love is Love) from the St. Francis Gay Ministry which included the message: “yay…this day is ever so amazing.” Following the 2015 “Pre-Pride” Mass, Augustin thanked several individuals via Facebook, including “gay” Catholic Arthur Fitzmaurice; she also attached to this post the pro-gay marriage hashtag #lovewins. Fitzmaurice, a frequent speaker at the LA Congress, has repeatedly asked for revisions concerning the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, describing certain language contained in the Catechism as “gravely evil.”

On January 10, 2016, Augustin posted to Facebook an invitation to a cocktail party fundraiser benefiting Planned Parenthood. She wrote: “I adore this place. You will, too. They help rock my life”

On December 3, 2016, Fr. Michael Carnevale OFM offered an “all-day retreat for LGBT & allies hosted by the unconditionally loving LGBT ministry” at St. Francis of Assisi. The Parish web-site includes the following description for the Gay and Lesbian Ministry:

We are the Church of St. Francis of Assisi LGBT Ministry, inspired to action by the charism of St. Francis of Assisi, to welcome, worship, and witness. By welcoming, celebrating and engaging, we are an example to our Catholic Community in fostering an inclusive environment. We fulfill our mission by sponsoring spiritual events, educational and social activities and outreach for members of our community and to people in the greater community within the Archdiocese of New York.

In addition, the Parish offers a “Pre-Pride” Mass for those attending the annual Gay Pride Parade in New York City. Pictured holding the “rainbow flag” during the 2016 “Pride” festivities, Carnevale, the parochial vicar at the Parish, is a frequent participant in the Ministry and offers a regular discussion with his “Musing with Father Michael” series. One talk with Carnevale was described as “a deep and honest discussion about scripture through an LGBT lens.”

The Parish is staffed by the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province; their Provincial Office is located in New York City. The Friars also operate gay-affirmative ministries at St. Patrick – St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Connecticut, at the St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, and at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Raleigh. Recently, The LGBT Book Club at St. Patrick – St. Anthony Church promoted a book about “Discovering the Queer Christ.”

The venue for the St. Francis of Assisi Gay and Lesbian Ministry is a well-known bar with a reputation for “cruisy” public restrooms. Since before the post-Stonewall era, usually by word of mouth, gay men have frequented and recommended to each other certain public locations which become known as cruisy areas were one can easily procure quick anonymous sex; these locations are typically public restrooms. One reviewer on Yelp made the following observations about the Therapy NYC restrooms:

Avoid the bathrooms if you can. They’re unisex (which isn’t the issue) but they’re disgusting; they really should have an attendant, which I’m sure would cut down on the things we all know happen in unattended club bathrooms, but never say out loud (online at least).

Another web-site rated the “cruisy restrooms” in their “Guide To NYC’s Gay Bars.” The restroom at Therapy NYC was described as:

The front part of the restroom is all stalls. If you walk to the back to the urinals, it’s cruisy.

The live-shows at Therapy NYC regularly feature drag performances and naked men.