[Warning: Some links contain explicit material.]
Recently, the Roman Catholic parish of St. Francis de Sales, in the Archdiocese of New York, updated its web-site, including the page for the parish’s LGBTQIA ministry – “Gay Straight Catholic Alliance.” At the bottom of the page are a list of “Allies.” They include the pro-gay marriage advocacy groups “Believe Out Loud,” and “Dignity,” and an Instagram account titled “guadalupeatpride.”
“Believe Out Loud” is an initiative under the auspices of the Protestant “Collegiate Churches of New York.” According to their official web-site:
Members of Believe Out Loud hold many distinct identities, and together we are creating a world where all Christian churches welcome and affirm LGBTQIA people.
Today, forty years after the first openly gay man was ordained in a mainline Christian church, we are a diverse, thriving rainbow representative of the entire Christian faith. We are moms and dads, city dwellers and farmers. We are middle of the road, strictly sidewalk and off the beaten path. Different but alike, we find unity of purpose in our Christian faith: to spread the joy and justice of LGBT equality…Four of the United State’s largest Christian denominations, representing some 10 million people, have passed inclusive policies ranging from statements of LGBT affirmation to LGBT ordination and marriage equality. Other denominations are actively working to pass similar policies in the near future.
On their web-site, “Believe Out Loud” rates different Christian denominations in terms of LGBT affirmation; they gave Roman Catholicism – three unhappy faces – their worst rating.
DignityUSA, the organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, cheered today’s Supreme Court’s sweeping decision that strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage, and makes marriage equality the law of the land throughout the U.S.
In 2015, Marianne Duddy-Burke, who serves as the Executive Director of “DignityUSA,” stated the following:
DignityUSA stands for full inclusion and equality of LGBT people in the Catholic Church. We can’t be fully equal if we are barred from any of our Church’s sacraments. Right now, we are officially banned from marriage and ordination, and often denied other sacraments, as well…We know that it is going to take a lot of work, and probably many years, to achieve this goal. But having gained civil marriage equality in the US, we know that the miraculous is possible. We believe that rethinking how sacraments are administered will be good for everyone in the Catholic Church, because it will help us to live our belief in the intrinsic dignity and equality of every person as created and loved by God. This broadened understanding of the sacraments would apply not just to LGBT people, but to everyone, including women and married men and women seeking ordination, for example.
In 2016, concerning the ordination of women, Duddy-Burke said:
Catholics all over the world are strongly in favor of opening ordination to women as well as men. DignityUSA has long called for all the sacraments, including ordination, to be open to all Catholics, regardless of marital status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Photographs from the Instagram account of “guadalupeatpride” are also displayed on the St. Francis de Sales’ “Gay Straight Catholic Alliance.” The account features photos of a woman dressed in the guise of Our Lady of Guadalupe (with the rainbow flag incorporated into the design of the mantle) at the 2017 and 2018 New York City “Pride” Parades. Several “Pride” Parade marchers from local Catholic LGBT ministries are also pictured on the account; one image, with the caption “Bootay,” depicts the woman (dressed as Our Lady) mock-spanking a young woman.
Also pictured on the “Gay Straight Catholic Alliance” homepage is Jay Malsky. Malsky is a drag performer and “leader” of the parish’s LGBTQIA ministry. On March 3, 2018, Xorje Olivares interviewed Malsky for the the LGBT on-line platform “them.” Malsky has been in charge of the parish’s “Gay Straight Catholic Alliance” for the past five years. The article accompanies a video, also from them., entitled “Can You Be Queer And Religious?“ The video profiles three gay individuals, including Malsky, who share their experiences about being “queer” and religious. In the video, Malsky appears inside St. Francis de Sales Church. Masky stated:
I would not have come-out as a gay man, if it weren’t for my church. I would not go walking through the streets in make-up and in drag if it weren’t for my faith in Jesus.
He is then seen putting on a long red wig in front of the sanctuary.
In the video, Malsky also said:
I believe that Jesus loves me because I am gay, not in spite of my sexuality.
Concerning his Catholic upbringing, he said:
I was raised Catholic…I felt fortunate enough to grow up in a church that was much more about lifting myself and others around me up.
Lastly, Malsky stated:
Religion is an institution and the study of human sexuality is so small in comparison to the history of the Church. But I recognize that it’s not gonna catch up in my lifetime to where I am at as a gay man. But who knows, maybe the world will surprise me.
St. Francis de Sales is staffed by priests of the Archdiocese of New York. The current Pastor is Philip J. Kelly. In 2014, the pro-gay marriage advocacy group “New Ways Ministry” profiled St. Francis de Sales as an example of a “gay-friendly” parish. On June 21, 2018, Jesuit priest James Martin spoke at the parish about the LGBT issue.
Please contact the Archdiocese of New York:
Cardinal Timothy Dolan
1011 First Ave
New York, NY 10022