by Christopher M. Halleron
A Catholic Church in Hoboken is celebrating an LGBTQ Pride Mass this Sunday.
While many religious organizations have actively embraced the LGBTQ community over the years, the Catholic Church has been among one of the more significant holdouts. Earlier this month, a Bishop in Rhode Island made headlines for his insistence that Catholics “not support or attend LGBTQ ‘Pride Month’ events held in June.”
A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ “Pride Month” events held in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.
— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) June 1, 2019
Meanwhile, at Our Lady of Grace (400 Willow Ave., Hoboken), they’re going in a completely different direction…
This Sunday, OLG will hold its 2nd Annual Pride Mass, “in support of our LGBTQ Brothers and Sisters.” According to OLG’s Pastor, Fr. Alex Santora:
Jesus ministered to people on the margins to let them know that God loves all. We welcome LGBT people, family & friends to our 2nd annual Pride Mass on 6/30 at 9 AM so they experience the hospitality of our faith. Jesus would do no less.
— Alexander M. Santora (@padrehoboken) June 10, 2019
The Mass at OLG signifies an acknowledgement of dramatically shifting views, not only within the Catholic community but Hoboken itself. Once a hardscrabble blue-collar town, decades of socioeconomic transformation have created a relatively cosmopolitan environment when compared to Hoboken’s more parochial past.
— Ravinder S. Bhalla (@RaviBhalla) June 26, 2019
Nevertheless, Hoboken’s Catholic community has seen its share of mixed messages on the topic of LGBTQ outreach. As recently as September of 2016, a priest with 27 years of service to the church was dismissed from a neighboring Hoboken parish for his outspoken support of the LGBTQ community.
As of press time, the Newark Archdiocese has made no public statement on the Mass at OLG—which is to be held this Sunday at 9:00 a.m.