CV NEWS FEED // After the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday reinvited an anti-Catholic hate group to be honored at the team’s June 16 LGBTQ+ Pride Night, CatholicVote President Brian Burch vowed to launch a “barrage” of advertising against the team across Los Angeles and in game broadcasts.
“This is a slap in the face of every Catholic,” said Burch. “We’re raising $1 million as fast as we can, and we will pummel this decision in advertising that the Dodgers can’t ignore.”
“Every advertiser, every season ticket holder, every charity, every fan must speak out against the Dodgers’ decision to promote anti-Catholic hate,” Burch added. “Why does ‘pride’ have to include honoring the most grotesque and scandalous anti-Catholic perverts?”
The news comes after the Dodgers disinvited the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” (SPI) amid an outcry from the nation’s Catholics.
“After much thoughtful feedback from our diverse communities, honest conversations with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and generous discussions with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Los Angeles Dodgers would like to offer our sincerest apologies to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, members of the LGBTQ+ community and their friends and families,” the team tweeted Monday:
We have asked the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to take their place on the field at our 10th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night on June 16th. We are pleased to share that they have agreed to receive the gratitude of our collective communities for the lifesaving work that they have done tirelessly for decades.
In the weeks ahead, we will continue to work with our LGBTQ+ partners to better educate ourselves, find ways to strengthen the ties that bind and use our platform to support all of our fans who make up the diversity of the Dodgers family.
The reversal came less than a week after the Dodgers announced:
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.
The Dodgers had been flooded with phone calls and emails from Catholics offended by the team’s initial plan to honor the SPI.
In a letter to the Dodgers and copied to Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred, Burch had pointed out that SPI are “an anti-Catholic hate group which exists to desecrate and degrade the Catholic faith,” and their “sole mission is to disgust Christians with the most grotesque acts they can imagine.”
“The SPI mock Catholics by taking on vulgar names such as ‘Sister GladAss of the Joyous Reserectum,’” Burch wrote:
They dress in sexualized perversions of religious garb, taunting the women religious who serve the poor in Southern California and around the world. In one infamous stunt, they tricked an archbishop into giving them the Eucharist – the most important sacrament of the Catholic faith – so they could defile it. This past Easter Sunday, the SPI put on an exhibition in San Francisco in which a performer dressed as Jesus carried a cross up a hill and then performed a pole dance on it.
Burch also argued: “We sincerely doubt that the Dodgers would give such an award to a group which made a similar travesty of the Jewish faith or Muslim faith.”
After the Dodgers reversed course and reinvited SPI, the team faced a firestorm of criticism on social media. SPI has a history of shocking pranks and stunts directed against Catholics, which critics confronted the Dodgers for choosing to endorse.
“Shamefully, (but not surprisingly) the @dodgers have been bullied into apologizing to & ‘re-inviting’ a group of anti-catholic bigots,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, a Catholic. “Today our great country is controlled by socio-political ruling elites who don’t just tolerate anti-Christian bigotry, they encourage & celebrate it.”
Mark Hemingway, senior writer at RealClearInvestigations, wrote: “You will have your faith profaned and mocked in front of thousands and you’ll be called a bigot if you object.”
“The @Dodgers claimed they were listening and consulting all voices. Which Catholic groups or leaders did they consult?” tweeted CatholicVote.
Over 30% of the population of Los Angeles is Catholic, amounting to four million people, according to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles website.
In addition to the presence of Catholics in LA is the presence, until very recently, of a prominent Catholic closely associated with the Dodgers themselves. As CatholicVote reported last week:
The award is scheduled to come less than a year after the death of legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, a baseball icon who was a lifelong and devoted Catholic. Scully spoke frequently about the importance of his faith. He was a regular Mass attendee and once lent his golden vocal cords to a recording of the Rosary, among many other acts of charity on behalf of the Church.
“He practiced – and encouraged others to practice – the very devotions which the SPI abuse, such as the Rosary. Vin and other members of the Dodgers family, including many fans, would surely be appalled that the team to which they gave so much of their lives would dishonor their faith in such a manner,” Burch said in his letter.