CV NEWS FEED // Viewers of the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday night game on June 16 will be met with an ad calling out the team for choosing to honor an anti-Catholic hate group during its “Pride Night” celebration.
As part of CatholicVote’s $1 million ad campaign, the Catholic advocacy group has placed an ad that will air during every game this week, leading up to the night when the Dodgers will give the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” (SPI) a Community Hero Award.
Since CatholicVote first drew attention to the controversial partnership between the Dodgers and SPI, numerous Catholic leaders have condemned it. Church officials and dioceses that have spoken out against the Dodgers include the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, and Bishop Robert Barron of Winona-Rochester, among others.
A minute-long version of CatholicVote’s ad has amassed over one million views on YouTube alone since it launched Saturday.
“The ad begins by highlighting the Dodgers’ history of being ‘trailblazers,’ particularly for the team’s historic decision to sign Jackie Robinson, the first African American man to play in Major League Baseball,” Fox News reported:
“Playing Jackie wasn’t popular. Hate and disrespect were popular, even in law. But the Dodgers were right. They helped power a movement and changed nation. Their leadership, class and style of play were the envy of baseball. The Dodger way,” the ad says.
“But today, the Dodgers are putting it all at risk,” the ad goes on to say. “On June 16th, a prominent anti-Catholic hate group will be honored on the field, a group that mocks Catholic nuns with vile sexual perversions, pole dances on crosses, blessings with sex toys, even sexualizing the Virgin Mary and the words of Jesus Christ.”
“A fringe group like this honored, awarded, celebrated? There is no equality in mocking women religious. No tolerance in hate, no pride in anti-Catholic bigotry. Mocking Christians is not the Dodger way,” it concludes.
In addition to video ads, CatholicVote is running mobile billboard trucks outside Dodger Stadium all week. The trucks’ billboards display disturbing images of SPI and a quotation from a Christian Dodgers player who publicly disapproved of the team’s decision to honor the group.
CatholicVote deployed another mobile billboard truck outside Major League Baseball (MLB) headquarters in Manhattan on Tuesday, which then circled Citi Field as fans were arriving for a key Yankees-Dodgers matchup.
“Rob Manfred can stop this from happening if he wants to,” said Tommy Valentine, director of the Catholic Accountability Project at CatholicVote, referring to the commissioner of Major League Baseball. “We’re putting trucks in the heart of America’s foremost baseball city to demand he do just that.”
“We’re also running a Spanish-language ad on LA Spanish radio stations and geotargeted digital ads and text messages to baseball fans in LA,” Valentine added.
Valentine emphasized just how aggressive SPI has been in its performative anti-Catholicism. Examples of SPI’s public acts of blasphemy and sacrilege include pole dancing on a cross, filling chalices with yogurt to simulate ingesting semen as part of a mock-Mass, and suggestively touching and dancing on a man dressed as the crucified Christ.
“We even saw one billboard display rejected by the agency because it was just too vile,” Valentine said. “It goes to show the importance CatholicVote’s effort to hold the Dodgers and MLB accountable. The group they’re honoring is not just hateful and bigoted – they’re so obscene that self-respecting companies don’t even feel comfortable displaying their disgusting behavior.”
In a recent interview, Cardinal Dolan expressed similar sentiments. “These are the ones that threatened to desecrate the Holy Eucharist. These are the ones who exposed themselves in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We are well aware of their antics. This isn’t some benevolent, humorous group,” he said.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on Monday made an official statement condemning the Dodgers’ “shocking” decision to honor “a group whose lewdness and vulgarity in mocking our Lord, His Mother, and consecrated women cannot be overstated.
“We call on Catholics to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart on June 16, offering this prayer as an act of reparation for the blasphemies against our Lord we see in our culture today,” the bishops stated.