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Controversy Over Cancelling Of South End Church’s Gay Pride Event

By Alana Gomez, WBZ-TV
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WBZ TV File

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BOSTON (CBS) – Rain didn’t stop the Gay Pride Parade from marching through Boston, but a storm of controversy is cancelling another LGBT event.

Parishioners with the Rainbow Ministry at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church set up a special Mass June 19 to celebrate Boston’s Pride Month.

An announcement in the South End church’s bulletin had invited supporters of the LGBT community to the Mass with the theme “All Are Welcome.”

The Archdiocese of Boston canceled the service on Friday, releasing a statement explaining its decision.

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports

“The wording and placement of a bulletin notice announcing that the Saint Cecilia Rainbow Ministry will be joining the parish at a Mass on June 19th may have given the unintended impression that the Mass is in support of Gay Pride Week. It is not,” wrote spokesman Terence Donilan.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports on the parade

“I am very hurt. (Having) worked so hard for all this stuff, it’s very difficult to stand by and watch this,” said John Kelly, chairman of the Rainbow Ministry.

Kelly and other members of the group say they’d been planning the Mass since January and said the archdiocese was aware of it.

Supporters believe Cardinal Sean O’Malley is bending to pressure from conservative Catholic bloggers.

One post from local blogger Joe Sacerdo wrote, “What’s next, NY Rep. Anthony Weiner and Tiger Woods giving a talk at the church on the topic of marital fidelity?”

The rest of the post urges Catholics to call the Cardinal directly to complain.

“We weren’t doing anything wrong but following the love of Jesus Christ,” said Melon Regis-Civetta, member of the Rainbow Ministry. “We don’t have any agenda.”

Parishioners say they were never consulted before the decision was made and hope the Cardinal will change his mind.

If not, they plan to get a permit to have an outdoor service at the scheduled time June 19, 6 pm.

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