Thousands Protest Dodgers' Pride Night

Baseball team restored invitation to Los Angeles organization after canceling it in the face of backlash
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2023 12:20 PM CDT
Crowd Turns Out Against Honoring Group at Pride Night
People march outside Dodger Stadium after a prayer service Friday in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Los Angeles Dodgers' presentation of a Community Hero Award to a group that some say mocks Catholicism before Friday night's game drew protests and prayers, forcing security to shut the main entrance for a time. Demonstrators carrying signs reading "Stop anti-Catholic hate" and "God will not be mocked" gathered before the team's Pride Night celebration, NBC News reports. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a charity organization whose members wear approximations of a nun's habit, had been invited to the event by the Dodgers, who pulled the invitation after a backlash, then reinstated it.

Before the organization could be honored for decades of community ministry, per the Los Angeles Times, several hundred demonstrators began what they called a prayerful procession in a stadium parking lot. Some participants said their action was not a protest. "We are basically praying for the so-called nuns," Jesse Bustamante told WABC. "We should be toleratant of everyone. Likewise, they should be tolerant of our faith in our feelings." Several Catholic bishops, including Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, had issued a statement earlier in the week asking Catholics to pray on Friday "as an act of reparation for the blasphemies against our Lord we see in our culture today."

Other demonstrators were more upset. Corina Swetch, 31, said "all the mockery" of the organization angered her. Some yelled anti-LGBTQ+ slurs. Police said there were no arrests. Julie Rubio, a professor and theologian of Christian social ethics, told the Times the two sides won't find common ground until they stop reacting to their opponents' extreme views. "Is it possible to see the Sisters for the work they do and realize this is not hate or bigotry?" she said. "Is it possible to see that religious view [that] this as desecration and perhaps a line can be established? It's complicated." (More Los Angeles Dodgers stories.)

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