by Lisa Bourne
A Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Newark is hosting its second annual Mass associated with gay pride events later this month.
Our Lady of Grace in Hoboken, New Jersey, along with its merged parish St. Joseph, is advertising its “2nd Annual Pride Mass in Support of Our LGBTQ Brothers and Sisters.”
The Mass is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sunday, June 30. Advertisements on the Out in New Jersey website and on NJ.com indicate that the parish is encouraging participants in the Mass to then attend the gay pride march in New York City later that day.
LifeSiteNews inquired with the parish to confirm whether it is encouraging participants to take part in the New York City march and if the parish’s event, whether in the Mass or otherwise, will inform participants of the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexuality. No response had arrived by press time.
Pride events, in particular parades, are known for extremely vulgar dress and behavior, often including public sex acts. Children are also frequently present and exposed to the morally averse displays.
The Catholic Church holds that while same-sex attraction is not a sin, homosexual acts are sinful. Church teaching further states that “homosexual persons are called to chastity” (CCC 2359), which is also what its teaching says about all people, since sexual relations are reserved for marriage, which is between a man and woman (CCC 2360).
Our Lady of Grace parish is located in the Archdiocese of Newark, which is led by Cardinal Joseph Tobin.
The parish held a “pride Mass” last year in June as well.
Pastor Fr. Alexander Santora announced at the beginning of that Mass that he would confer a special blessing for those marching in the New York City gay pride parade, also taking place on the same day.
Santora, a priest in the Newark archdiocese, also writes for NJ.com, discussing LGBT issues favorably in his column.
Last year, as Joseph Sciambra reported, before Santora gave his homily, a candle was lit and put upon the rainbow flag in memory of those gay and lesbian parishioners who “[lived] a life of fear because the Church and society rejected them.”
Santora’s homily suggested that the Catholic Church needs to “move forward” from its teaching on human sexuality.
“If we look at the history of the Church there is an official teaching Church, which still doesn’t quite understand how we have to move forward,” he said.
In May 2017, Cardinal Joseph Tobin personally received a group of individuals identifying as LGBT at Newark’s Cathedral-Basilica of the Sacred Heart in conjunction with an inaugural “LGBT Pilgrimage” to the cathedral. Tobin had said he was delighted to welcome the LGBT group and personally approved their flyer for the event.