Sunday, April 4, 2021. Manhattan, New York City - LGBT New Yorkers rallied outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Easter Sunday in response to the recent Vatican document banning Church blessings for same sex couples. Photo by Garry Rissman.

Easter Pride, Prayer and Protest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021. New York City – LGBT New Yorkers rallied outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Easter Sunday (April 4, 2021) in response to the recent Vatican document banning Church blessings for same sex couples.

“we rise up together for our equality, love and liberation”.

This is a press release by Brendan Fay: “Called a responsum, the document issued on March 15 by The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and approved by Pope Francis reinforced the Vatican’s official position that it is “illicit” for priests to bless same-sex unions.

“On this Easter Sunday LGBT Catholics, our families and friends are here for love and justice,” said Brendan Fay organizer. “We honor the love of same-sex couples and we call for equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people not just in civil society, but within our catholic church.”

Unfurling a large rainbow flag, universal symbol of LGBT equality designed by Gilbert Baker, the group called for reform of church teaching that renounces homosexuality as an ‘intrinsic disorder” and opposes same sex marriage.

Fay said, “The Church blesses goats and dogs, cars and cats. At Easter there is a special blessing of the eggs. Yet the love of same – sex couples is called sin and unworthy of a blessing? This is a theology that leaves a trail of hurt and harm”.

Thomas Moulton, a pediatric hematologist oncologist who met his spouse Fay at a DIGNITY mass in 1996 said “recent studies indicate the link between anti LGBT religious teachings and higher levels of distress and suicide rates among LGBT youth. We invite church leaders to join us in dialogue, witness committed couples in love and to support LGBT youth and families with LGBT children”.

The activists held images of pioneer catholic priests Mychal Judge and John McNeill. McNeill as an openly gay Jesuit theologian and psychotherapist authored the groundbreaking book, ‘The Church and the Homosexual’ in 1976 challenging Church teaching on homosexuality which he said fostered violence and prejudice. Fr. Mychal Judge who died on 9-11 was recalled for his compassion during the AIDS crisis and his friendship with the LGBT community in New York.

The sound of the group chanting “equal rights! equal blessings! equal rights, equal blessings! and singing Easter hymns, Ubi Caritas and Make Me a Channel of Your Peace echoed across 5th Avenue to the Cathedral.

NYPD officers and Catholics lined up to enter the cathedral looked on in unexpected wonder at the LGBT activists in prayer and song. Some gave thumbs up in support.

Donna Bungo said, “my life today in a committed loving relationship with my spouse Kathleen is as blessed as my years in the Franciscan Community.”

“We are standing in solidarity with our LGBTQ beloved friends and family in the Catholic community. We believe God is love and no love is a sin,” said Kathleen Sullivan who joined the vigil outside Saint Patrick’s Cathedral with her husband Blaise Dupuy. “On this Easter morning let us resurrect God’s true teaching which is to love one another.”

Fay said, “To be to be neutral or silent at this moment in history is to participate in our own suppression and institutional second -class status. Extending the hand of friendship and the blessing of solidarity with our LGBT family across the world, we rise up together for our equality, love and liberation”.

“We work passionately for the day, when exclusion and discrimination will be history, when our church will be a place where LGBT people are welcome and where our committed love and marriages will be publicly blessed, supported and affirmed as good,” said Brendan Fay.

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Sunday, April 4, 2021. Manhattan, New York City - LGBT New Yorkers rallied outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Easter Sunday in response to the recent Vatican document banning Church blessings for same sex couples.  Photo by Garry Rissman.
Sunday, April 4, 2021. Manhattan, New York City – LGBT New Yorkers rallied outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Easter Sunday in response to the recent Vatican document banning Church blessings for same sex couples. Photo by Garry Rissman.

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