LA Archdiocese Blasts Dodgers for Backtracking, Renewing Pride Night Invite

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Archdiocese of Los Angeles Tuesday criticized the Dodgers for backtracking and renewing an invitation to a group of self- described "queer and trans nuns" to take part in the team's Pride Night.

The Dodgers came under fire from a host of LGBTQ advocacy groups and elected officials following its decision to rescind its original invitation. On Monday, the Dodgers reversed course and publicly apologized to the group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles on Tuesday called on Catholics to stand together against the team's reversal.

"The decision to honor a group that clearly mocks the Catholic faith and makes light of the sincere and holy vocations of our women religious who are an integral part of our church is what has caused disappointment, concern, anger, and dismay from our Catholic community," according to a statement from the Archdiocese.

"The Archdiocese stands against any actions that would disparage and diminish our Christian faith and those who dedicate their lives to Christ."

In a statement released Monday, the Dodgers said, "After much thoughtful feedback from our diverse communities, honest conversations within the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and generous discussions with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Los Angeles Dodgers would like to offer our sincerest apologies to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, members of the LGBTQ+ community and their friends and families."

The Sisters organization is expected to receive a Community Hero Award during the team's Pride Night event, honoring the group's efforts to promote human rights, diversity and "spiritual enlightenment."

The Los Angeles LGBT Center issued a statement Monday calling the team's reversal "a step in the right direction."

"Last week's debacle underscores the dangerous impact of political tactics by those who seek to stoke the flames of anti-LGBTQ bias at a time when our rights are under attack," the center's CEO, Joe Hollendoner, said. "We must continue to stand together as a community in defense of the rights and recognition of LGBTQ+ people in Los Angeles and beyond.

The Dodgers' decision last week to withdraw its invitation to the Sisters came after complaints were raised by several Catholic organizations and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who said the group regularly disparaged Christians.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, accused the team of "rewarding anti-Catholicism" by honoring the group. Donohue said he wrote to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to protest the Dodgers' decision to honor the group.

Rubio also sent a complaint to Manfred, saying the group "mocks Christians through diabolical parodies of our faith."

The organization Catholic Vote also condemned the group's inclusion in the Dodgers' event. Its president, Brian Burch, issued a statement Wednesday hailing the team's decision to exclude the group, which he called "an anti-Catholic hate group known for their gross mockery of Catholic nuns."

The Sisters issued a statement last week expressing "deep offense" at being uninvited to the event, calling the decision a capitulation to "hateful and misleading information from people outside their community." The group insisted it is a nonprofit organization that "annually raises thousands of dollars to distribute to organizations supporting marginalized communities."

The Sisters' website describes the organization as "a leading-edge order of queer and trans nuns."

Meanwhile, over the weekend, Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken invited the Sisters to be her guests at the Los Angeles Angels Pride Night at Angel Stadium on June 7.

"Pride should be inclusive and like many, I was disappointed in the Dodgers decision," Aitken wrote on social media.

On Monday, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange criticized Aitken for extending the invitation.

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