Saturday, April 19, 2008

More Queer Papal Protests/Vigils

An Interfaith Vigil of Hope:

Saturday, April 19: 6-7pm,

on the eve of the Pope’s visit to Ground Zero & in memory of Fr. Mychal Judge.
With members of New York's LGBT community we will “remember our families and friends who died in the World Trade Center Tragedy, and pray for change of heart, for an end to prejudice, for understanding, peace, and reconciliation."

Meet outside St. Paul's Chapel at Broadway & Fulton St at 6 pm. From there the candle light vigil will walk to the corner of Church and Vesey Streets where the body of Fr. Mychal Judge was first placed on 9/11. Bring your own candle.

A 7-foot banner painting of Mychal Judge, by Brooklyn artist Ian Hart, will be unfurled at the vigil. The banner depicts scenes from his life of reconciliation and compassionate caring, including as Fire Chaplain, with Chinese immigrant-survivors of the Golden Venture wreck, walking with his St Francis Aids Ministry in the Pride parade, and at Long Kesh Prison in the North of Ireland. The event will call attention to the important role gay clergy have played in the Catholic Church.

CONTACT: Brendan Fay: 718-721-2780.

Counter-protest Westboro Baptist Church AKA: "God Hates Fags"
The following may likely have counter-gay protests, but I don't have a source as of yet to confirm, anyone know?
Ground Zero possible counter protest of anti-gay Fred Phelps clan:
Reverend Fred Phelps' virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church will demonstrate at Trinity Place and Liberty Streets on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. by Ground Zero in Manhattan.

Yankee Stadium sossible counter protest of Anti-Gay Fred Phelps clan:

Later in the day they will picket the pope's Yankee Stadium Mass at 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Mychals Prayer said...

The late FDNY chaplain, Fr. Mychal Judge, was considered a living saint by many even prior to his heroic death. His extraordinary works of compassion have been compared to Mother Teresa (see )

But ironically, Fr. Mychal would be barred from the priesthood today because he was openly gay, though celibate. He often asked, “Is there so much love in the world that we can afford to discriminate against any kind of love ?!”

We have no illusions that this pope is going to change. Rather, we are bearing witness to two truths -- that God created and loves gay people, and that the pope does not speak for the whole Church, the Ecclesia, on these matters.

Indeed, two-thirds of U.S. Catholics-in-the-pews reject the pope’s homophobic views and support either civil unions or full marriage rights, according to numerous surveys.

As Fr. Mychal also said, "Don't let the (institutional) church get in the way of your relationship with God."

Anonymous said...

Why did father Mychal Judge choose celibacy? If he felt that there was nothing wrong with homosexuality, why did not he not embrace his god given sexuality?

Queers United said...

mychal how did the vigil go, did you have a good turnout and did the media cover you?

Anonymous said...

I would venture to think he chose celibacy because it was necessarily to not be sexual in order to be a priest. One cannot change whether s/he is gay or straight, but whether we act on sexual impulses is something else. I'm not agreeing with the above statement, but it is the argument I've heard from the Church in the past.

Mychals Prayer said...

RE: How did the vigil go?

I wasn’t there (I live in Boston), but I’m told by Brendan Fay that it was beautiful and moving. 25 people walked with candles, but hundreds from the passing crowds stopped to join in, listen, and pray. Many reached out to touch the large 7-foot banner of Mychal. At least four TV stations covered it, and several newspapers.

RE: Fr. Mychal Judge & celibacy

Those who knew him say that Fr. Mychal chose a celibate life because he was truly “married” to God. A primary relationship would have distracted his fulltime attention to others, and he was available to others 24/ 7. He was one of those rare souls who had an authentic calling to celibacy -- not as a repression of sexuality, but as a channeling of it into his full commitment to God and others.

And remember that Mychal was a Franciscan friar, he lived in a monastery. While I’m told he favored the option of marriage for parish priests, monastic life by definition involves a fuller surrender of self to God than parish life.

Some conservatives have tried to cite Mychal’s celibacy as proof that he either wasn’t really gay, or that he agreed with official Church teachings against homosexuality. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Mychal’s positive, affirming self-identity as a gay man is irrefutable. See “Gay Saint” (click from the top index) at

What’s more, he blessed and prayed for gay couples. He counseled them on how to effectively resolve conflicts and strengthen their unions by bringing God more intimately into their relationships. These are not the actions of a priest who agrees with Rome’s homophobic views.

These and other aspects of Mychal’s life are extensively presented in the definitive biography, Father Mychal Judge: An Authentic American Hero, by Michael Ford. I highly recommend it.

Queers United said...

I am glad to hear things went well, I think it is a nice way to show support for Father Mychal, for gay rights, and to peacefully demonstrate against the pope.

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