Monday, April 16, 2007

Jesuit Urban Center's rainbow flag photos disappear

The Boston Globe is sad that the "gay" Catholic church, the Jesuit Urban Center (Church of the Immaculate Conception) in Boston, is closing down.

This blog once linked to a hideous photo of the interior of this beautiful church -- draped with rainbow flags. But now, as we read that the JUC is closing down, their rainbow photos have disappeared from their online catalog. (Sadly, we didn't save it.) We were, however, able to retrieve this photo of JUC church members marching in a "Gay" Pride parade. And their rainbow flag icon is still available.

The church assures the Globe that its "gay" identity had nothing to do with its closing. We wonder... From the Globe:

The Jesuit Urban Center, a predominantly gay Catholic congregation in Boston's South End, will close at the end of July, and the landmark church in which services are held will be put up for sale, the Jesuit religious order announced yesterday. The Rev. Thomas J. Regan , the superior of the New England Jesuits, said in an interview that the rationale for the closing is purely financial. ...

Regan said that he had received no pressure from the Vatican, the Jesuit headquarters in Rome, or the Archdiocese of Boston, to close the church, and that the sexual orientation of the worshipers played no role in his decision.

He said that the Jesuits would continue to welcome gays and lesbians to worship at St. Ignatius of Loyola , the parish they oversee in Chestnut Hill, and that there are two other downtown congregations that have been reaching out to gay Catholics, the Paulist Center on Beacon Hill and St. Anthony Shrine, operated by the Franciscans, near Downtown Crossing.

Regan also said members of the congregation may choose to worship at the nearby Cathedral of the Holy Cross, also in the South End, but many gay Catholics are likely to balk at that option because the cathedral is the seat of Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley , who has been an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage. ...

The decision to close the Jesuit Urban Center comes nearly seven years after the Jesuits fired a nun and a priest from the Urban Center because the nun, Sister Jeannette T. Normandin , was allowed to help perform two baptismal rites for adopted sons of gay male couples. The Jesuits at the time said that the violation had nothing to do with the sexuality of the children's parents, but that baptismal rites, except in emergencies, are to be performed by priests. ...