Thousands March in Prayer Procession Protesting Dodgers Honoring Anti-Catholic Drag Group
The faithful prayed the Rosary, chanted and sang hymns in reparation and protest for offenses against Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thousands of Catholics and other Christians marched in a prayerful procession Friday, protesting the Los Angeles Dodgers honoring an anti-Catholic drag group called the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.”
As thousands marched outside of Dodger Stadium, inside the stadium the Dodgers honored the drag group with a “Community Hero Award.”
The recognition ceremony took place 40 minutes before the game and was sparsely attended, with Dodger Stadium largely empty when the “sisters” received their award, according to Savanah Hernandez, a reporter for Turning Point USA.
Video taken by Hernandez shows the Dodgers announcer recognizing two of the “sisters” to scattered applause and a couple of people booing inside the stadium.
Outside thousands prayed the Rosary, chanted and sang hymns in reparation and protest for offenses against Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Controversy over the group erupted in May, after the Dodgers announced they would be honoring them.
The group is known for using Catholic religious imagery and themes in sexualized performances. The performers call themselves “nuns” and regularly use the likenesses of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and women religious in ways that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called “blasphemous.”
Prominent Catholics and other Christian leaders across the country criticized the Dodgers’ decision to honor the group, including Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, who called them “a group that insults Jesus and mocks Catholic believers.”
Archbishop Gomez celebrated a special Mass on the day of the game in reparation for the group’s performances.
“Religious freedom and the respect for the beliefs of others are hallmarks of our nation,” Archbishop Gomez said during the Mass. “When God is insulted, when the beliefs of any of our neighbors are ridiculed, it diminishes all of us.”
Tommy Valentine, a spokesman for the Catholic advocacy group Catholic Vote who attended and spoke at the prayer protest, told CNA that it was “simply beautiful.”
“The environment was truly one of love, prayer and reparation,” Valentine said, adding that he estimated “at least” 5,000 people participated.
“Many people brought religious art and family heirlooms and rosaries — the traditions and symbols which are so important to us which are mocked by this hate group,” Valentine explained. “It made quite a contrast between the huge, prayerful crowd inside compared to the two bigots being honored inside a nearly empty stadium.”
Shortly after the Dodgers announced they would honor the drag group, Catholic Vote revealed it would be raising $1 million for an ad campaign to boycott the team.
According to Valentine, Catholic Vote’s boycott campaign is “just getting started.”
“We smashed our million-dollar fundraising goal and put some of the money aside to keep running,” Valentine said, adding that “people are still donating.”
Valentine said that the ad campaign has thus far garnered nearly 10 million views and listens on TV and radio.
The campaign has faced some opposition, as well, according to Valentine.
After purchasing airtime for an ad on Spectrum SportsNet LA, the channel then rescinded its agreement with Catholic Vote and refused to run the ad. Spectrum SportsNet LA is partially owned by the Dodgers.
Valentine said that Lamar, Clear Channel, and Outfront also refused to rent out any billboards for the boycott campaign.
“We asked them what specifically they objected to and how we could revise the wording. They ignored us,” Valentine said. “So we got mobile billboard trucks to circle Dodger Stadium before, during and after all games.”
Catholic Vote also had billboard trucks circulate outside Dodgers’ co-owner Mark Walter’s Malibu house as well as in Manhattan for the MLB owners’ meetings last week, according to Valentine.
Valentine also said that though plans for additional ads are still in the works, he could not disclose any more details.