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Celebrating the Francis Effect

A Catholic reader writes to say he was in Boston recently, and went to mass at the St. Anthony Shrine downtown. It seems that these Franciscans are taking Pope Francis at his word, and went out during PrideFest to spread the Gospel of … something. The reader sends this link to the shrine’s website. Excerpt:

LGBT and ally Catholics appeared at Pride festivities around the world this month, visible signs of Pope Francis’ desire for a more merciful and welcoming Church. Catholic parishes, schools and institutions joyfully celebrated in Boston’s Pride parade proclaiming the peaceful message of the Holy Father.

In Boston contingents from St. Anthony Shrine and Ministry Center were present during the city’s June 14th Pride festival. For their part, the Franciscan friars from St. Anthony’s Shrine hoisted a banner with the pope’s famous five words that have initiated a change in the way the Church is looked at: “Who am I to judge?”. The banner as well as the shirts of the Shrine’s LGBT Spirituality group and the Parents and Family Support Group wore, were equally expressed in the rainbow colors.

The friars moved through the crowds of thousands on the plaza distributing 2000 buttons and stickers with the same message. We ran out of our supply merely half-way through the day. People were exuberant to wear the buttons.  We heard from most of the participants in the crowd, “Thank God you are here!” “It’s the Franciscans, how wonderful!”

The overall reception was very positive and a huge success. St. Anthony Shrine was very proud to represent the Catholic Church with  the message of  “ALL ARE WELCOME!”

Do not let this kind of thing distract you from paying attention to the real threat to Catholicism today: Traditionalists.



about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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