St. Michael’s Hospital and Gay Pride Week
Article written in 1999.
By Monsignor Vincent Foy
Many Catholics have been distressed and shocked to learn that “St. Mike’s joins in sponsoring Gay Pride Week (Catholic Register, June 14, 1999). We are told that “This will be the third year for St. Michael’s involvement in the Gay Pride Week activities, but the first time the Catholic hospital has endorsed the celebration of gay and lesbian identity with a bronze level sponsorship.”
Catholic hospitals exist to render medical and spiritual care to the sick. That medical and spiritual care is unique in that it is according to Catholic doctrine and Catholic pastoral care. In the past St. Michael’s Hospital has bravely and proudly proclaimed that it has received and followed the teaching of the Church with gratitude and deepest respect.
What is Catholic teaching on homosexuality? The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: “tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (para. 2357)
What is Catholic pastoral care for homosexuals? We have the answer from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “We wish to make it clear that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral.” (Letter to Bishops of the Catholic Church in the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, Oct 5, 1986, n.15).
In sponsoring Gay Pride Week St. Michael’s Hospital betrays its Catholic mission. It betrays homosexuals. It also betrays generations of St. Joseph Sisters, and doctors and nurses and staff and all those who have heeded the fundraising plea: “Help us to watch over you”.
What can the motives be to “celebrate diversity” in the context of celebrating Gay Pride Week? Is it to gain political points? Surely it would be better for St. Michael’s Hospital to close than to compromise its Catholic identity. It is better to suffer for the truth than to let truth suffer.
What the spokesperson for St. Michael’s Hospital say in effect is that it would be good to put the good Sisters of St. Joseph with Mayor Lastman in the gay pride parade which flaunts nudity, celebrates perversion and mocks nuns. The next step would be to replace the statue of St. Michael in the Hospital foyer with one showing Lucifer driving the sword into St. Michael.
Homosexuals deserve better. Both they and heterosexuals are called by God to chastity and holiness.