10-20-2007, 03:14 PM
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
I wish they would've tried this at my church. Fr. Krzaczynski would've put 'em in an arm bar and personally thrown them out.
Ex- SLC Bishop Sorry For Giving Communion To Posers
SAN FRANCISCO - Former Salt Lake City Catholic Bishop George Hugh Niederauer has offered an apology for giving a religious rite to two men, dressed in women's clothing -- perhaps posing as worshippers in a homosexual region of San Francisco.
Niederauer, who served as Salt Lake City's eighth Catholic Bishop between 1994 and 2005, administered Holy Communion -- also known as the Eucharist -- to the men on Oct. 7 during Mass in the Castro Disctrict, which is known as the heart of San Francisco's gay community.
Dressed in drag and white makeup, the men stood in line to receive the religious rite -- which is done in remembrance of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for his disciples at the Last Supper.
As the men approached Niederauer to receive Communion, the Archbishop first appeared hesitant -- and looked instead to offer them a blessing. But after listening for a moment, Niederauer distributed the rite to both men -- one of whom was clearly dressed as a Catholic nun.
Niederauer said afterward that he didn't recognize the men's mock religious garb during the ceremony, but later came to realize that both men belong to a group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence -- which is said to have a long history of mocking the Catholic Church and religious women, in particular. Niederauer later apologized, saying that giving the men Communion "had been a mistake."
During his time as Salt Lake City Bishop, Niederauer created little controversy in the community. After being named by Pope Benedict XVI as San Francisco's Archbishop on Dec. 15, 2005, however, Niederauer's actions have been more scrutinized in the city by the bay.
He has faced criticism over the issue of adoption by same sex couples, and at one time seemed confused about U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's views on abortion.
"He is certainly under the eye of all people in San Francisco," said Utah Dominican Priest, Father Peter Rogers -- who spent three years in San Francisco as an associate pastor.
However, Rogers said Niederauer's actions are forgivable because there was no way that he could have seen the mockers' alleged deception at the time.
"None of us as clergy, when distributing Communion, has the ability to see into the heart of a person," he said.
"It will get a little easier [for Niederauer]," Rogers added. "However, these issues are not going to go away."
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on its web site expressed disappointment over the notoriety of the incident, saying that it has been exploited for political purposes.
"The service was an opportunity to welcome the new Archbishop of San Francisco, Most Rev. George Niederauer," the statement said. "Sadly, while the Sisters participated in the celebration, others not there to worship secretly filmed and photographed the Mass hoping to spark a controversy and cast the parishioners of Most Holy Redeemer and the Archbishop in a negative light. These professional muckrakers then gave the photos to an anti-gay Fundamentalist Catholic Website which in turn sent them to right-wing media outlets who willfully distorted the facts for political gain."
The group then sought to clarify its existence, disputing the reputation it has received as "mockers" of the Catholic Church.
"We would like to take this opportunity to state again that, contrary to the spin of right-wing fanatics, that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence do not "mock nuns" but live "as nuns," taking vows that affirm the traditional compassionate and justice-seeking ministries of religious women."