On Friday, October 26, the “San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus” is scheduled to perform at the Jesuit St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco. The concert is part of a three-day event marking the chorus’ 40th Anniversary, one part of which is a “Drag Brunch” with transvestite Donna Sachet at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.
This is not the only controversial event to have been hosted at St. Ignatius Church. At Mass on July 1, 2013, so-called ‘gay pride” Sunday, St. Ignatius’s current pastor, Fr. Gregory Bonfiglio, SJ, read a letter from his Seattle confrere Fr. John Whitney defending his participation in that city’s “gay pride” parade.
On March 26, 2015 the parish hosted Dr. Tim Lewis for an Adult Faith Formation program titled ‘How to Talk to Your Teenage Children About Sex’. Lewis’ profile on the Psyris.com website describes his areas of expertise as: “LGBT and Questioning Individuals.”
On August 15, 2015, the parish hosted a screening of “Love is Strange,” a movie celebrating same-sex “marriage” by openly homosexual filmmaker Ira Sachs.
On November 29, 2015 St. Ignatius hosted Reverend Vincent Pizzuto, an openly homosexual baptized Catholic who left the Faith, was ordained priest first in the Celtic Christian and later, the Episcopal Church. The Reverend Pizzuto has been open about moving “beyond the confines of the Roman church,” while serving as full professor and program director of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco.
Finally, in 2008 St. Ignatius replaced the church’s confessionals with an art gallery in order to “enhance the dialogue that takes place on a larger scale within the ritual space of the church.”
The upcoming concert was promoted in an October 19 article in the San Francisco Chronicle headlined “SF Gay Men’s Chorus to play church decades after archbishop rejected it.” Excerpts:
“…37 years ago, the still-new singing group wasn’t welcome in all corners of the city. In a devastating blow that made headlines around the Bay Area, the chorus’ April 25, 1981, concert at St. Ignatius Church was canceled weeks beforehand by Archbishop John Quinn. He said the concert could be ‘misinterpreted’ as the Catholic Church approving of homosexuality, which he considered immoral.”
“Thankfully, times change, and the Gay Men’s Chorus is once again preparing for a concert at St. Ignatius Church, the first time ever it will sing in the stunningly grand church known for its terrific acoustics. This time the concert, set for Friday, is almost sure to happen. ‘We were told in no uncertain terms that any chorus that has the word ‘gay’ in its name is not allowed to sing in any Catholic churches in the city,’ said Tim Seelig, artistic director of the Gay Men’s Chorus….It was always a thing since 1981.’ “
The Chronicle continued: “Father Greg Bonfiglio, a pastor at St. Ignatius, explained that the church sent invitations to a range of diverse choruses and choirs, inviting them to perform.” There’s just one little glitch. Nobody has run it by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, according to Bonfiglio.
“Oh, sure, he’ll hear about it’ the pastor said. ‘There’s nothing at issue, I don’t think” ’ to which the Chronicle writer responded, “Here’s hoping.”
To contact San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, call 415-614-5500.
California Catholic Daily exclusive.