SAN FRANCISCO SHOWDOWN
Catalyst May Issue 1999, Front Page
An anti-Catholic group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, held a public celebration in San Francisco on Easter Sunday. It did so with the approval of city officials and over the objections of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Catholic League and Catholics for Truth and Justice; the latter is a local group of activists.
When the so-called Sisters asked the Department of Parking and Traffic for permission to close off some blocks on Easter Sunday, they were denied. But the Board of Supervisors unanimously overturned that decision.
The league’s objections centered on the group’s blatant attacks on the Eucharist. For example, they have previously held a “Condom Savior Mass” wherein condoms were distributed as communion wafers. In 1987, during the pope’s visit to the U.S., they held a public exorcism of the Holy Father. After being contacted by the Catholic League, Mayor Willie Brown publicly asked the Sisters to choose another day, but he also privately blasted us for our protest (the exchange he had with William Donohue is published in this issue).
After the league took its protest to the media, two members of the City Supervisors reversed their vote, but it wasn’t enough to stop the event. More than 7,000 anti-Catholic bigots took to the streets on Easter Sunday, holding a “Hunky Jesus” contest. The league hit them with an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle that sent everyone reeling (see inside for details).