Responding to the disruption of a Mass being celebrated by Bishop Thomas V. Daily at St. James Cathedral in Brooklyn by members of the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, Catholic League President Bill Donohue quickly issued a news release condemning the actions of the demonstrators.
According to The Tablet, 29 demonstrators who were protesting Bishop Daily’s recent pastoral letter on homosexuality came to the bishop’s regularly scheduled Mass. They stood up at the beginning of the Bishop’s homily and turned their backs to the altar. The protestors left mass during the recitation of the creed and remained outside of the church where they spoke to members of the press. Spokespersons for the group asserted that Bishop Daily’s statement that homosexuality is “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” would encourage violence against homosexuals. The bishops letter simply restated church teaching and included the statement that homosexuals are “always worthy of the church’s care and love.”
In his statement, Catholic League president Bill Donohue denounced the disruptive tactics of the demonstrators. “Those who differ with the teachings of the Catholic Church, on any matter,” Donohue said, “have many legitimate avenues of discourse available to them. Not among them, however, is the disruption of the holy sacrifice of the Mass. There is no right to trespass on the right of Americans to exercise their First Amendment freedom of religion.”