Rain on the Parade
What to do? Many Catholic diocese in the US are in a quandary over St. Patrick’s day celebrations since this year the feast day falls during Holy Week, a time when the Catholic Church does not celebrate mass honoring saints and events like parades are inappropriate to the solemnity of the liturgical season. Diocese in Columbus, OH and Savannah, GA have quite rightly moved their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to March 14 or 15 so as not to interfere with Holy Week.
Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t get up in arms over the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality. Frankly, I think the Evangelical Christians have cornered the market on religious homophobia in this country, but there is one time of year I feel the sting of homophobia from the church I grew up in and that’s St. Patrick’s Day. The Archdiocese in New York in cahoots with the organizers of the parade, the Grand Order of Hibernians or whatever the hell their name is, have claimed for years that theirs is a religious celebration and including Irish Gay groups would interfere with the sanctity of earsplitting bagpipes and getting drunk on green beer.
I’ve always thought the great irony of the situation given the centuries of Catholic oppression in Ireland is that Irish Americans would choose to celebrate their religious heritage by oppressing another group. And in perhaps an even greater act of hypocrisy, the New York parade will take place on March 17, DURING HOLY WEEK. So, in effect, the parade is too religious to include gays but not religious enough to interfere with Holy Week. Whatever.