Is an exorcism now required to cleanse it of homosexual vibes?
A STUNNINGLY beautifukl dance, performed inside Montreal’s historic St Peter the Apostle Catholic Church earlier this year, has been branded as ‘homoerotic’ and ‘sacrilegious’ in an article published this week by a far-right religious website, LifeSiteNews.
Writing for LSN, Michael Hichborn said:
According to the Code of Canon Law, this performance could very well have constituted acts of both desecration and sacrilege. Canon 1210 says that ‘anything out of harmony with the holiness of the place is forbidden’, and Canon 1211 says that if the acts done are ‘gravely injurious and give scandal to the faithful’, and ‘are so serious and so contrary to the sacred character of the place’, the local bishop may judge that the space has been desecrated and cannot be used for worship until ‘the harm is repaired by means of the penitential rite’.
LGBT artist and activist Matthew Richardson released his most recent production, centred on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, on May 1 of this year. The video was produced to promote a message of tolerance by juxtaposing anti-gay images of hateful posters and violence with religious art. It has had over a million views on YouTube.
LSN included the video in Hichborn’s report with the words:
WARNING: This article contains videos or links to videos that show a sacrilegious, homoerotic event inside a Catholic church and a graphic homosexual dance.
Many Catholics have been left to wonder how such a thing could happen in a Catholic church. In an interview with the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, Richardson explained how he had received formal permission from the parish for his performance. ‘I honestly just went into the church, asked who I could speak to about the idea, and then proposed what I had in mind,’Richardson said. They welcomed me, my message, and our creation with open arms.’
In a Facebook live session just prior to the video’s release, Richardson was asked, “How did the church feel about being at the forefront of a gay relationship?” He responded:
They really support it. The guy who I worked with had already seen my first video, so he knew the message I was wanting to share anyway, and so he really supported what I was doing. I showed him the whole presentation with my message, what it would look like, what it would be, but I wanted them to make sure that I wasn’t saying something bad about religion, I’m just saying, no matter what your faith, you can still be kind.
‘Hallelujah’ opens with a semi-nude man standing in the sanctuary of the church, facing the tabernacle and high altar. After images of violence and protests are contrasted with religious art, another semi-nude man walks up the aisle to the sanctuary, where both men embrace and dance in a manner suggestive of homosexual intercourse. At the end of the video, the two men caress and smear each other with colored chalk dust and gyrate together as they produce a banner with a rainbow-colored heart and the words, ‘Choose Love’, and the banner is raised in the sanctuary where they had been dancing.
This sort of controversy is not new for St Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. In 2015, the parish produced a promotional video, explaining the history and architecture of the church. In the last 20 seconds of the video, the narrator explains (in French), ‘Over the years, St Peter the Apostle has become the parish of the gay community in Montreal.’
Just last month, St Peter the Apostle celebrated the funeral Mass for same-sex ‘marriage’ advocate Laurent Mccutcheon. Mccutcheon committed himself to the advancement of public acceptance of homosexuality after the 1969 Stonewall riot, and was a major proponent behind Quebec’s 2005 recognition of same-sex ‘marriage’. In celebration of Mccutcheon’s promotion of homosexuality, St Peter the Apostle was decorated with rainbow-colored streamers.
The determination as to whether the parish has indeed been desecrated by the homoerotic performance is entirely up to the local ordinary, Archbishop Christian Lépine.
Catholics wishing to contact the archbishop to ask him to investigate this sacrilegious event and make a determination on whether the performance constituted an act of desecration may do so with the information provided below:
Most Reverend Christian Lépine 2000, Sherbrooke St. West Montreal (Qc) H3H 1G4 (514) 925-4300.