Around New England

Springfield Bishop Disinvites Homosexual Men’s Singing Group From Church Concert

January 7, 2020

The Roman Catholic bishop of Springfield disinvited a chorus of homosexual men from a pre-Christmas concert at a church in the diocese scheduled for last month.

The group, called the Pioneer Valley Gay Men’s Chorus, was scheduled to perform at St. Theresa of Lisieux Parish in South Hadley, about 12 miles north of Springfield, at 3 p.m. Sunday, December 15.

An announcement for “Lessons and Carols:  The Nativity Presented in Scripture and Song” appeared in the church bulletin of St. Theresa’s on Sunday, November 24 and on Sunday, December 1. It describes a performance by two parish choirs, “voices from South Hadley and Granby churches,” and several guest performers, including the Pioneer Gay Men’s Chorus.

The announcement did not appear in the church bulletin of St. Theresa’s on Sunday, December 8.

The deadline for a church bulletin is typically about six days before the bulletin is scheduled to appear.

The Pioneer Valley Men’s Chorus, founded in 1993, is “proud to provide a welcoming environment to all men who wish to sing in an openly gay-identified group,” according to its web site.

Late last week New England Public Radio reported that Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, the bishop of Springfield, disinvited the group after the diocese received complaints about the scheduled performance. A spokesman for the diocese said bishop would not comment on the matter, according to New England Public Radio.

The story does not explain why it was published Friday, January 3, 19 days after the date the concert was scheduled.

Kevin Cullen, a columnist for The Boston Globe, reported on Monday, January 6 that an organizer of the chorus told him the concert was cancelled “around Thanksgiving” – nearly five weeks before New England Public Radio broke the story.

Cullen criticized the bishop’s decision.

“… I’d like to ask the bishop how what he did squares with Pope Francis’ admonition to clergy to be a little nicer to and tolerant of gay people,” Cullen wrote.

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