Opinion: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence do great work. Some readers say they still cross a line

FILE - The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence show their support during the gay pride parade in West Hollywood, Calif., on Sunday, June 12, 2016. The Los Angeles Dodgers have reinvented a satirical LGBTQ+ group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to receive an award at the team's annual Pride Night, nearly a week after rescinding the original invitation. The Dodgers said Monday, May 22, 2023, that the charity and performance group will receive the Community Hero Award on June 16. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File)
Members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence participate in the LGBTQ+ Pride parade in West Hollywood in 2016. (Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

Even in 2023, LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations manage to offend segments of the population. That fact cannot be denied after the Dodgers included the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in the team's upcoming Pride Night, then disinvited them after a campaign by a handful of conservative Catholic groups — only to reinvite the Sisters when the team's attempt to placate detractors sparked a much larger backlash. Perhaps the Dodgers could use a journalist's eye for distinguishing between a genuine grassroots uprising and an internet-generated outrage campaign.

This isn't to say plenty of Catholics weren't sincerely troubled by the Sisters' inclusion. In letters, some wrote that satirizing sacred figures in their church crossed a line — although notably, one actual nun wrote a letter praising the Sisters.

From the Dodgers' standpoint, the matter is settled: There will be a Pride Night, and the Sisters will be included. Among our readers, the discussion continues.


To the editor: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's fundraising and charity work to fight HIV and AIDS are commendable.

Since the Dodgers are going to honor the Sisters, the team should allow the honorees at the pre-game ceremony to dress in whatever they want, as long as they do not mock any religion with their outfits.

Particularly, they should not mock Jesus Christ, his Mother Mary or any of the nuns who have dedicated their lives in the service of Christ.

The next day, we all should continue to cheer for our Dodgers and thank God for the diversity that is represented in our wonderful city.

Ken Downing, Los Angeles


To the editor: As a lifelong practicing Catholic who's very active in my parish, I want to congratulate the Dodgers on their sincere apology to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the reissuance of their invitation to attend Pride Night at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers organization has always been a standard bearer for tolerance and inclusion, and it’s gratifying to see it resist hate.

I would also like to thank Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League; Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote; Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); and Father Ronald M. Vierling and his large social media group of bigots. Their vitriol has given the Sisters more positive public attention than they’ve gotten in a long time, not to mention the donations that have poured in for their worthwhile charitable work.

George Newberry, San Pedro


To the editor: How can it be right to defend one group of people by mocking and ridiculing another? If love is love, then hatred is hatred. Period.

Christa Chavez, Rossmoor


To the editor: I have a question for Burch, the president of the conservative advocacy organization CatholicVote that opposed the Sisters' inclusion in the Dodgers' Pride Night.

How does he square his disgust in the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a charitable organization of protest street performers, with his embrace of a church of worldwide perpetual child sex abuse?

Dennis Hammermeister, Granada Hills


To the editor: A faith-based uproar over the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's scheduled appearance at the Dodgers' Pride Night?

Utterly diabolical! Time for a constitutional amendment to establish the separation of church and ballpark.

Greg Gilbert, Burney, Calif.


To the editor: The Dodgers organization would never celebrate in any manner a group that mocked the LGBTQ+ community. But they obviously kowtowed to those that would do so to Catholics.

This is one fan that is done with the Dodgers’ woke insult to religion and is astonished that Catholic players would take the field on the same — a bottomless lack of moral courage at the very least.

This is from the team, mind you, that brought up Jackie Robinson and continually celebrates Sandy Koufax missing a World Series start to honor Yom Kippur.

Kip Dellinger, Santa Monica


To the editor: I am glad that the Dodgers have redeemed themselves for the misguided shunning of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The team's apology and renewed invitation to the Sisters were obvious moves to right a wrong.

Many years ago when I was serving as the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in San Francisco, reports reached us of the brutal torture and murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming. The ADL and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence joined a candlelight march down Market Street to protest the murder and honor this innocent young man’s life.

There were roughly 800 marchers, led by myself and the Sisters — mostly young men in drag — and we were protected by the San Francisco Police Department, which closed Market Street to vehicle traffic to accommodate the march.

It was my privilege to collaborate with these compassionate young men — whatever they chose to wear and whatever they chose to call themselves. This group deserves to be honored as a model of community service, morality, compassion and nonviolent activism.

Barbara H. Bergen, Los Angeles

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.