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Hoboken Catholic church holds annual Mass to support LGBTQ+ community

Our Lady of Grace in Hoboken will celebrate its fourth Gay Pride Mass this June.

News 12 Staff

Mar 17, 2021, 2:23 AM

Updated 1,188 days ago


New Jersey’s LGBTQ+ community is outraged by a new decree by the Vatican that calls same-sex marriage a sin. But there is one Catholic church in New Jersey that is bucking the trend, saying that it supports its own gay congregants and the gay community.
Our Lady of Grace in Hoboken will celebrate its fourth Pride Mass this June. The pastor says that he wasn’t happy with the Vatican’s wording in that decree, but is calling for patience.
“Out of tension, change comes,” says Rev. Alexander Santora. “I think this tension will get people talking.”
Santora shared a letter with News 12 New Jersey from the Vatican, saying that it is a negative response to the question of whether the Catholic church can bless same-sex marriage.
“In one sense, it doesn’t break new ground. It just affirms what is the traditional teaching. It does say something I think is discouraging when it describes people in a LGBT relationship as being sinful,” Santora says.
It is that wording that has outraged the LGBTQ+ community in New Jersey and worldwide. But there is hope for gay Catholics out of Our Lady of Grace, where they celebrate the community and their love with an annual Pride Mass.
“We celebrate our belief that LGBT people are our brothers and sisters. Nothing else about it, but it’s a Mass,” Santora says. “We have people who come back and haven’t come in church in decades. And sometimes it’s emotional because they didn’t think they were welcome.”
Our Lady of Grace also has support groups and regular discussions. Santora says that he hopes the message his parish is sending is an indication of the direction the Catholic Church is headed. It is a path he believes is being paved by Pope Francis. But it is one that is slow and requires patience.
“I think we’re fortunate to have a pop who says things to get people to start talking. That’s good. And I think if people get angry that’s also good,” Santora says. “It’ll show priests and bishops and religious leaders that there are strong feelings about the church being a welcoming community.”
Santora says that other Catholic churches also have LGBTQ+ groups and discussions.

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