Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

I found this story on fellow blogger Don's blog at and find it most interesting and funny at the same time. Somehow, I thinks these sisters may be more Christian that the Nazi Pope and his minions (as a former Catholic who suffered the church's past and ongoing abuse of gays, I have a license to comment, in my view). These sisters certainly seem to know how to mix it up.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc., is a leading-edge Order of queer nuns. Since their first apperance in San Francisco on Easter Sunday 1979, the Sisters have devoted themselves to community service, ministry and outreach to those of the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment. The Sisters believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty and use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit!

Orders can be found across the United States and in several countries around the world.Although the San Francisco Order is often referred to as the "Mother House", the Sisters have no central seat of power and no single ruling body. Each Order is an autonomous, unique group with its own Habits, culture and rules. Just as the San Francisco Order is a reflection of the culture that surrounds it, so too is each Order a reflection of its own environment.

For a list of current organizations (which include a number of abbeys in foreign countires) check out Don's Sunday, June 17, 2007, post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While far from endeared to Holy Mother Church (to put it mildly), I still admire many of its members (including a religious brother who seduced me into the sins of the flesh), to my buddies from the homo-factory of Saint Ignatius Prep, to openly gay priests in various assignments and order (Dominican and Jesuit), including Fr. Michael Lopes, O.P., the first Catholic AIDS minister, to Archbishop John Quinn, the first national religious leader to establish a "gay" parish with gay priests, the first to "heal the sick" and appeal for mercy, establishing the first AIDS hospice in an old convent and parochial school, whose Catholic Charities were in the forefront to serving all people, who hired and promoted gays and lesbians, whose pastoral letter in 1975 gained immense respect, until. . . .

John Paul II, and Joseph Ratzinger, reinstated the Inquisition, bringing in Mother Teresa to abuse and terrorize AIDS victims, whose edicts found an "odd" principal of "intrinsic disorder," which violates orthodoxy and makes God the Author of Disorder (even reactionary clergy reacted, not to mention theologians), whose moral teleology of final ends of nature (categorical mistake) precludes all contraceptive use for any reason, including "the moral imperative not to harm with disease," which the Church does not recognize as a "moral law." *How did God miss that one?*

When JPII visited his Basilica Dolores in 1988, he held up an AIDS baby for the press, but avoided those whose "immorality were bearing punishment in their flesh," which not only violated Jesus in the Gospel, but alienated the faithful, erupted in disdain, and his "mass appeal" seemed empty in Candlestick Park. Even the Archbishop could no longer tolerate the tyranny, and simply took early retirement to teach his compassionate Gospel.

As for the "Sisters," I have mixed feelings, as many gay catholics did not find it anymore "appropriate" to ridicule their institution than it is to use gay stereotypes to get straight audiences to laugh at queer characters. (Good for the goose, good for the gander, they say.) The line between farce and camp, such as Beach Blanket Babylon and Eddie Izzard, and the obscenities, mockery, and ridicule, such as the Sisters' shtick, is drag in very poor taste, often so vulgar and offensive that even atheists look away. And they did not aid the Archbishop's Outreach to GLBT, but evoked diocesan contempt for mockery.

Just because a diverse and pluralistic society permits these antics, it does not follow that any good comes of them. Fighting hate with hate seems terribly useless, counterproductive, and alienating, even among those of us who deplore the Church and its teachings. When we GLBT begin to look and act like the Fred Phelps, when the "enemy" is also "us," maybe two wrongs do not make a right.