Social activist and blogger (Catholic-legate.com) John Pacheco, who organized a 15,000-strong March for Marriage in 2005, urged men to gather in front of the basilica to pray the rosary with their backs turned to the parade. About 40-50 men and women arrived shortly before 1 p.m. and began to pray.
Pacheco said he decided to urge prayers to turn their backs because he was not sure whether there would be nudity in the parade. He also thought having backs turned would encourage those participating to pray rather than engage in any arguments or confrontations.
But Pacheco ended up in a confrontation with a member of St. Patrick’s Pastoral Council, who told him they were being provocative. Sheila Jones sought the assistance of the basilica’s pastor, Father Bosco Wong, who asked Pacheco to stop the sidewalk prayer. The priest invited them to come inside to pray.
Pacheco told the protestors to listen to their own consciences, but he was going to do as the priest wished and go inside. About 25 people followed him, while about 10-20 remained outdoors.
“I had no option,” said Pacheco in an interview. “If we went against the pastor, we lost. We would be a house divided.”
But Pacheco hopes the Archdiocese as a whole will address the rerouting of the Pride Parade. “As a Church community we have to address what Catholics are permitted to do, in light of the provocation in changing the route.”
We desperately need leadership….but fear, confusion, and uncertainty reigns in the Church today.