The California Catholic Conference (Conference) has released the following statement in response to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Mayor of Anaheim re-issuing and issuing, respectively, invitations to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence:

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Mayor of Anaheim’s invitation to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), a group that intentionally ridicules and encourages the intolerance of Catholicism and its women’s religious orders for its own purposes, is wildly offensive.

To advance its agenda, SPI uses egregious ridicule, hostility, and open desecration to mock Catholicism and Christianity – behaviors they claim to renounce. What would be said if the mockery was of our Muslim or Jewish brothers and sisters?

For the Dodgers to not only re-issue the invitation to the SPI but award them a ‘Community Hero Award’ for using unquestionably offensive Christian antics is far from fulfilling the intention of “inclusivity for all.” It is the promotion of choosing who is culturally acceptable and who is not – a common form of hate.

Our Catholic women’s religious orders are comprised of individuals who devote their lives to Christ by serving the poor, the underprivileged, and the marginalized. They deserve the same consideration and respect that the SPI says it is working to secure for the LGBTQ+ community.

It is absolutely possible to celebrate inclusivity without promoting bigotry. Working to celebrate diversity can be done without ridicule and mockery.

The Conference endorses that we should be leading with love and inclusion in California rather than sowing division and is stunned by the LA Dodgers and the other statewide organizations and elected officials choosing to condone the double standard of this offensive behavior.