May 24, 2012 at 9:47 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Dignity Washington marks 25 years since expulsion from chapel
Dignity Washington, gay news, Washington Blade, Catholic Archdiocese of Washington

Gay Catholic group Dignity Washington is scheduled to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the group's ouster from a Georgetown University chapel. (Washington Blade file photo by Doug Hinckle)

The gay Catholic group Dignity Washington on Sunday, May 27 is scheduled to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington’s decision to oust the group from its use of a Georgetown University chapel to celebrate its Sunday Mass for D.C. area gay Catholics.

At the time, the Archdiocese said it acted on orders from the Vatican, which banned gay Catholic groups from using church facilities for meetings or religious services. Vatican officials said individual gay Catholics could continue to attend Mass at Catholic churches.

Dignity Washington spokesperson Tom Bower said the anniversary of the 1987 ouster from the Georgetown chapel as well as the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Dignity chapter in Northern Virginia and the 20th anniversary of the founding of the D.C. gay Catholic group Defenders would be held together May 27 at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church at Connecticut and Florida avenues, N.W. He said the anniversary commemorations would be held immediately following the group’s regularly scheduled 6 p.m. Mass at St. Margaret’s Church.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • I will never understand how or why any self respecting gay man would want anything to do with the Catholic Church. Especially after local evens the last few years such as the huge unnecessary fit that they pitched when gay marriage was started in DC and the incident where the priest denied communion to a lesbian at her mother’s funeral. Why not join the Episcopal Church, Methodist Church, etc?

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