Several DFL legislators posed for a picture in April with members of an organization that has been widely condemned as an “anti-Catholic hate group.”
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, whose roleplaying as Catholic nuns has been described by some as “religious blackface,” are at the center of a national controversy that began when the Los Angeles Dodgers announced plans to present them with a “community hero” award.
Facing public backlash, the ball club disinvited, and then re-invited, the faux sisters, eventually apologizing to the nonprofit organization and vowing to “better educate ourselves.”
The team has since faced criticism from some of their own players, including star pitcher Clayton Kershaw, as well as calls for boycotts and protests. CatholicVote launched a “Dodgers Hate Catholics” mobile billboard campaign throughout the Los Angeles metro area, which asks: “Why do the Dodgers support hate groups?”
“Every advertiser, every season ticket holder, every charity, every fan must speak out against the Dodgers’ decision to promote anti-Catholic hate,” CatholicVote President Brian Burch said. “Why does ‘pride’ have to include honoring the most grotesque and scandalous anti-Catholic perverts?”
This is the group the @Dodgers are giving a "community heroes" award to. The sisters of perpetual indulgence @SFSisters are an anti-Christian hate group and an adult sex act. Lots of baseball players follow me. Are any of you going to speak up or will you allow Jesus to be spit… pic.twitter.com/sqrKqSexRh
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 24, 2023
Ladies of the Lakes
Minnesota is home to its own branch of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence called Ladies of the Lakes.
Like their national affiliate, members of the Ladies of the Lakes dress up in garish religious habits, take a profession of vows, and go by names such as “Sister Christmas Morningwood,” “Sister Jiz Taylor,” and “Sister Hexxx Appeal.”
They also hold a “hunky Jesus” contest in which participants appear to strip while dressed like Jesus Christ.
The group “bestows” the “title of Saint” on community members who are honored with blasphemous names like “Saint Rubber Harder Faster Longer” and mocking icons, including one that depicts the Eucharist as a butt.
Ladies of the Lakes participated in an annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser in April called Dining Out for Life, where five DFL legislators (Reps. Sydney Jordan, Brion Curran, Athena Hollins, Jamie Becker-Finn, and Alicia Kozlowski) happily posed with members of the group.
Hollins doubled down when confronted with the group’s anti-Catholic bias.
— Athena Hollins 🔥 (@AthenaHollins) April 28, 2023
Bishops speak out
Catholic bishops across the country have been united in their condemnation of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, calling them a “blasphemous” organization that “mocks the Catholic faith.”
Bishop Robert Barron of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, who previously served in LA, called for a boycott of the Dodgers and said the sisters “can only be described as an anti-Catholic hate group.”
“Somehow attacking Catholics in this most disgraceful way is OK, not only OK, it should be honored,” he said. “I’ve shared this before but there’s a long tradition in our country of anti-Catholicism. It was said famously about a century ago the last acceptable prejudice in America is anti-Catholicism, but we shouldn’t tolerate it.”
Friends, it’s hard to imagine anything more offensive than some of the behavior of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” which I think can only be described as an anti-Catholic hate group. pic.twitter.com/VLZP28Soab
— Bishop Robert Barron (@BishopBarron) May 25, 2023
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged Catholics to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart and make an act of reparation on June 16, the day the Dodgers will honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
“This year, on June 16 — the day of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus — a professional baseball team has shockingly chosen to honor a group whose lewdness and vulgarity in mocking our Lord, His Mother, and consecrated women cannot be overstated,” the bishops said. “This is not just offensive and painful to Christians everywhere; it is blasphemy.”
The Minnesota House DFL caucus did not respond to a request for comment.