A “Pride Mass” that was planned for the feast of Corpus Christi at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh was abruptly cancelled after the diocese’s bishop, David Zubik, expressed his disapproval in a letter dated May 31. The event had been promoted by Catholics for Change in Our Church (CCOC) in partnership with various groups, including LGBTQ ministries from St. Mary Magdalene and St. Joseph the Worker churches. The Mass, open to LGBTQ Catholics, their families, and supporters, was set to take place in Duquesne’s Holy Spirit Chapel.
Bishop Zubik, in his letter addressed to priests, deacons, and seminarians of the diocese, clarified that neither he nor Duquesne University’s President Ken Gormley was aware of the Mass until they started receiving calls. Zubik stressed that he had not endorsed the event and that independent sponsors had organized it without the pastors’ authorization, leading to confusion and anger among some.
Reacting to the backlash, Zubik stated that while the Church is committed to welcoming people grappling with sensitive issues in their lives, it cannot endorse behavior that contradicts God’s law. Despite the bishop distancing himself from the event, he criticized the vehement responses to the Pride Mass as “threatening” and unaligned with Christian charity.
Given the controversy surrounding the event, Zubik requested that it be cancelled. He expressed his hope that the Church of Pittsburgh would be welcoming to the LGBTQ community, and vice versa, emphasizing the importance of mutual respect for the Church’s teachings. He encouraged everyone, including the LGBTQ community, to come together to celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and focus on the Body of Christ.
However, the cancellation of the event sparked disappointment among its organizers. Kevin Hayes, president of CCOC, lamented the cancellation, stating that their intention was simply to provide a Mass where LGBTQ Catholics could feel accepted and affirmed. Duquesne University, established in 1878 by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, continues to adhere to the congregation’s values of service to the Church, community, nation, and the world.