The Detroit chapter of DignityUSA, an LGBTQ-affirming Roman Catholic ministry, has been forbidden to hold Mass in Catholic spaces in the region, and priests within the Detroit archdiocese barred from serving the group.
Dignity chapters in other cities have received similar orders over the years, but Detroit has been one of the few exceptions, holding services in a chapel at a Catholic college (Sacred Heart Chapel at Marygrove College), with some local priests participating, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
However, in a letter dated March 9, Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Gerard Battersby wrote, “I wish to communicate through this letter that a Mass for Dignity Detroit members — one which rejects Church teaching on human sexuality — is not possible in any parish church, chapel, or diocesan facility, and is indeed forbidden everywhere in the Archdiocese of Detroit.”
“The organization’s rejection of the Church’s teaching on chastity is incompatible with the path of sanctification on which Christ bids his Church to travel and is at odds with the important work of the Courage and EnCourage apostolates,” he continued. Courage and EnCourage are programs designed to help those experiencing “same-sex attraction,” as the church calls it, to live celibate lives in accordance with Catholic teaching. Some LGBTQ Catholics have likened them to 12-step programs, treating homosexuality as an addiction.