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St. Patrick’s Day Parade Marching Into Secularism, Catholic League President Says

Jeffrey-Bruno

Brian Fraga - published on 09/06/14 - updated on 06/08/17

Meanwhile, major corporate sponsors—Samuel Adams Beer, Guinness and Heineken—have pulled their financial support over the gay group ban.

"The corporate world is solidly behind the gay rights movement," said Donohue, who told Aleteia that he is waiting to see how the parade committee explains its policy over the next six months. 

The initial statements from the committee indicated that only one gay group—OUT@NBC Universal—would march in the 2015 parade, but subsequent comments from John Lahey, the parade committee’s vice chairman, opened the possibility for other gay groups applying to march in the parade. Donohue said the committee’s spokesman, William O’Reilly, even said that "anyone can apply" in response to a question about whether a pro-abortion group could march.

"Why not simply say that this is a Catholic event, and as such any group that is flagrantly promoting what the Church says is an ‘intrinsic evil,’ namely abortion, shouldn’t bother to apply," Donohue said.

The push among political, corporate and social elites, Donohue said, has been to strip the St. Patrick’s Day parades of its religious dimensions and to transform them into celebrations of Irish heritage. Donohue said the Catholic League, which has marched under its banner at the New York City parade, would not participate in a parade stripped of its Catholic identity.

"This is the Catholic League, not the Irish League," Donohue said, noting that "a lot can happen" in the months leading up to the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

"The ball is in (the parade committee’s) court, not mine," Donohue said. "We’ll keep our eyes peeled."

Brian Fraga
is a daily newspaper reporter who writes from Fall River, Massachusetts.
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