The California Catholic Conference has released the following statement in response to the honoring of a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an openly anti-Catholic group, by the California State Senate and Assembly today:
We are in sorrow and disbelief that California legislators paid tribute to a prominent member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), a group that openly commits acts of hate, misogyny, and discrimination against Catholics, our women’s religious orders, and against Christianity.
California is usually eager to condemn acts of hate, but today they chose to elevate them. Lawmakers praised a member of a group that actively disrupts our Masses, events and even steals our sacred Eucharist. SIP holds events that ridicule our sacraments with names so crass we will spare repeating them.
Our Catholic women religious voluntarily devote their entire lives to caring for immigrants, orphans, and those in poverty, working in hospitals and hospices, and stepping in to provide a way for those who would otherwise go without. They gladly serve others and remain in prayer even for those who openly disparage them. Our Sisters should be recognized for their selflessness, not ridiculed and denigrated.
Compounding our distress is the fact that the Sisters of Mercy previously owned the very land where the annexed portion of the Capitol building sits. There is a statue on the Capitol grounds to recognize their contribution. And today, the State chose to support the desecration of their selfless acts and those who follow in their legacy.
As the State has now greenlighted prejudiced acts of discrimination, we ask that Californians rise above the legislature’s divisive behavior and instead seek to treat each other with the love, integrity, and dignity that every person deserves.