From the Bay Area Reporter:
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence received a Halloween surprise when they learned they could no longer hold their Revival Bingo fundraisers at the Catholic Church in the Castro. As of press time Wednesday, November 1, the monthly bingo nights had been put on hold until 2007 at which time the group hopes to find an alternative location.
Nick Andrade, parish council president for Most Holy Redeemer, informed the Sisters at noon Tuesday that the group of drag nuns could no longer rent the church's Ellard Hall for the bingo nights.
"This was both a shock and a surprise as we have worked very closely with Most Holy Redeemer Church to provide fundraising services for both the church and other beneficiaries," wrote Sister Barbi Mitzvah in an e-mail late Tuesday night. "The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence believe that our commitment to giving is in alignment with the philosophy of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which represents a cross-section of the San Francisco population. It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that this appears not to be the case, and that our shared values cannot overcome our differences of opinion when it comes to how we serve the community."
Andrade could not be reached for comment.
In a statement sent to the Bay Area Reporter , the archdiocese said the parish or administrative staff should never have given the Sisters permission to use Ellard Hall.
"For years the group had directed contempt and ridicule at Catholic faith and practice. The particular targets of their derision are women in religious communities, for whom Catholics, as well as many non-Catholics, have a special reverence and respect," said the statement.
One person who had bought eight VIP tickets for himself and friends for the now-canceled November 2 event chastised the church for its decision.
"I am very saddened that Most Holy Redeemer has done this. This is their community and this group is supporting that community and they are denying them the ability to help others," said Dave Ault. "It is so in conflict of what their mission statement is."
Here is the official press release from the "sisters":
SAN FRANCISCO, 31 October 2006 — The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are stunned and deeply saddened by the Archdiocese of San Francisco's abrupt cancellation of their lease for Ellard Hall, the location of their charitable monthly bingo fundraising event.
The Sisters want to apologize to the organizations that depend on our support, including the AIDS Emergency Fund and the Positive Resource Center. Both of these worthy organizations were to be the recipients of this week's proceeds, however due to today's decision by the Archdiocese, we will no longer be able to hold bingo. The Sisters would also like to apologize to the SFPD Pride Foundation, UCSF AIDS Health Project, Saint James Infirmary and Tenderloin Tessies Holiday Feed, all of whom were scheduled to be beneficiaries for future bingos. And, of course, the Sisters extend our apologies and regrets to the many players who purchased tickets and were anticipating many more joyous evenings of fundraising.
The primary mission of The Sisters is involvement in and support of the local community.
This includes working with and supporting many local community organizations whose ability to serve their constituency is dependent on contributions from charitable groups like the Sisters. Without the thousands of dollars raised by the consistently sold-out monthly bingo event, their services may be cut at a time when charitable giving is more critical than ever.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence believe that our commitment to giving is in alignment with the philosophy of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which represents a cross-section of the San Francisco population. It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that this appears not to be the case, and that our shared values cannot overcome our differences of opinion when it comes to how we serve the community.
The most stunning part of all of this is the fact that "The Sisters" seem to think that because they are doing this for charity, it is in line with the Catholic Church. All the charity in the world does not change the immoral to moral.