As the Boston Globe first reported, Saturday, June 11, Church officials have ordered Rev. John J. Unni, pastor of St. Cecilia's Parish, located in the city's Back Bay neighborhood, to cancel a Mass scheduled for 6:00 pm, Sunday, June 19.
On Tuesday, June 14, the Boston Globe
featured a front-page interview with Father Unni
and editorialized in support of the "All are Welcome" Mass.
"Father Unni has the full confidence and support of the cardinal and the archdiocese,'' spokesman Donilon wrote in an e-mail, according to the Boston Globe, adding, "He is a great pastor.''
During the 11:00 am Sunday Mass, which also celebrated Pentecost, Father Unni
spoke to parishioners about the controversy.
"We here at St. Cecilia's
have an agenda," he
said, walking up and down the main aisle of the church.
"I have an agenda.
Our agenda is the Jesus agenda."
went onto explain it, "Jesus loved people.
ate with people, those who were the marginalized and ostracized sinners of his
And by that compassion and interacting as Jesus did at this [communion] table by loving in a good way, people are strengthened, people are healed, people are reminded of their dignity, their beauty, goodness and worth - ready, ready - as they are!"
The last part of "Jesus agenda," Unni
said, "and I dare say the cardinal's agenda" is to be "supportive of all."
left no doubt about what that meant.
"You are welcome here, gay or straight, rich or poor, young or old, black or white," he
"Here, you all can say, 'I can worship the God who made me as I am.'"
clarified that the "All Are Welcome" Mass has been postponed, not canceled as previously reported in local media.