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A transgender individual named Arden confronted a pastor at their childhood church in Ohio after he preached that the Catholic church was "under attack" by a pro-LGBTQ+ nonprofit. The pastor, Rev. Timothy Gareau of St. Raphael, expressed his anger and frustration over the actions of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group known for their drag makeup and attire. Arden believed that the pastor's comments were targeting the Sisters, even though he did not explicitly mention them.
Arden, a 28-year-old parishioner, took to the altar to express their hurt and disappointment. They stated that queer and trans people also carry the Holy Spirit, and it was painful to hear such exclusionary remarks. Arden acknowledged that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence may appear offensive to the Catholic faith from the outside but emphasized that the spirit of God moves through all people and that the Sisters do not pose a real threat to the Catholic Church.
Arden's confrontation led to backlash from fellow churchgoers, and they were escorted out of the church. One parishioner allegedly threatened to shoot them. Local authorities responded to the incident, which is currently under investigation.
A spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland denounced the response of the man who shouted at Arden, stating that disrupting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a serious matter. Arden, who now resides in Georgia, announced that they would no longer attend St. Raphael and expressed love for Father Tim while hoping he would reflect on his role in the situation.
Arden's actions shed light on the ongoing tension between LGBTQ+ rights and certain religious beliefs, highlighting the challenges faced by transgender individuals within their faith communities.
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