"AIDS Memorial Chapel" at St. Victor's Church, West Hollywood
According to the St. Victor's Church website, this chapel of Our Lady is " ... a memorial to those lost to the AIDS epidemic. It was dedicated on Palm Sunday 1994 and contains a Book of Remembrance with over 1,500 names submitted by parishioners and friends."
"Parishioners pray for those included in this book at our twice-yearly HIV Masses."
At the time of the dedication, Bishop Stephen Blaire, then auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and now bishop of Stockton, offered his thoughts about the AIDS Memorial Chapel. The full text may be accessed HERE (pdf file).
"It has been noted that the collective experience of the gay community is that when no one else realizes that one is gay, a mother can tell. “A mother always knows,” they say. It’s a phenomenon seen time and time again. Our blessed mother Mary knows her gay and lesbian children, just as she knows all her children. She knows them and accepts them with the unconditional love of a mother."
"Let this be the lesson we learn from AIDS this Holy Week: that we honor our dead and care for the sick, and that we not cry out in judgement on one another, calling out again for Christ to be crucified in the person of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters."
Okay, I am fine with praying for all who are sick and for those who have suffered with AIDS and related diseases. I am all for praying for those who have died and for giving comfort to those who mourn. And yes, it is our duty to treat every human being with the dignity that is his by virtue of having been made in the image and likeness of God. But what about calling people to repentance? What about imparting with charity and clarity the fullness of the Church's moral teaching? How I long to hear a truly manly and fatherly bishop lovingly call his spiritual sons who struggle with homosexuality to "turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel."