A Boston-area priest received a standing ovation Sunday after giving an impassioned speech about unconditional acceptance in his church.
It was the first service held at St. Cecilia's Church in Back Bay since the Archdiocese of Boston canceled a mass scheduled for June 19 out of concern that the "All Are Welcome'' theme gave the "unintended impression'' that the church supported Gay Pride.
As a way of countering the decision, Rev. John J. Unni preached about what he called "acceptance of all.''
"You are welcome here, gay or straight, rich or poor, young or old, black or white," Unni said, reports Boston.com. "Here, you all can say, 'I can worship the God who made me as I am.'"
His sermons at both the 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. masses were met with thunderous applause.
Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said in an interview, "This parish is a great example of people who are civil and exhibiting a real fellowship. But that doesn't mean we can be put in a position where we look like we're endorsing Gay Pride activities.''
Reverend Unni has served the past seven years at St. Cecilia's, whose congregation contains a large LGBT population.
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