A week after NSW Police deleted photos of their officers posing with ‘nuns’ on the day of the Mardi Gras fair, the Order of Perpetual Indulgence has finally broken their silence .
Sr Rowena Keeper of the Holy Doyley, who was assigned to answer our questions, said star gazer that the Holy Order was surprised by the controversy that erupted over a seemingly innocuous photo shoot.
“Fair Trade Day as a community event is a colorful and vibrant occasion that encourages all kinds of our diverse rainbow communities to hang out, be seen, participate, mingle, catch up with old friends, eventually to make new ones, to revel in and to engage. And above all accept the many differences exposed. And it is also very likely that members of the OPI will also be present on the day. So, like everyone else, we have a right to be there,” Sr Roweena said.
Photo bomb sparks outrage among Catholics
Sr Roweena revealed that the photo with NSW police officers was actually a camera bomb. Members of the NSW Police Force were taking group photos near the Fair Day stage, “when my fellow sister was inspired to join in the revelry and be part of the picture (I think the modern term is a photobomb!)”
“Everything seemed perfectly innocent and fun at the time, no one from the police objected to our presence, one or two happy snaps were taken and after our brief encounter with our law enforcement officers, we we are cordially separated,” Sr Roweena said, adding, “After all, what red-blooded gay nun could resist being in a photo with a man or woman in uniform!?
Sr Roweena said after the photo shoot the sisters hadn’t thought of it except for a few discussions “about modern day policing and its role in the LGBTIQ+ community compared to what it was many years ago. years, where it was not without occasion of brutality, violence, intimidation and brute force as primary vehicles of engagement with our community ancestors.
The intention of the OPI was not to “politicize something as innocuous as a photo op”, but soon the old and sinister prejudices made their appearance in the form of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney which s objected vehemently when NSW Police posted the photos on social media.
“In terms of influence, the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, it seems, still wields a lot in this regard, as the police were very quick to remove images that the Archdiocese found offensive. It’s disappointing, as it appears that before the complaint was made no one found it particularly offensive until they were told it was by the Archdiocese.
“Has our fortune sunk so low? »
The OPI also found the mainstream press’s coverage of the controversy disappointing, particularly that neither the Order nor the Sister were identified by name.
“Have our personal fortunes and actions sunk so low that they are not recognized as members of the community that we are or are the omission and anonymity so deliberate as to be crippling? ” asked Sr. Roweena.
the The telegraph of the dayThe coverage was not factual, Sr Roweena pointed out, with the tabloid calling the incident “a policeman impersonating a Mardi Gras with men dressed as nuns jokingly”.
“Although we can use the vehicles of parody, humor, street theater and pathos as mediums to try to get our message across (universal joy, no more stigmatic guilt and the granting of perpetual indulgence) , just like the Catholic Church, we take our vocation very seriously too. So it was also a bit disappointing that we were diminished in this way,” Sr Roweena said.
A message for the Catholic Church
The Order had a message for the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. “We too have a message that is about equality and an end to discrimination – but for all, not just for part of the community, and it is in our principles of ‘universal joy and no more stigmatic guilt’. Although primarily aimed at the LGBTQI+ community who have suffered so much under the weight of a lack of joy, a lack of acceptance and an overwhelming dollop of stigmatic guilt (mostly based on religion), our message is designed to include all who wish to embrace it. ”
Sr. Rwoeena highlighted the Archdiocesan “platitudes” that gays and lesbians should never be marginalized.
“It is these same religious institutions, which take so much offense to our alleged mockery of them, which are the same ones that influence political outcomes such as plebiscites on referenda on same-sex marriage and of course the most recent assault against the LGBTQI+ community being the Religious Discrimination Bill. A Trojan horse of legislation if ever there was one, yet again designed in a subtle and creeping way to turn the tide towards a world more acceptable to those desperately trying to keep control of it!
“In short, if believers find a few gay nuns so offensive that they shake their denominational belief systems to their core and it upsets them so much, then it would seem that their belief systems are very fragile.”
“They did us a public service”
Although unnecessary controversy besmirched The Order’s otherwise enjoyable Fair Day weather, there was a silver lining.
“We are also grateful to the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, The Sydney Daily Telegraph and the NSW Police for collectively raising our profile in such a public way and again in their own way, by filing and raising awareness of topical issues that still negatively impact elements of the LGBTQI+ community today today. They have done us a great public service by doing this,” Sr Roweena said.
“OPI believes that all people, no matter who or regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve the freedom to love and be loved in a way that is mutual, consensual, and hopefully, satisfying!”
“Goofy Vobiscum! Sr. Roweena signed.