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Lakeview Church Says New Pride Parade Route Would Prevent Parishoners From Attending Mass

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 1, 2011 5:30PM

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (Image Credit: Brandon Bartoszek)
We were wondering when some would complain about the new route for next year's Chicago Pride Parade. Somehow, it seems fitting the first complaint comes from a church.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is behind a petition drive asking the parade be rescheduled or re-routed so that their laity may be able to attend Sunday morning mass.

On the surface, the complaint has merit. Last year nearly 800,000 people attended the Chicago Pride Parade, which was one reason organizers decided to amend the route to accommodate the influx of people and provide more CTA train and bust entry/exit points. A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Chicago told ABC 7's Chuck Goudie the petition was a parish issue, but added the church may have to close because the new route puts the parade past the church and parishoners couldn't enter.

Parade coordinator Richard Pfeiffer countered that the new route took Our Lady of Mount Carmel into consideration and that the church's laity could still attend mass my entering via the back of the church via an alley and access on Broadway.

44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney is caught in the middle. As Chicago's first openly gay alderman and a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, he said he was "taken aback by the concern about the parishioners feeling they had a right and entitlement to make sure their Sunday services were protected and the hours remain the same."

Pfeiffer added that an offer was made to the church for barricades and marshals on the route to ensure parishoners who want to attend Sunday morning mass may do so. Maybe there's an unspoken concern of what may happen when one flamboyantly dressed group unexpectedly meets with another. For now, no resolution has been reached.