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Catholic Diocese refuses to host concert over performance by Gay Men’s Chorus

This image shows the front of Saint Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo from a corner. The building is brown and in the Gothic Revival architectural style. The main spire of the church is in the center of the image. It has a pointed turret at the top and a clock face on the two visible sides.
Grant Ashley / WBFO News
The Choral Festival was originally supposed to be held in St. Joseph Cathedral (pictured above) on June 9. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church agreed to host the concert instead.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo withdrew as the host of an upcoming music festival after learning that the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus was scheduled to perform, the choral group announced Sunday.

The Choral Festival, organized by the Greater Buffalo Friends of Music, was scheduled to take place at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo on June 9 and includes the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus in its lineup. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, located in Allentown, agreed to host the concert instead, the chorus said.

“The Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus is angered and deeply disappointed to learn the Choral Festival… [was] cancelled by the Catholic Diocese, in part due to the inclusion of the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus,” the choral group wrote in a Facebook post. “This news [was] announced less than three weeks before an event that many groups have been preparing for nearly a year.”

Diocesan spokesperson Joe Martone told WBFO that the diocese didn’t “receive all details on the choirs expected to perform” until weeks before the concert.

“When all participants had been confirmed, the Diocese chose to not host the concert because a choir identified to perform is a group whose values are inconsistent with Catholic teaching,” Martone said in a statement. “While we are disappointed that we had to cancel the concert, we understand that another venue has been identified for the concert.”

The Gay Men’s Chorus did not immediately respond to a phone call to their office.

Completed in 1862, St. Joseph Cathedral serves as the diocese’s central church and frequently hosts events.