Manhattan cathedral has been converted into a field hospital

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It’s Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospital, btw; Morningside is the name of (variously) the neighborhood itself, the HIV clinic there, a major local avenue, and a lovely park nearby.

Was an ID fellow there for a couple of years.

It’s a beautiful cathedral, glad they’re putting the space to practical use.


Good for the archdioceses for doing this.


I once lived in the neighborhood as a student, and St. John the Divine was one of my favorite places to go. I’m not at all surprised that the cathedral is doing this, it’s a very cool and progressive parish (and it is huge). I wouldn’t go for services, but I often went for the wonderful art exhibits and speakers they would bring in—I once saw Slavoj Žižek give a talk there! The cathedral has three peafowl that roam their statuary, which I just love. Also, the Hungarian Pastry Shop across the street is splendid.


This is the difference between a church, and a dude masquerading as a church who wouldn’t open his doors for hurricane victims until he was publicly shamed.


Did they just want to get in on all that making people agree to hate the gay action?

No, I think they are providing a service to the city… I know it’s easy to equate all Christians with bigoted assholes like Graham, but that’s just not the case.


Do we know that this is the case? Whenever churches find an opportunity to force themselves into people’s lives I think it’s worth asking questions.

It feels good to make broad, sweeping generalizations, but given the reputation of this church (see above, @ugh’s comment, also it’s an episcopalian, and parts of the American branch tends to be progressive, pro-LBGQT+, etc), maybe it’s a bit premature to assume that they are going to not let gay people in their doors or will actively ban people they don’t like. Religious communities have always been mixed bag and I don’t think letting the bigoted, narrow-minded groups in their midst speak for all of them is particularly helpful. It sets up a dichotomy that only lets the actual bigots win. Presumable, we wouldn’t let it stand if someone said that all Muslims are terrorists or support terrorists, right? :woman_shrugging:



As much as I am not Christian, and have a lot of issues with religion in general, St John the Divine has a long history of stepping up and helping the community. They fought for AIDS victims back in the 80’s, when it was still a deeply stigmatized disease and one that was considered synonymous with homosexuality, and have a huge memorial quilt to those who died from the disease. They have also been staunch supporters of the most vulnerable parts of the neighbourhood. They act the way I wish religion usually did. They are a force for good.


Missed that it was Episcopalian…their record is well established.


That’s more of an evangelical move than a Catholic move. For all of Catholicism’s faults they usually are serious about the “providing their services to all” thing.

ETA: I was mixing up cathedrals: this one is Episcopalian, not Catholic.


Yes, we do know that this is the case. It’s not some random church that nobody knows about, it is one of the most famous churches in the US. James Baldwin and Allen Ginsberg had funerals there—I think it’s safe to say that they don’t hate queer folk at St John the Divine.


The (male) Reverend at my family’s Episcopalian church has a husband, so that checks out. He also has done a bit of work as an AIDS patient advocate. Before that he had a career as an actor on a number of soap operas including as a doctor on General Hospital, which probably isn’t relevant but I still find it interesting.


Right? I think that we should take people on their own merits, not by whatever broad categories they fit into. It’s true plenty of religious folks/groups are bigoted… so are plenty of secular folks. :woman_shrugging:

Luke and Laura! :grimacing:


Even the clerics of both denominations who fall right of center tend to believe that the church is a hospital for sinners, not a social club for saints. They’ll exhort you to change your ways, but they’re not quick to condemn you as reprobate. That’s more of a Calvinist thing.

My parish church at one point threw open its doors in a hard winter to house residents of a nearby apartment building, moving aside the pews and setting up Red-Cross-furnished cots and curtains. A local TV station interviewed the pastor, and the reporter praised him. He replied, “that’s why we have this lovely worship space. It’s a sanctuary. ‘Sanctuary’’ the church, and ‘sanctuary’ the refuge are the same word. This is what a church is for.”

(On the first morning, the parishioners tried to turn out to serve breakfast in the parish center, but the local authorities told them it’d be against health regulations - and then were some hours in coordinating their own food service. Father Alan was absolutely livid! We can have social groups host public pancake breakfasts, but we can’t step forward in a crisis? We now have a contingency plan to have a local restaurant cater the next disaster.)


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