The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have pulled out of a charity event after a Catholic Church official in San Francisco reportedly threatened to cancel the fundraiser if they attended.
Some of the Sisters, who raise thousands of dollars a year for nonprofits, had planned to attend the Evolution of Fashion show tonight (Friday, June 15) at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption. The show will benefit the Heaven’s Door Cancer Foundation.
Event co-director Daphne Evans said that the Sisters urged her to make sure their presence at the fashion show wouldn’t cause trouble. The drag nuns have had problems with the Catholic Church before, including when the Castro’s Most Holy Redeemer church booted out their bingo night fundraisers in 2006.
Evans said she called the church’s events director, who told her to ask the Sisters not to come.
“She said, ‘I don’t want them there,’” Evans said. The church staffer also said, “If it comes to where we will have to cancel your event, then we will do that,” according to Evans. She said she told the events director that the Sisters were just trying to help raise money, but it didn’t do any good.
Evans declined to share the name of the person she spoke with, but the church’s website lists Diane Luporini as the event center director. Luporini didn’t respond to an interview request. There was also no response to a message left in the church’s general voicemail.
Sister Roma (seen at left), who’d been scheduled to be a guest commentator at the show, said the church’s stance “Just makes me sick. … They’re just so short sighted. What are they trying to do? Why would they case problems for a fundraiser like that?”
She said the Sisters chose to back out of the event, rather than push their case and bring “negative repercussions.”
“I have nothing but love and respect for the promoters,” Roma said.
The feeling appears to be mutual.
“I love my sisters, they’re my sisters,” Evans said. “I plan on continuing to support them, and I hope they continue to support me.”
Evans said she’s already paid about $1,600 for the church venue, along with another $3,000 to $4,000 for marketing.
She said that if she’d known about the church’s feelings two weeks beforehand, “I would have been booking it out of there.”
Sister Pat N Leather, who’d also planned to attend Friday’s fashion show, said on her Facebook page that the Sisters’ beer bust from 4 to 7 p.m., Sunday, June 17 at the Edge bar, 4149 18th Street, will benefit the cancer foundation.
The Sisters are also still encouraging people to attend Friday’s fashion show, which is 7 to 10:30 p.m. at St. Francis Hall, 1111 Gough Street. Tickets are $45.