Students in the Castro neighbourhood of San Francisco have been barred from staging a play that details a young man’s struggle with his sexuality and his Christian faith.

Archbishop George Niederauer, a staunch supporter of Prop 8, the initiative banning gay marriage in California, stopped the play from being shown at its scheduled premiere at the Most Holy Redeemer Church, which describes itself as an inclusive church.

The students, from the Sacred Heart Preparatory, a Catholic school, were planning to stage a production of Be Still and Know, based on the book The God Box, by Alex Sanchez.

The Most Holy Redeemer church states on its website that it welcomes “Catholics, as well as those people interested in learning about the Catholic experience — regardless of their background, gender, race, social status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”

The church’s pastor, Friar Steve Meriwether, is also supportive of LGBT people, stating on the site: “You will find the good people of our parish old, young, married, gay, lesbian, transgender, affluent, homeless, blue-collar, converts, cradle Catholics, radical, traditional, questioning, fervent.”