The Jesuit-run parish of St. Joseph Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Seattle hosts an LGBTQ Ministry which openly promotes dissent and same-sex marriage. The Coordinator of the Ministry is Theresa Lukasik, a graduate of Loyola University in Chicago. In 2013, along with other “Queer Catholics,” she wrote a response to the election of Pope Francis:
A Jesuit Pope, with the humble spirit of St. Francis, gives me hope for reform and repentance within the church. While his stance on Gay Marriage and Adoption is not great, if he is truly open to the working of the Holy Spirit, the hope for true dialogue lives within me.
St. Francis is viewed as a reformer of the church, answering God’s call to “repair my church in ruins.” This pope has not an easy task ahead of him. With all the abuse, sin and corruption in the church we need a humble reformer one who will love with the heart of Christ and will hear the cry of the poor, yet we also need one with the wisdom to let go of antiquated traditions that prevent the Whole Body of Christ from ministering in Jesus’ Name…
In a short essay from 2016, Lukasik remembered a fateful conversation with an “evangelical” man who had a different interpretation of the Bible than her; she wrote:
As a Catholic and a lesbian, my prejudgments and fears where at the surface, yet I felt compelled to enter into dialogue with this man…I engaged him about the book, faith, science, and biblical interpretation. It was a great conversation, but when he invited me to go to his church with him a small sense of fear and anxiety overcame me. Do I go? Do I ask the question? With a deep breath I asked if I joined him would I be accepted by his church as a gay woman?
He did not change my faith as I am sure that I did not change his faith and how he interprets the Bible…
A web-page on the wedding site “The Knot” features an announcement detailing Lukasik’s upcoming marriage to another woman.
This morning when I sat down to revise this essay, I read an article about Rob Portman, a Republican senator from Ohio, who in 1996 voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, and in 1999 voted to bar gay couples in DC from adopting kids, but has now decided to support same-sex marriage. This happened because his son had come out to him as gay; a personal encounter changed this father. If a Republican can make that change, then maybe the pope, called by us Catholics the Holy Father, who has already shown such compassion for the poor, and has already changed some of the culture of the Vatican, can have a similar change of heart.
This is what I’m trying to hope for now.
The parish of St. Joseph in Seattle is administered by the Jesuits. A November 13, 2016 bulletin from the Parish featured a homily by Pastor John D. Whitney, S.J.; he wrote:
What saves us is not that we are “exceptional,” but that we are blessed. Blessed by a Constitution that has within it an ability to adapt to different times and circumstances, that checks our urge to rush ahead, but also enables us to move and grow. Perhaps it was a miracle that the group of rebels and rascals gathered in Philadelphia in 1789 had just the right balance of ideals and pragmatism, just the right balance of egoism and Puritanical duty, just the right amount of dynamic tension to create a document— though flawed in every age—that could still be used by generations to do things those founders never imagined: to oust a President, and preserve Catholic schools; to justify enslavement in one age, and then put a dagger in “separate but equal” in another; to protect the right of Nazi’s to march in a suburb of Chicago, and then allow gays and lesbians to marry everywhere…
The “chaplain” of the parish’s LGBTQ Ministry is Glen Butterworth, S.J. In 2015, he offered an “Outdoor Mass for LGBTQ Community at St. Joseph” at the home of a married same-sex couple. In 2014, Butterworth “Liked” the updated relationship status of the “Parish Manager” at the predominantly “gay” Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco; the man had entered into a relationship with another man.