At St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in the Diocese of San Diego, those interested in the Parish’s “LGBT Accompaniment” group are told (March 12, 2017 Parish bulletin) to contact Aaron Bianco. According to his profile on the website for the dissident group Call To Action, Mr. Bianco “will begin his work as Call To Action’s full-time Program Outreach Associate beginning June 1st . Aaron has served as Pastoral Associate at Saint Joseph’s Cathedral in San Diego since 2008 with experience in RCIA, liturgy, and music. Aaron has extensive experience with young adults through his coordination of the Cathedral’s young adult ministry group of over 600 young adults. Given Aaron’s engagement with grassroots organizing and comprehensive understanding of intergenerational dialogue we are excited to have Aaron offer support to CTA’s young adult program…”
Call To Action, in their official “Call for Reform in the Catholic Church,” asked for the following:
“We call upon the church to discard the medieval discipline of mandatory priestly celibacy, and to open the priesthood to women and married men…”
“We call for extensive consultation with the Catholic people in developing church teaching on human sexuality…”
“We claim our responsibility, as committed laity, religious and clergy, to participate in the selection of our local bishops…”
After the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director of Call To Action, made the following statement:
“Call To Action is elated with today’s Supreme Court outcome. Finally all loving and committed partners and families will be recognized fully and equally. Call To Action embraces a Church rooted in welcome, inclusivity, equality and justice for everyone. This decision reflects those Gospel values.”
Recently, the Twitter account at St. John the Evangelist began to follow the LGBT “Catholic” Ministry “Acceptance;” a group which has repeatedly pushed for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia.
At the 2016 LA Religious Education Congress, Mr. Bianco spoke on the topic of being “gay” and Catholic.
In the nearby Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Jenny Naughton, a “Board Associate” for the dissident group Fortunate Families is also a leader in the Archdiocese’s official LGBT ministry – the Archdiocesan Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons.
According to her profile at Fortunate Families:
“Jenny has been a catechist for more than 20 years. She is currently a Master Catechist for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. In 2007, she founded Always Our Children,’ a support group for parents of gay and lesbian children…In addition, she developed the Education Committee and serves on the Leadership Committee of the Archdiocesan Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons (CMLGP).”
After the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, Deb Word, President of Fortunate Families, released the following statement:
“Fortunate Families celebrates with our LGBT children the opportunity to share in the same rights as their straight siblings. The Supreme Court decision brings legal stability to our children’s lives and security to our grandchildren. We applaud this decision and continue our work in the Catholic tradition seeking social justice for all our children…”
On June 23, 2016, Naughton signed a petition sponsored by Call To Action:
We feel it is imperative for us to boldly speak out against Catholic Church officials’ continued insistence on calling the LGBTQ community’s “inclinations” as “objectively disordered” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2358), or even worse, “ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil” (Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Person, 1986).
In this petition, Call To Action made the following demands:
We call for change in the Catholic Church’s official language and teaching on our LGBTQ siblings.
We call on officials to, instead, embody paths of greater dialogue and understanding, tolerance and affirmation, healing and reconciliation.
Until we come together and expunge the hateful rhetoric and discriminatory teachings coming from and in the name of our Church, we contribute to the strife and violence directed towards LGBTQ communities.
Other signatories included: Curtis Murray, Parish Pastoral Council member at San Francisco’s predominantly “gay” Most Holy Redeemer Parish and Fr. Joe Quinn, OFM, Director of LGBT ministries at the St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.
In 2015, Robert McElroy, the current Bishop of San Diego, argued against the inclusion of the term “intrinsic evil” in the USCCB “Faithful Citizenship” document; he said:
“In the draft, for one thing it added the question of redefinition of marriage as intrinsically evil. Now redefinition of marriage is a public policy act; it can’t be, technically, ‘intrinsically evil,’ so it was wrong to describe it that way in the draft, so my objection was to the use of that language on one hand. At the same time, it’s also a bad use of marriage because it’s pastorally alienating… and in a way that’s injurious to people, to gay men and women and to their families and it’s injurious to our whole relationship with the millennial generation.”