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On June 11, 2016, at the LA “Pride” festivities, a reporter from the homosexual web-site “Gay in LA,” interviewed David Kennedy – a representative and “secretary” for the official “ministry” to the “gay” community in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles: Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons (CMLGP). Every year, the CMLGP outreaches to gay men and women with their own booth at LA “Pride.” David Kennedy, during the interview said that CMLGP helps people “come out of the closet.” He continued that the USCCB document “Always Our Children” is “official Church teaching.” When the reporter asked David Kennedy: “What is the Catholic’s official stance on homosexuality?” Kennedy replied: “It’s in transition.” Kennedy then created a false analogy between heterosexual and homosexual promiscuity: “…they

[the Church] have trouble with heterosexuals…who are being promiscuous; it’s the same thing with gays.”

The gradualist theory of change within the Church concerning homosexuality is not new and pervades most “gay” and LGBT Catholic ministries: Sister Jeannine Gramick, the Vatican “silenced” co-founder of the dissident group New Ways Ministry, in 2011, stated: “But because I know church history, I know change takes centuries. We are planting seeds for change at the upper level of leadership.” She continued: “When we started this work, only 20 percent of Catholics believed in equal rights for gays and lesbians. Now it’s over 73 percent…The church is moving.”

During an interview from 2015, Fr. Donal Godfrey, S.J., the former director of campus ministry at the Jesuit-run University of San Francisco and frequent speaker at Most Holy Redeemer and various other gay-affirming parishes in San Francisco, said: “As a church we need to accept that family goes beyond traditional lines. I don’t expect the teachings to jump to acceptance in one day, it will take decades. In the meantime we need to accept people pastorally as they are and where they are. For now, this would be sufficient. Later the teachings will catch up and evolve.”

The Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons is indelibly linked with this gradualist mind-set. In addition to advocating for the inclusion of “…positive language regarding LGBT Catholics, especially for same sex couples in long term relationships,” CMLGP celebrated an “indelible moment” at the 2016 LA Religious Education Congress when “…at the closing liturgy on Sunday…a gay couple and their son helped present gifts at the altar to Archbishop Jose Gomez;” they stated, this was a sign that: “Progress for LGBT Catholics is slow and happens in incremental pieces, and often includes setbacks.”

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David Kennedy

David Kennedy, along with John Curran, OMI, will present a workshop at the upcoming 2016 Archdiocese of San Jose “Faith Formation Conference.” Kennedy and Curran presented at the 2014 Conference; at that event, Curran said that “Always Our Children” was about telling the parents of “gay” children that: “Their children, and their sexuality, are gifts from God.” Curran also noted: “Primacy of personal conscience is very important. The Church is not your conscience.”

John Curran is also a renowned name among pro-gay Catholic dissenters. In fact, when Pope Benedict XVI condemned secular movements to legalize gay marriage, Fr. Curran was critical of the Holy Father, he wrote, on the pro-gay site Believe Out Loud: “I am 63 years old and a priest. I have seen the world move from ‘The love that dear not speak its name’ to Gay Marriage by popular vote. It is true that the Church always lags and struggles. Determining the will of God is never easy. I believe we are getting there, I have hope…”

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Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons

The CMLGP has a long history of dissent: Arthur Fitzmaurice, Resource Director of the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry (CALGM), formerly served as Chair for the CMLGP. In 2015, Fitzmaurice spoke at the Congress and had this to say about the Church’s stance on homosexuality:

“The paragraph on homosexuality, which describes it as ‘intrinsically disordered’ while also demanding respect for gays and lesbians, is placed in a section of the catechism paragraphs condemning ‘pornography, prostitution, and rape.’ To keep this abusive language in the Catechism and other Church writings is, in itself, gravely evil.”

In a 2013 video interview for The IN [Ignatian News] Network, made in cooperation with St. Monica’s Catholic Gay and Lesbian Outreach in Santa Monica, Arthur Fitzmaurice said: “I tried to be directed towards God…How do I be the person that God made me to be; and then it gets converted into a realization that God made me to be this gay person.”

Also in 2013, Fitzmaurice said: “The Church needs healing and reform in several aspects, and we are hopeful the Holy Spirit with work through our new Holy Father to guide the Church in the modern world so that LGBT Catholics and their families can find healing and inclusion.”

Fitzmaurice once stated that he promotes: “the pastoral side that says ‘God made you this way;’” he also vehemently stood by the CALGM’s position that “being gay is a gift and a grace.”

Responding to concerns about the group’s apparent lack of orthodoxy, in 2012, the CALGM board refused to sign an oath that requested each member to: “strive to clearly present Catholic doctrine on homosexuality in its fullness.” The CALGM board declined. The Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons maintains a link to the CALGM on their Archdiocesan web-site.

At the 2015 LA Congress, in an interview with “America” magazine, Fitzmaurice said this about the “inclusion of LGBT people” in the Church: “…it’s the slow movement of the spirt within us…it’s not about a few words in the Catechism.”

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“Always Our Children”

Issued in 1997, the text is still shocking for its gross generalizations and unwillingness to even briefly grasp the intrinsic desperation and depravity found in the modern “gay” lifestyle; in addition, the document also openly condemns those with same-sex attraction to a lifelong imprisonment within homosexuality: “…it seems appropriate to understand sexual orientation (heterosexual or homosexual) as a deep-seated dimension of one’s personality and to recognize its relative stability in a person…Generally, homosexual orientation is experienced as a given, not as something freely chosen.” In retrospect this is less surprising as the three main consultants for “Always Our Children” were the self-outed priests James Schexnayder, Robert Nugent, and Peter Liuzzi; Schexnayder is from the Diocese of Oakland and founded the dissident gay advocacy group the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry; when “Always Our Children” was being prepared, Nugent was also being investigated as part of the same review that was looking into the ministry of Sister Jeannine Gramick – like his cohort Sister Gramick, he was similarly “silenced” in 1999; Liuzzi was for many years was the head of the LA Archdiocese Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons, he who once stated: “…the church believes that homosexuality is an inherent trait.”

“Always Our Children” was a “pastoral message” from the Bishops of the United States and had no power to interpret, let alone define, the issue of homosexuality for the Universal Church. Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz once boldly stated: “It is my view that this document carries no weight or authority for Catholics, whom I would advise to ignore or oppose it.”

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