Throughout the United States, literally from New York to California, there exists a vast network of gay-affirmative Catholic parishes with LGBTQ ministries. Most of these ministries incorporate the lexicon and symbolism of the modern “gay” rights movement – in particular, the use of the rainbow flag. Nearly all blatantly disregard the most basic and fundamental Catholic teachings on homosexuality; for example, the “Gay and Lesbian Ministry” at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church recently posted on their Facebook page a link to a letter written by a newly “out” Christian singer; the St. Francis “Ministry” highlighted this section of text: “His study of the Scriptures, he says, has led him to believe that the handful of Bible verses that directly address homosexuality do not prohibit the kind of loving, committed gay relationships known to the modern world. ‘There is absolutely no conflict with accepting who I am and following Jesus,’ he said. ‘God wants me to be healthy, authentic, whole, integrated and my truest self.’”
Other examples are: the LGBTQ Spirituality group at the St. Anthony Shrine in Boston which offers a course in “Queer Theology;” the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Atlanta that hosts an GLBT “Couples” Pot Luck Social; and the Open Hearts GLBT Support group at Saint Patrick – Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Hartford which is currently reading John J. McNeill’s “Taking a Chance on God;” in that book the openly-gay McNeill stated: “In all cultures and in every period of history, a certain percentage of men and women develop as gays and lesbians. These individuals could be considered as part of God’s creative plan. Their sexual orientation has no necessary connection with sin, sickness, or failure; rather, it is a gift from God to be accepted and lived out with gratitude. God does not despise anything that God has created.”
Later in life, McNeill wrote, concerning the relationship of Jesus with the Lazarus family of Bethany: “…that Jesus’ family of choice was possibly a gay family; that Martha and Mary were lesbians and Lazarus was a gay man.”
The overall purpose and ultimate objective of these groups is clear: the full inclusion of sexually active homosexuals within the Catholic Church; yet, in a sense, on the local level, through these ministries and with the complicity of gay-approving pastors and priests – they have already done just that. For the most part local ordinaries have been completely unwilling to monitor or correct the wildly divergent, and sometimes perverse, philosophies that have been allowed to run rampant within these groups. To make matters worse, most of these gay affirmative ministries are located in highly-visible urban areas: New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and particularly close to neighborhoods with large “gay” populations. This untenable situation has caused many confused and vulnerable young men and women to earnestly seek out answers within these groups – only to reemerge as confirmed homosexuals.
One of the most egregious examples of a so-called “gay” outreach is the “Rainbow Ministry” at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Boston, in a October 19, 2015 Facebook post the group publicly maligned two Catholic Saints:
“Sts. Sergius and Bacchus are ancient Christian martyrs who were tortured to death in Syria because they refused to attend sacrifices in honor of Jupiter. Recent attention to early Greek manuscripts has also revealed that they were openly gay men and that they were erastai or lovers. These manuscripts are found in various libraries in Europe and suggest an earlier Christian acceptance of homosexuality…According to the early manuscripts, Bacchus told Sergius to persevere, that the delights of heaven were greater than any suffering, and that part of their reward would be to be reunited in heaven as lovers.”
This scurrilous theory that the two male Saints were actually homosexual lovers has been floating about the toxic environments of “gay” Catholicism for many years. It probably had its genesis with the disproven works of the late-John Boswell who was trying to establish that pseudo-same-sex marriage unions existed in Medieval Europe. Fr. John Harvey responded: “…Boswell speaks of Jesus and John as the most controversial same-sex couple in the Christian tradition, adding his list of ‘paired saints’ – Perpetua and Felicity, Ployeuctos and Nearchos, and Sergius and Bacchus. All descriptions are rife with homoerotic implications, and all are without historical proof.”
In a recently published piece for “Spiritual Friendship” author Wesley Hill posted a picture which depicts Sts. Sergius and Bacchus in icon form. In the accompanying article, Hill discusses the topic of “vowed” same-sex friendships with the clear implication that Sts Sergius and Bacchus were one such example. In addition, the Sergius and Bacchus imagery (see altar table below) has been adopted by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, a religious order with a long history of gay-affirmative ministries, for example – after the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, the Precious Blood Fathers proudly announced: “A victory for the gay rights movement happened June 26, 2015 when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage. The decision was the culmination of years of litigation and activism. President Obama reacted: ‘It affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts.’ The truth of that statement rang true as people crowded outside of the courthouse chanting, ‘Love has won!’ It really is about love winning over hate and division.” Inexplicably, the Precious Blood Fathers were given pastorship at the already dissident gay parish of Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco.