On August 12, 2018, at St. Lawrence the Martyr Catholic Church in Redondo Beach, the parish’s “One Heart Ministry” will host a viewing of the documentary film “Anyone & Everyone.” The “Guest Speaker and Moderator” for the evening is Frank McKown. McKown serves as co-chair for the Catholic Ministry for Lesbian and Gay Persons, (CMLGP) which is the official outreach of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to the LGBT community.
On March 1, 2016, CMLGP, the official outreach to the LGBT community for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, posted a video (for an edited version watch here) to their Facebook account from the closing liturgy at the 2016 Religious Education Congress; they included the following statement:
Progress for LGBT Catholics is slow and happens in incremental pieces, and often includes setbacks. I saw much progress this past weekend at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim. Our ministry was honored to participate in the Church on the Margins liturgy with Fr. Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries presiding. Four sold out LGBT-affirming sessions were presented including first time session in Spanish and one with a transgender topic. But if there was one indelible moment, it may have come at the closing liturgy on Sunday when a gay couple and their son helped present gifts at the altar to Archbishop Jose Gomez…
In a June 25, 2016 Facebook post, McKown recommended that Catholics sign a petition, originating with the dissident group Call To Action, requesting that certain words and terms be removed from both “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” and from the 1986 “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Person.”
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).
The hierarchical Catholic Church’s hurtful and inflammatory language to describe our LGBTQ brothers and sisters makes the institutional Church complicit in fanning the flames of hatred and violence. Under the guise of religion and faith, the Church models intolerance, breeds prejudice, and attempts to justify discrimination.
In the section “Reasons for Signing” the Call To Action petition, McKown wrote:
“I have worked for years within the Church to change the catechism as proposed in this petition drive. Every bit of pressure on the hierarchy is helpful.”
On June 27, 2015, the day following the SCOTUS decision legalizing same-sex marriage, McKown updated his Facebook cover photo to the White House lit up in the rainbow-colors.
The documentary film “Anyone & Everyone” profiles several parents with “gay” children. The focus is on the attempt by the parents to integrate their religious beliefs with their changing attitudes about homosexuality. This change in attitude followed the “coming out” of their children. The religious beliefs of those parents profiled in the film include: Catholic, Hindu, Judaism, Mormon, and Presbyterian. Here are some excerpts:
“early as age seven I knew I was gay.”
“we had to unlearn some of the things that we have been taught about homosexuality.”
“my son didn’t choose to be gay, this is exactly how God created him.”
Being gay is “natural, healthy, and okay and part of life.”
“Finally, after crying for about eighteen months, we went to our first PFLAG meeting…and that is where our education began. They helped me to understand that even if I knew my truth as a heterosexual person that there must be one more truth.”
“You’re gonna accept me or you’re not gonna accept me. There’s no gray area in between that.”
“If there was any type of sin involved, and I don’t buy any of that anyway, it was not the sin of homosexuality or being gay, it was the sin of dishonesty.”
“The Church’s nominal position is its okay to be gay if you don’t act on it. To act on your homosexual feelings would be immoral.” “But of course, your understanding grows as ours has over the years; to me the immorality is to expect that someone should live their entire life without the opportunity to find love.”
“I always knew that my parents loved me, but I didn’t know how it would go. I didn’t know if they would encourage me to try and change my behavior. I kinda thought that they would. And I kinda thought they would want me to go to counseling and things like that and I already had made up my mind, before I told them, what my road was gonna be. I mean, I made up my mind, there wasn’t gonna be a bunch of counselors. I wasn’t gonna to be in our bishop’s office at church trying ways to repent. I knew…I was like this is it. I’m done. I’m gay. This is the way it is.”
“the ignorance that comes over the pulpits are destroying our young people.”
“we ought to be able to get married.”
“to be a homosexual person is about how you fall in love.”
“whatever people do in their bedrooms is their own business. What matters is how people love each other…”
“we need not let doctrine and dogma divide us.”
A Catholic mother with a “gay” son shared the following:
“We had a new pastor come to our church and I typed up an anonymous question and I just basically asked…If God accepts everyone…Why is it that he doesn’t accept people that are gay. This was his answer that – the Church does not condemn the sinner, God condemns the sin. And that was the extent of his answer. And that answer just really, really floored me and I have had a very difficult time going to that church, listening to a man preaching to me, knowing that he is saying that my son is a sinner, and my son is not accepted in the Church.”
In the documentary, PFLAG “Leader” Nila Marrone said that division within families concerning homosexuality is “based on ignorance” and “based on prejudice.”
Homosexuality is not a choice, just as you did not make a choice in your sexual orientation. Current scientific evidence indicates that sexual orientation is determined at birth…
Two sentences in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, have been translated and interpreted to mean that if a man has sex with another man, it is an abomination. Recent interpretations imply that this was a proscription against rape, rather than a proscription against loving same-sex relationships. There is no mention of homosexual relationships or lesbians at all in the Hebrew Bible. In the past few years, more evangelical conservatives have changed their position against homosexuality.
Regarding the question “Why would gay people want to be married?” PFLAG – LA stated:
For the same reasons that straight people wish to get married. Besides the public commitment to each other, it provides social, financial, legal and other benefits. It provides legal protections when owning property or raising children.
The film also tried to make a connection between familial nonacceptance of homosexuality and increased rates of “gay” youth suicide. This argument, has repeatedly been made by several LGBT advocates and pro-gay Catholic ministries.
For example, Javier Plasencia and his wife Martha started the “Always Our Children” ministry for the parents of “gay” children in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. On the official Catholic Ministry for Lesbian and Gay Persons (CMLGP) web-site, Javier and Martha Plascencia are listed as the contacts under “Parent Support Groups.” In a video for the Jesuit- run Ignatian News, the Plasencias were interviewed about their “gay” son and their ministry; Martha said that: “The language in the Catechism has to change. That word ‘intrinsically disordered,’ my son is not intrinsically disordered. And the bullets from the Catechism, they can harm a lot of children – I mean to the extent of suicide.”
Similar attempts to frighten and shame parents into accepting their children’s LGBT orientation were made at the 2018 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.
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