On August 17, 2018, the Catholic News Agency (CNA), published an article about several priests from the Archdiocese of Newark who observed an active “gay subculture” in the Archdiocese. Also on the 17th of August, the National Catholic Register reported on the CNA story. Here is an excerpt from the CNA article.
One recalled that he attended a cocktail party, thinking he had been invited to a simple priests’ dinner. “I was led into the room to a chorus of wolf-whistles,” he said. “It was clear right away I was ‘on display.’”
Another priest told CNA that he was also invited to a party hosted by the priest. “They were all carrying big mixed drinks, pink ones, it was like something out of Sex in City.”
He recalled that after asking for a beer, he was told by his host, “you need to try something more girly tonight.”
All recounted overtly sexual conversation at the cocktail parties. “I was fresh meat and they were trying me out,” one priest said.All three said they left quickly upon realizing what was going on. “Everyone was getting loaded and getting closer on the couches, I wanted out of there,” a priest told CNA.
“Everyone kept calling me a ‘looker’ and saying they had to ‘keep me around’ from now on,” a third Newark priest told CNA.
The archdiocese declined to answer questions related to those parties.
In a letter dated August 17, 2018, addressed “To the Priests of the Archdiocese of Newark,” Cardinal Joseph Tobin claimed that: “No one – including the anonymous ‘sources’ cited in the article – has ever spoken to me about a ‘gay sub-culture’ in the Archdiocese of Newark.”
On June 24, 2018, at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Hoboken, New Jersey, the Archdiocese of Newark, Fr. Alexander Santora celebrated the Parish’s “first annual gay pride Mass.” During his homily at the Mass, Santora continued:
The Church has to move in a new direction. First, we need to understand that one’s orientation is given. Its not a choice. What’s given and what’s possible are two different things. And so, oppressing one’s orientation is not healthy or good. But somehow our theology has to catch up with where the world is.
On May 19, 2018, Cardinal Tobin celebrated the ordination Mass for the Paulist Fathers at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York City. The parish is home to the Paulist Fathers and their highly gay-affirmative LGBT ministry “Out at St. Paul.” On August 3, 2018, Out at St. Paul posted the following message to their official Facebook page:
Yesterday, Pope Francis declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases. It shows us that Catholic teaching can and does change over time (or, “develop,” using theological terminology). Pope Francis specifically called for the language in the catechism to be altered. He has the power to recognize other “developments” in doctrine as well.
This is why we push for the language about LGBTQ people in the catechism to change. We are not, and have never been, “intrinsically disordered.” It is time for the Church to listen to LGBTQ believers and recognize the harm that its official doctrine has caused to millions of people around the world.
Out at St. Paul regularly holds “meetings” at various gay bars in Manhattan. Jesuit priest James Martin has spoken at St. Paul the Apostle and repeatedly recommends both the parish and Out at St. Paul.
Tobin was one of a handful of Catholic Cardinals to publicly praise James Martin’s book “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.”