From October 9 – 10, 2020, at their Jesuit Retreat Center located in Parma, Ohio, (Diocese of Cleveland) the Society of Jesus will host an LGBTQ retreat called “Emmaus 2020: A Time for Healing: Ourselves and the World.” According to the Center’s website: “EMMAUS 2020 is the twenty-first annual retreat for LGBTQ Christians at Jesuit Retreat Center.” The retreat will be facilitated by Sister Marian Durkin, C.S.A. – a member of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine; Durkin also serves on the Leadership Team of her religious order; they are headquartered in the Diocese of Cleveland. In 2019, Durkin was interviewed about Pope Francis and her ministry to the LGBT community:
“I appreciate Pope Francis’ compassionate look at homosexuality in the church…There are gay men in the priesthood, there always have been. And they serve God’s people with great integrity and love.”
“I’m delighted whenever there’s good press about gays and lesbians…Francis is a breath of fresh air.”
The “Guest Speakers” at the retreat will include: Rachel Drotar – the program coordinator for the Sisters of Charity “Generative Spirit” initiative; the Reverend Adrienne Koch – an Episcopal priest at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland; and the Reverend Christopher Decatur – the “Priest-in-Charge” of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland.
In 2020, Adrienne Koch published an article entitled: “God Made the Rainbow.” She wrote: “My Christian imagination can’t separate the rainbow flag billowing in the wind of a downtown hair salon from the story of Noah because I am a gay priest. I am both a lover of god and a lover of another woman. Whenever I see a rainbow, I remember god’s promise not to destroy me. That’s the fear isn’t it? When you’re a cradle Christian, a curious agnostic burned by a judgmental religion…if you stand proudly under the flag of the LGBTQ+ nation, somewhere along the way you heard the church teach that god erases mistakes like you. Why would you trust that god?”
Christopher Decatur was raised a Catholic; he was encouraged by a Catholic priest to speak to a gay female Episcopal priest concerning his vocation to the priesthood. He said: “I am openly gay, and I struggled with the aspect of having to deny a part of me…I was looking for a community where I can be 100 percent myself, and where all are welcome without exceptions.”
The Society of Jesus has a long history of gay-affirmation and LGBT activism. Probably beginning in the 1970s with the controversial writings of gay Jesuit priest John J. McNeill and culminating with the widespread approbation, within the highest echelons of the Catholic Church, for James Martin, the Jesuits host LGBT ministries at almost all of their local parishes and at their universities throughout the US. The most notable include those in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York. In 2018, the Jesuits hosted another pro-LGBT retreat at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth located in Wernersville, Pennsylvania.
The Diocese of Cleveland hosts their own gay-affirmative ministry – “Gay & Lesbian Family Ministry.” From one of the publications promoted by the Ministry:
As Robert Nugent has stated in his article, “Homosexual Rights and the Catholic Community,” (Doctrine and Life 44 (1994): 166) “From contemporary research in the development of sexual identity, sexual orientation seems to be discovered rather than chosen…”
Robert Nugent, along with Sister Jeannine Gramick, the co-founders of the dissident group, New Ways Ministry, were officially silenced by the Vatican in a 1999 “Notification,” which declared: “Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND, and Father Robert Nugent, SDS, are permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons.”
In 2016, James Martin accepted the “Bridge Building Award” from Gramick and New Ways Ministry; his address at the awards ceremony formed the basis for his best-seller “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.”
Oh my. Well, God gave us free will to basically do whatever we want. …Glad to see it’s canonized now.
Yep you know where the slogan do what thou wilt came from….
I’ll give you a hint it is not God
Seems pretty obvious to most of us that lifting the suppression of the Jesuits in the early 19th century was quite premature.
Regarding the comment above referencing the slogan “do what thou wilt,” the source is St Augustine in his famous Homily on the 1st Epistle of John. A larger fragment of that homily is worth considering:
“Once for all, then, a short precept is given you: Love, and do what you will: whether you hold your peace, through love hold your peace; whether you cry out, through love cry out; whether you correct, through love correct; whether you spare, through love do you spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.”
St Augustine is a Doctor of the Church. The fact that ignorant or perverted things are done and said by vowed religious belonging to orders which bear his name shouldn’t detract from the holiness of the saint.
It seems to me that all this mischief regarding same-sex attraction is rooted in a profound misunderstanding of love and Christian friendship. Anyway, we should continue correcting and admonishing – with love of course!
My problem is I lose my temper and get written off as a cranky old man!
Keep fighting the good fight Joseph.
Nothing about the retreat or Jesuits sounds so outrageous. As God’s revelations through science, medicine and experience change our understanding of something it is only natural our conclusions need to adjust along with them. We are likely witnessing the last generation that struggles to reconcile being LGBTQ and Christian.
Rev. Adrianne is going to be a certified Enneagram teacher. I wonder if they cover Tarot and necromancy too.
From my observation gay men can usually tell right away if the man they are introduced to, is gay. They rarely get it wrong. So, my question without notice to you Joseph is; “Would you say that Mr. (I cannot call him father) James Martin would be on a gay mans gaydar? I have a twin brother who is gay and his friends were always amazed at how I could correctly pick out a gay man when introduced to them or even before the introduction. I know what my thoughts and perceptions are of Mr. James Martin… Joseph??
Science, medicine, and experience are PRECISELY how human beings will learn the difficult lessons about the disordered nature of same-sex (erotic) attraction, provided we have eyes to see and ears to hear.
The Church deals with metaphysical and theological truths – that things are a certain way by nature and design. Science can help reveal how things arrived in their present state.
The TRUTH of things is up for grabs these days. So many people proclaim “speak YOUR truth” but that’s absurd. The truth simply exists. We’ve been given everything we need to see the truth and recognize it, but we can reject it. When it’s rejected broadly and consistently, all hell breaks loose. The evidence is clear.
By the way, I wish we’d stop referring to “same-sex attraction” as if all forms of attraction are erotic. That’s not true. I am attracted to many people because of their witness to the good, the true, and the beautiful. Many of them are the same sex as me – male. Maybe we should start distinguishing between ordered and disordered SSA? That would be a step in the right direction!
Pax et bonum on the beautiful Sunday!
I think it’s very revealing that the Jesuit retreat center is bragging that it has hosted this gay retreat for 21 straight years.
Joseph, you’ve said elsewhere that the Jesuits are leading the gay movement in the Church, but I wonder in all your research if you also find orthodox Jesuits.
The so-called “good” Jesuits who have contacted me are afraid to speak out publicly – so what good are they.