Equally Blessed, a coalition of four national LGBT Catholic groups, have been told that they will not be allowed to use the meeting space they were promised during next month’s World Meeting Of Families in Philadelphia. Philly Mag reports:
Equally Blessed had secured the use of St. John the Evangelist Church’s parish center at 12th and Ludlow Streets this spring, said Francis DeBernardo, head of the Maryland-based New Ways Ministry, one of the groups in the coalition. The apparent ejection from St. John’s is the latest evidence of the divide between church leaders and LGBT Catholic groups as the meeting and the visit by Pope Francis draw near. Organizers of the alternative events planned for St. John’s were told last week by its pastor that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia disapproved of their gender identity program and they would no longer be allowed to use space at St. John’s for any events that week, DeBernardo said. As a result, he said, the coalition is looking into relocating those events to Arch Street United Methodist Church, also near the Convention Center. A secretary at the church confirmed that discussions were underway. The pastor of the Arch Street church, the Rev. Robin Hynicka, could not immediately be reached for comment. Ken Gavin, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said that administrators from the archdiocese had looked into the programming and provided guidance but that the final decision on use of space at St. John’s was made by the parish. Gavin said it was expected that “any parish-sponsored activities would feature content that is in line with church teaching.”
Catholic League head Bill Donohue is thrilled about the cancellation.
The four dissident Catholic LGBT groups that are not welcome to engage in mutiny at this event are New Ways Ministry, Dignity USA, Fortunate Families, and Call to Action. But they have been invited to hold fort at a local Methodist church. Good for them. They have finally found a home. The leaders of New Ways Ministry were “permanently removed” from any “pastoral work involving homosexuals” under Pope John Paul II. Three U.S. cardinals have also said that it is a phony Catholic group. Dignity USA has also been blasted by bishops. This year, to show what side it is on, it featured as its Keynote Speaker, Dan Savage, the most obscene anti-Catholic in the nation. The Inquirer would never dare print what he has said about popes, bishops, priests, and nuns. Fortunate Families, while not vile, nonetheless refuses to accept Catholic teachings on homosexuality and marriage. Small wonder it was rebuffed. Call to Action is so crazy that its members have been excommunicated in some dioceses. It has been in rebellion against the Church for decades. So these are the people the Philadelphia Inquirer sympathizes with, not the loyal sons and daughters of the Church. But taking sides with those who bear an animus against Catholicism is not exactly virgin territory for this newspaper. It’s had lots of practice.