Over the summer, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), an anti-poverty program run by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), provided a $750,000 Strategic National Grant to the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN). Shortly after the June announcement of the grant, the Lepanto Institute reported that the ISN regularly held workshops promoting homosexual and transgender activism. In response to concerned Catholics regarding the promotion of sexual perversion from ISN’s workshops – which included presentations by same-sex “marriage” advocacy organizations like New Ways Ministry and Dignity USA – the USCCB’s Communications Manager for Social Mission, Alexandra Carroll claimed that ISN “was not encouraging or promoting anything contrary to Catholic teaching.”
But over this past weekend, from November 16-18, ISN held its annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, which again included condemned homosexual advocacy groups and pro-homosexual messaging. As with previous events, the Teach-In included pro-homosexual speakers and workshops on homosexual integration into the life of the Catholic Church. The difference in this year’s Teach-In, in contrast with all the previous ones, is that this year’s was funded, in part, by the CCHD.
It should be noted that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is explicitly clear that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and are “intrinsically disordered.” This means that engaging in homosexual activity, which includes all forms of romantic affection, are mortally sinful. The catechism, paragraph 2357 says:
“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
On Saturday, November 16, the first day of the conference, homosexuality activist, Fr. James Martin, gave a presentation titled, “Welcoming and Respecting LGBT Catholics in Our Parishes.” Identifying people with their sinful proclivities, the description of the presentation is as follows:
How can the Catholic Church more compassionately welcome its LGBT members? How can we build a bridge between the institutional church and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people? Fr. Martin, author of Building a Bridge, invites you into a discussion of respect, sensitivity, and compassion. All are welcome.
St. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, very clearly stated that those who remain in bondage to certain sins will not possess the Kingdom of God. He wrote:
Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. And such some of you were; but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
By stating that “some of you were,” St. Paul is making note that the newly converted souls in Christ, who are washed, sanctified, and justified, are no longer identified with those sins of their past. And yet, the workshops provided by ISN are perverting Catholic teaching by attempting to justify those who remain steadfast in identifying with their sinful predilections.
In addition to the presentation by Fr. James Martin, SJ were two “breakout sessions” on homosexuality. The session led by New Ways Ministry (which was condemned by both the Vatican and the USCCB for its promotion of homosexual relationships) was titled, “Contracts, Proms, Uniforms, Restrooms: Negotiating LGBTQ-Inclusive Policies in Catholic Education.” The description of the workshop very clearly and definitively violated Catechism paragraph 2357 by actively promoting homosexual relationships among high school students. The description reads:
Catholic institutions are increasingly asked to develop and implement LGBTQ-related policies on issues such as employment contracts, gender-neutral restrooms, and same-gender prom dates. Using case studies derived from real life experiences, form a prophetic, practical, and dialogical individualized approach to emerging LGBTQ questions. @NewWaysMinistry
The session was led by New Ways Ministry executive director, Francis DeBernardo and Robert Shine.
DeBernardo wrote an article in 2012 titled, “A Catholic Case for Same-Sex Marriage,” and in 2015 wrote New Ways Ministry’s statement Rejoicing at the “Supreme Court Marriage Equality Decision.” There is no confusing the fact that New Ways Ministry is fully on-board with active homosexuality. On the day of the same-sex “marriage” ruling, DeBernardo posted an image quoting Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, which read, “the nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. This is true for all persons, whatever the sexual orientation.”
De Bernardo’s partner in the session, Robert Shine, is equally supportive of same-sex “marriage, as well as women’s ordination to the priesthood and “reproductive freedom,” which is a euphemism for abortion and contraception. In October 2018, Shine posted an image of himself in a Catholic Church, during Mass, holding up a sign that read, “Ordain Catholic Women.”
This past June, he posted an image which read, “Your support of the Women’s Ordination Conference is personal for me and countless girls and women who are called to ordination to the priesthood.”
And in September of 2018, Shine wrote the following on facebook:
“This morning, after a week of news coverage about credible allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops again dog-whistled its support for his nomination.
It is clear, despite statements and promised actions, that the U.S. bishops do not understand the historical moment we are in. They either cannot read or choose to actively ignore the signs of the times. Their fetish for limiting women’s reproductive freedom knows no bounds. They are today’s Judases. They willingly allow women to be crucified for the thirty pieces of silver they seek: overturning Roe.”
The third pro-LGBT session held at ISN’s Teach-In was called “Creating a Welcoming School for the LGBTQ Community: A Conversation.” The description for the session is as follows:
Engage in conversation about the work to create welcoming schools for the LGBTQ community. Reflect upon and speak from experience in your school, share ideas, strategize, and ask questions, whatever the current state of LGBTQ welcome in your school.
The promotion of homosexuality at this conference was sponsored by the CCHD, and according to the USCCB, is not a violation of Catholic moral teaching. But the only danger is not only in the direct promotion of grave moral evils, but in the immoral philosophies of the speakers they exposed young people to as well.
JAMES MARTIN, SJ
Fr. Martin’s promotion of homosexuality is quite well known. And contrary to the way Fr. Martin portrays himself, what he is promoting is not merely acknowledgement and support for people struggling with same-sex attraction who are trying to live pure, chaste lives. His support for homosexuality includes endorsements for same-sex “married” individuals, childhood transgenderism, and even homosexual kissing during Mass.
In 2017, Fr. Martin said that he has a hard time “imagining how even the most traditionalist, homophobic, closed-minded Catholic cannot look at my friend [in a same-sex “marriage”] and say, ‘That is a loving act, and that is a form of love that I don’t understand but that I have to reverence.’”
Later that same year, Fr. Martin condemned a parish’s refusal to enroll a young boy who identified and dressed as a girl in its religious education program. The parish actually offered to allow the boy to enroll as long as he dressed and referred to himself in accordance with his biological sex; an offer Fr. Martin called “scandalous.”
Also in 2017, Fr. Martin told a man in a homosexual engagement, “I hope in ten years you will be able to kiss your partner [in church] or, you know, soon to be your husband.”
MARCIA CHATELAIN, PH.D.
For instance, Dr. Marcia Chatelain, the keynote speaker for the ISN Teach-In, is a pro-abortion, pro-LGBT activist. On Twitter, Dr. Chatelain publicized a fellowship opportunity for Planned Parenthood’s Guttmacher Institute as announced by H*yas for Choice.
She made the same announcement on her own facebook page, as well.
In 2012, on Twitter, she announced that she “enjoyed serving on the H*yas for Choice panel on Women of Color and Reproductive Justice.”
In May of 2014, she expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to talk to various leaders about “reproductive health care access,” among other things.
In October of 2018, Chatelain participated in the 10th anniversary celebration of Georgetown University’s LGBTQ Resource Center.
Sr. Simone Campbell was also featured as a speaker at the ISN Teach-In. Campbell is the same nun who notoriously said during an interview in 2016, “I don’t think it’s a good policy to outlaw abortion.”
In 2017, New Ways Ministry documented Sr. Simone’s history of LGBT activism. It wrote:
“In 2010, she addressed a U.S. Congressional briefing about Catholic support for LGBT civil rights, including marriage equality. In 2015, she was a speaker at DignityUSA’s biennial convention for LGBT Catholics. And on April 28, 2017, she will be the leader of a retreat day focusing on social justice, spirituality, and LGBT issues, as a prelude to New Ways Ministry’s Eighth National Symposium, “Justice and Mercy Shall Kiss: LGBT Catholics in the Age of Pope Francis.”
And just this year, Sr. Simone told Congress that it “must pass the Equality Act and enshrine LGBTQ+ civil rights into law.”
It is a gross miscarriage of justice that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development provided the Ignatian Solidarity Network with $750,000. Worse still is the vicious lie told by Alexandra Carroll, the USCCB’s Communications Manager for Social Mission, that ISN “was not encouraging or promoting anything contrary to Catholic teaching.”
The travesty that is the CCHD, and its mountain of self-preserving deceptions, has got to come to an end. The 2010 Review and Renewal that was supposed to strengthen its oversight and guidance is an abject failure. So, we are asking you to sign the petition to your bishop, asking him to completely withdraw from the CCHD altogether.
Clearly the USCCB isn’t going to resolve the problem. So, individual bishops will have to take a position themselves and end their own diocesan support.