SPECIAL REPORT AT 4:30 PM ET
By Joseph Gonzalez
BALTIMORE (ChurchMilitant.com) - The archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland is permitting a homosexual activist group to work in his diocese to promote acceptance of the sodomitic lifestyle.
Father Joe Muth, pastor at St. Matthew's Catholic Church in Baltimore, has been working directly with homosexual activists through a parish "ministry" called LEAD (LGBT Educating and Affirming Diversity) for nearly five years, using them to promote open dissent within the parish. And Baltimore's Abp. William Lori is fully aware of it.
The LEAD webpage says Fr. Muth met with Abp. Lori to discuss LEAD and that the archbishop's manner was "pleasant, open and accepting of the LGBT ministry at St Matthew." ChurchMilitant.com reached out to the Baltimore archdiocese, which declined to comment.
Following a ChurchMilitant.com report on LEAD last year, however, a viewer contacted the Baltimore diocese inquiring about LEAD. Vice Chancellor Sean Caine responded with the following:
Archbishop William Lori and Bp. Denis Madden have met with members of the LEAD ministry at St. Matthew Catholic Church and with the Pastor, Fr. Joseph Muth, to promote an ongoing dialogue and an understanding of Church teaching on related issues. This ministry exists because there are people struggling with the Church's teaching on sexuality. It is the expectation that, like any apostolate and ministry in any parish, the teachings of the Catholic Church will be upheld. ... Archbishop Lori wishes to continue the dialogue begun with LEAD, committed to the belief that it takes a good deal of prayer, charity and perseverance to help hearts and minds to be open to the Church's teaching, especially as regards those who struggle with same-sex attraction.
LEAD claims to have been inspired by New Ways Ministry, a dissident pro-gay Catholic group condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. LEAD professes to work for "a society that embraces everyone, including those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities." LEAD has participated in the Baltimore gay pride parade (shown above).
In a LEAD promotional video, two "married" men, John and Michael Sawyer, describe the baptism of "their" child at St. Matthew's. John says "the Church at the ground level is very different from the institutional Church."
The video also records one of Fr. Muth's homilies on the parable of the mustard seed in which he jokingly comments that a mustard tree brings all kinds of birds together, including "gay and lesbian birds."
The LEAD webpage says that Fr. Muth had also met with the previous Baltimore archbishop, Cdl. Edwin O'Brien. No record of Muth's exchanges with O'Brien is given except that O'Brien was reportedly "directly opposed" to LEAD's Marriage Equality committee.
As far as the public record is concerned, neither Cdl. O'Brien nor Abp. Lori have disciplined the dissident group LEAD, and both prelates appear to have allowed it to continue under Fr. Muth's guidance at St. Matthew's.
Archbishop Lori can be contacted here.