NEWARK, N.J. (ChurchMilitant.com) - After a Church Militant inquiry, the archdiocese of Newark updated its website to include the recent hiring of an LGBT activist, but questions still remain.
Church Militant published a story on Oct. 30 that Cdl. Joseph Tobin hired Sean Ryan, a devoted LGBTQ activist, as his senior associate for operations.
For that story, Church Militant had reached out to the archdiocese inquiring why Ryan had been hired and why he was absent from the archdiocesan website.
The spokeswoman responded with a statement about welcoming "all of God's children to our Church" that did not address these questions, but the archdiocese did update its website the next day, Oct. 31.
Ryan has been involved in LGBT activism at least since his time as president of his 2017 class at Columbia College, Columbia University.
After graduating, Ryan's advice for "being out in the workplace" was feaured in a 2018 publication by the Columbia University Center for Career Education:
A place that celebrates and seeks to recruit people with LGBTQ identity: Sean Ryan, who serves as McKinsey's North America GLAM ambassador with a current project to lead LGBTQ recruiting efforts, said that he evaluates the organizational structure to determine how much ownership he will have over his work and schedule. He said that being out has created opportunities for him and he's sought workplaces that celebrate and seek to recruit people with his LGBTQ identity.
In updating its website, the archdiocese published Ryan's name along with five other leadership appointments.
According to the archdiocesan website, the new appointees were hired to help Tobin implement his new pastoral vision titled "Forward in Faith Together: Our Road Ahead."
"Our Archdiocesan responsibilities continue to evolve and become more focused to meet the challenges facing our global and local Church. We remain steadfast in our commitment to serving the faithful of our Archdiocese with greater transparency and accountability," said Tobin.
The entry for Sean Ryan reads:
Sean Ryan – As Senior Associate for Operations, Sean will work closely with Archdiocesan staff to support the adoption of new models of efficiency and best practices. These refined processes will enable the Archdiocese to more effectively manage operations that include church planning, stewardship, communications, accounting, and enhancement of leadership — enabling the Archdiocese to maintain a strong focus on its pastoral mission, people, and communities served. A Columbia University graduate, Sean brings experience and expertise in areas that include business strategy, government, education, public health, and organizational transformation.
Missing from Tobin's effort towards "greater transparency" is Ryan's well-known LGBT activism in this archdiocesan public announcement.
When serving the student body at Columbia, Ryan appeared on Fox News in 2017 showing his passion for LGBT topics in an interview with Tucker Carlson on LGBT and minority safe spaces.
Carlson was examining whether Ryan's LGBT safe spaces had taken political correctness too far.
"Isolationism can lead to suicide," said Ryan, who was arguing that LGBT safe spaces offered a viable solution.
Carlson pointed out that having places where only certain people can meet does not enable diversity.
Ryan responded on what he thinks is the importance of these safe spaces:
Is it a radical thing to say that somebody who is closeted gay and feels harm in their community because of that ― not in their Columbia community but maybe at home ― to come together with somebody who is openly gay and share experiences and feel more comfortable … is that not a good thing for our community?
Also while at Columbia and in his capacity as senator, Ryan was involved in a violation of election rules.
Ryan had changed his Facebook profile picture to a publicity photo of an underclassman running for student council, directly violating Columbia Elections Board rules that prohibit such endorsements from students that already hold positions in student government.
Tobin's own proactive LGBT sympathies are well-known.
One of Tobin's first acts as archbishop of Newark was to welcome an LGBT pilgrimage to the archdiocesan cathedral where Mass was celebrated.
Tobin made a puzzling claim about human sexuality in an interview with America magazine editor-in-chief Fr. Matt Malone in September.
"A rethinking of the mystery of human sexuality is important, is incumbent. It is not going to be done in a weekend," he said. "We have to be able to ask questions of each other as we go forward, and listen."
Church Militant's questions for Tobin regarding Sean Ryan remain unanswered.