The Church of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown New York hosted a "dance party" in their parish hall Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Faithful Catholics protested because proceeds from the fundraiser went to benefit two pro-LGBT groups — the Ali Forney Center and Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. They were further upset that speakers featured at the event were to include pro-LGBT activists Carl Siciliano, founder and director of the Ali Forney Center, and Cynthia Germanotta, cofounder and president of the Born This Way Foundation.
Close to twenty Resistance members and associates of Church Militant assembled in the church for Mass at 5:30 p.m. After Mass, they prayed the Rosary outside the church until 11 p.m. in protest of the pro-LGBT fundraiser, while it was taking place in the parish hall. A person well-connected with the archdiocese, who was present for the protest, told Church Militant, "Many priests and religious wanted to protest the event that night but were afraid of the repercussions that would come from the archdiocese."
Church Militant was told by one of the Resistance members, who protested the fundraiser Saturday, that Courage, the Catholic outreach established forty years ago to spiritually assist Catholics struggling with same-sex attraction, wasn't a part of the fundraiser in any way. The end goal for Courage is to help Catholics with same-sex attraction overcome it so they can be chaste and holy. Those who put on the event Saturday night at the Church are not about being chaste but about changing Church teaching to normalize homosexual activity.
Carl Siciliano, whose Ali Forney Center would benefit from the fundraiser, identifies as Catholic but condemns Church teaching on homosexuality. In an open letter to Pope Francis in 2014, Siciliano wrote, "At the heart of the problem is that the Church still teaches that homosexual conduct is a sin and that being gay is disordered. I hope ... you will end this teaching and prevent your bishops from fighting against the acceptance of LGBT people as equal members of society."
Siciliano also asked Pope Francis "to recognize that the condemnation of homosexuality is ... rooted in a primitive, obsolete understanding of human sexuality." Siciliano's Ali Forney Foundation produced a video in 2015 in which he professes to be "ashamed" of Church teaching "that homosexual acts are a grave depravity." Siciliano remarks, "The teaching that homosexuality is evil is rooted in human ignorance and human bigotry. It's not from God."
Similarly, in 2015 Siciliano wrote, "As a Roman Catholic, I am particularly horrified by the homophobic expressions of our Catechism ... This condemnation of "homosexual acts" contradicts the science of human sexuality, which has long come to recognize that homosexuality is a natural and healthy part of the spectrum of human sexuality."
Pastor of Blessed Sacrament, Fr. John Duffell, was present at the event Saturday night. A friend of Cynthia Germanotta, Fr. Duffell, spoke at a so-called diversity conference in 2011 where he instructed a gay, would-be seminarian to lie about being gay so as to not be barred from entering the priesthood.
At the venue, a young man in the audience said he felt "broken" after being told by a seminary that he couldn't be admitted to the priesthood, owing to his homosexual inclinations and asked what he should do. Father Duffell, a priest of the archdiocese of New York, responded, "You're not broken, the system is broken, and therefore you deal with it as a broken system; you lie."
Church Militant was told by a person attending Mass Saturday evening that some individuals attending the Mass were dressed as transvestites. One of these persons did go up for Holy Communion. Caring prelates like Bp. James Conley of Lincoln Nebraska turns the tables on the false mercy being preached by so many in the Church today, which doesn't focus on conversion, chastity and holiness.
In May last year, Bp. Conley affirmed:
But the Church will not deny that God created us male and female. We will not confuse respect and compassion with capitulation to a tragic delusion. Our Catholic schools will continue to teach and live the Truth because of our care for every student. We can only help students grow in holiness when we help them to live in accord with the Truth. We will continue to do that, no matter the cost.