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NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - A group of pro-LGBT Church leaders are ignoring the call to chastity and encouraging Catholics with disordered sexual desires to "be themselves."
Fordham University's Center on Religion and Culture (CRC) released a video Thursday on "Outreach 2020," a conference for so-called LGBTQ Catholics. The online conference, fronted by well known pro-LGBT advocates, offered little moral guidance to Catholics dealing with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.
"We're gathering together those who minister with LGBT Catholics in order to build community, share best practices and worship our Creator," said Martin. "Outreach 2020 will focus on pastoral issues in this important ministry with Catholics who often feel on the margins in their own church."
The virtual conference replaced the in-person version originally scheduled for June at Fordham, which was canceled owing to the Wuhan virus pandemic. The online conference encouraged Catholics with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria to feel included without conforming themselves to Christ's moral imperatives.
Pro-gay Catholic presenters from around the country spoke about their experience in ministering to "LGBT" Catholics. Two prelates offering so-called encouragement without mentioning the moral duty of Catholics to live in accord with Church teaching on sexuality were Bp. John Stowe of Lexington and Abp. John C. Wester of Santa Fe.
Father James Martin, who opened the video, mentioned that Outlook 2020 has the support of New York's Cdl. Timothy Dolan; Rev. John Cecero, Jesuit Provincial of the USA NE province, and Fr. Joe McShane, President of Fordham University.
Other pro-LGBT clerics tapped to be presenters in the video along with Martin and the two bishops included Fr. Bryan Massingale, a theology professor at Fordham University, who refers to himself as "openly gay," and Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, former master general of the Dominican order.
Another dissident Catholic whom Martin tapped as a presenter on the video was the notorious Sr. Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of the pro-gay New Ways Ministry. The Vatican has condemned Gramick and New Ways Ministry for rejecting Church teaching on homosexuality.
A common theme among the messengers was that God loves everyone, including those in the "LGBTQ community," and that the Church will someday, soon, catch up with God. The general message included encouragement to be proud of yourself and "who" you are, and to take your rightful place in the Church and in the world. Throughout the video, the terminology was borrowed from the secular, progressive world and moral support was given by all the speakers to those continuously referred to as "the LGBT (sometimes Q, I, and/or A) community."
No distinction was made between the truth that God loves everyone and the obligation that everyone has the moral responsibility to respond to that love by the way we live our lives. No mention was made between involuntary feelings or desires and the voluntary choice to act upon them. No distinction was made between properly ordered desires that are in accord with human nature and God's will and those desires that are intrinsically disordered that pull us away from the good.
And finally, no mention was made of the grace that Christ won for us in the sacraments that enable us to overcome the temptations of our lower nature to live according to God's will — temptations to give in to our disordered desires caused by, if nothing else, original sin. No solid theology or pastoral guidance on living the Church's doctrine was mentioned.
In addition, messages of encouragement from around the country were given by religious educators, faith formation directors, college campus ministers, religious sisters and pastors of parishes. Well-wishes, likewise, came from the chairman of the Department of Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, the director of guidance and "LGBT activist" at a high school in Indiana and the dean of students at a Catholic High School in New York.
Praises for Martin's conference also came from Fortunate Families, an organization that refers to itself as "a Catholic Family, Friends & Allies Ministry, [which] supports LGBTQ+ sisters and brothers by facilitating a respectful conversation with bishops, pastors and Church leadership."
Faithful Catholics are wondering, however, why such an unorthodox conference received almost no pushback from the orthodox bishops.