New York (ChurchMilitant.com) - Gay activists will be guest speakers at a parish fundraiser in the Archdiocese of New York on June 17.
Saturday night, the Church of the Blessed Sacrament will host in its parish hall a "dance party" put on by the Gay Fellowship of Blessed Sacrament to benefit two pro-LGBT groups — the Ali Forney Center and Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. Main speakers will include LGBT activists Carl Siciliano and Cynthia Germanotta along with Dorinda Medley as emcee.
Carl Siciliano, founder and executive director of Ali Forney Center, 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."
Cynthia Germanotta will be another speaker at the church fundraiser. She's the president of Born This Way Foundation and mother of singer and LGBT activist Lady Gaga. The foundation, which they cofounded in 2012, was named after a 2011 song by Lady Gaga titled "Born This Way." Elton John, himself a practicing homosexual, stated in 2011 that the song would become "the New Gay Anthem."
The year the song came out, one teenager remarked how the song affirmed him in his homosexual condition. "When Born This Way premiered," wrote the teen, "and I heard Lady Gaga belt out the words 'gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life,' I felt proud. I felt included. I felt — in a way I'd never experienced — truly brave."
Church of the Blessed Sacrament pastor, Fr. John Duffell, will also be speaking at his parish event. A friend of Lady Gaga, 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."
Tickets for the parish fundraiser, titled "Moving in the Spirit" are $150 per person. The dance will be in the parish hall from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Church Militant's Resistance group will be protesting the event. They'll pray the Rosary outside the church Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Church Militant reached out to Joe Zwilling, the communications director for the archdiocese, for comment but he has yet to respond.