SPECIAL REPORT AT 4:30 PM ET
FRESNO, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The diocese of Fresno canceled a workshop on homosexual inclusion in parishes after Church Militant revealed that the presenter of the workshop was an active participant in pornographic pride parades in 2017 and 2018.
A workshop titled "Becoming a Welcoming Parish to LGBTQ Persons," which was scheduled to be given during the 2018 Fresno Diocesan Congress, is listed as "canceled" on the diocese's event page. Church Militant spoke with a representative of the diocese, who confirmed that the workshop had indeed been canceled.
Catholics who were upset about the workshop being given to CCD, RCIA and confirmation instructors contacted Church Militant asking for help investigating and exposing the serious problems with this workshop. Investigations revealed the following:
Fresno-area Catholics have also informed Church Militant that Bp. Ochoa has promised "a full review of the LGBTQ ministry at the Fresno Newman Center." In an email exchange regarding the recent discoveries, Mary Cardona, Bp. Ochoa's executive assistant, wrote:
Bishop Ochoa has given direction to cancel the Congress Workshop as soon as he became aware of the activities that go beyond the parameters of St. Paul Catholic Newman Center's ministry that was intended to be comparable to the two companion ministries of "Courage" and "Encourage."
Bishop Ochoa will be meeting with the ministry leadership as soon as possible to bring everything under review.
A thorough investigation of the St. Paul Catholic Newman Center's activities appears to be well-timed, considering further information local Catholics have provided to Church Militant. According to an email in reply to Cardona:
This past Sunday evening Mass at the Newman Center included a Solidarity Sunday during which people were asked to stand in support of the self-identified gay and queer female speaker who was actually applauded by many people present at Mass. The priest clapped too. There was also a table with handouts, banners and stickers promoting LGTBQ lifestyle...my grandson, a child, was also present and encouraged to take a sticker.
Catholics should contact Bp. Ochoa to thank him for taking swift action in canceling the workshop and to encourage him to completely sever all diocesan relationships with the St. Paul Catholic Newman Center:
Main phone number: (559) 488-7400
Office of the Bishop Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, D.D.
Executive Assistant: Mary Cardona
Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia: Rev. Msgr. Raymond C. Dreiling, V.G.
Executive Assistant: Cheryl Sarkisian
Chancellor: Teresa Dominguez