New Orleans Archdiocese Apologizes for Gay Content on Site

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by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 20, 2015   

LGBT ministry page formerly advised some gays to continue in their sexually active relationships

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NEW ORLEANS, July 20, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - The archdiocese of New Orleans has issued an apology for posting an LGBT ministry page that recommended that some gay people remain sexually active — in direct contradiction to Church teaching.

Screen captures of the now-removed page show a section dedicated entirely to its LGBT ministry, which calls itself "a ministry of love and inclusion for our Catholic brothers and sisters of the LGBT community." 

The same page included links to an FAQ that provided moral guidance for questions regarding homosexuality. One of the questions was: Does a person commit a sin if he/she engages in sexual activity outside of marriage? The website offered among other things the following response:

When one is dealing with people who are so predominately [sic] homosexual that they will be in serious personal or perhaps social trouble unless they attain [sic] a steady partnership within their homosexual lives, one can recommend them to seek such a partnership and one accepts this relationship as the best they can in their present situation.

Further down, the website read:

The site also approvingly quoted retired Detroit bishop Thomas Gumbleton, a well-known dissenter on Church teaching with regard to homosexuality, and retired bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester, New York, also with a long track record of implicitly endorsing or tolerating homosexual behavior.

As of Sunday evening, the page was taken down, with a broken link. As of Monday afternoon, the page was back up, with all its contents wiped clean, and only this message:

The website and Facebook page for the Pastoral Care of Persons with Same-Sex Orientation, also known as LGBT, have been deactivated. An unauthorized person was able to access the website and post information that contradicts the teaching of the Catholic Church. We deeply regret that this has happened and are taking steps to secure the websites. Our mission is to represent accurately the teaching of the Bible and the Catholic Church and to provide ministry with integrity.

We are very sorry that this misleading information has been posted and has caused confusion.

ChurchMilitant.com spoke with Sarah McDonald in the Communications Office at the archdiocese of New Orleans, and she clarified that the "unauthorized person" was not a website hacker. When asked whether this person was a staff member in the chancery, McDonald refused to answer and merely reiterated the statement's claim that it was an "unauthorized person." As to what discipline will be imposed on the person responsible for the erroneous content, McDonald responded, "I do not have any further information to share on this issue."

 

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