The so-called listening sessions hosted by the bishop of San Diego were billed as an opportunity to get answers on the exploding clerical sex abuse crisis. Faithful Catholics were tossed out of the sessions, however, for asking the wrong questions — so they formed a petition to voice these questions.
Bishop Robert McElroy announced these question and answer sessions last August. When they rolled out in October and early November, Church Militant was flooded with tips on the tight security and forced removal of many Catholics who asked questions at these open sessions concerning the problem of a gay subculture among the clergy and its contribution to the clerical sex abuse crisis.
Because most of their questions were ignored, these faithful Catholics started a group called Concerned Catholics of San Diego and launched a petition that represents their questions that McElroy refuses to answer. Their questions include:
For asking these questions, faithful Catholics were forcibly removed from McElroy's presence. The diocesan spokesman, Kevin Eckery, was asked about the removals. Even though the expulsions were captured on video, nevertheless, Eckery denied it.
"This is the Church," Eckery offered, "We don't forcibly remove anybody."
He then admitted that people were removed for the sake of facilitating a discussion.
"They had attended the last one as well and they were mildly disruptive," claimed Eckery. "So that we could actually have a quality discussion, they were asked to leave."
Many faithful Catholics noted there wasn't much of a discussion because of the Catholics that were asked to leave before getting to ask their questions, and many of the questions that were asked went unanswered. One such man who was removed was Kevin Crammer.
"I am grateful that the bishop is having these sessions," Crammer told FOX 5, "and that we have the opportunity to engage with him in discussion, but I do feel like there were a lot of questions that were left unanswered."
Watch the panel discuss questions that Bp. McElroy refuses to answer in The Download—No Gay Subculture?