Wealthy Western Groups Battle African Bishops

by Ryan Fitzgerald  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 25, 2015   

Two pro-LGBT organizations are funding a project to undermine African bishops' traditional values

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ROTTERDAM, August 25, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - Two Western pro-gay groups are trying to hit back against the traditional morality of the African bishops heading into this year's Synod on the Family.

Both groups have helped fund a subversive project promoting LGBT Catholics living in West Africa.

The project is headed by the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups, based in the Netherlands. At first, the forum planned to put together a film highly sympathetic to LGBT Catholics in Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Cameroon, who are presumably victims of anti-gay oppression and "bigotry." Now, however, the project will gather similar testimonies and make them part of a heterodox book being released in time for the Ordinary Synod.

Apparently, traditional approaches to sexual morality, backed heavily by the African prelates at last year's synod, are being targeted by the book. The 2014–2015 activity report of the European Forum states, "Reacting to the extremely negative influence from bishops from Western Africa on the final document of the Family Synod 14, we found it important to bring the voices of LGBT Catholics from this region to broader attention."

Fastenopfer, one of the groups funding the European Forum's project, is a Swiss Catholic Lenten fund. The fund's foundation council, which supervises its directors' group, is headed by Switzerland's Bishop Felix Gmur of the Basel diocese.

Bishop Gmur was one of three Swiss bishops to attend the exclusive "Shadow Council" in Rome earlier this year. The event, run by heterodox prelates and open only to a select few in the media, also featured clever rationalizations for heterodox ideas, as pushed by the leading progressive theologians who were its featured speakers.

The European Forum's co-president, Michael Brinkschroeder, has indicated that Fastenopfer supported the pro-LGBT project with a small grant. The grant, approved solely by Fastenopfer's executive director and not the foundation council, was reportedly in the amount of 15,000 Swiss Francs (roughly $15,300).

A woman from Fastenopfer has stated that the European Forum's content "will be used for written works of sensibilization [sic] regarding the second Synod of the Family."

The book will be published by a new LGBT advocacy outfit called the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics.

The other group offering financial assistance to the European Forum's ideologically laced project is the Arcus Foundation, which has a long history of attacking traditional Catholics who seek to uphold Church teaching on sodomy.

The Arcus Foundation has given the European Forum nearly $400,000 for things like fighting "religion-based homophobia in Europe" and helping the Forum become "the main faith-based LGBT advocate in the region." The European Forum's activity report indicates that the Arcus Foundation will help it develop "a counter-narrative to traditional values and gender ideology" — with special focus on "advocacy opportunities" for events like the 2015 Synod. One of the Arcus Foundation grants will be used by the European Forum to "pursue its successful strategy of shifting traditional views" as well as "responding to homophobic Catholic Church family synod decisions."

The European Fund has strongly opposed last year's final synod document for apparently not being open enough to homosexuality, and co-president Brinkschroeder is on record saying he sees a conflict between his organization's goals and the African bishops in particular. The forum is riddled with all sorts of questionable ties to anti-Catholic groups like New Ways Ministry, Dignity USA and George Soros' Open Society.
Meanwhile, bishops in Ghana and Kenya continue to defend traditional Catholic teachings on sexuality, marriage and the family.


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