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The Maryland Church That Dares Accept Homos Is Drawing the Wrath of Catholic Leaders

If you ever needed reason to believe the fine folks behind the Roman Catholic Church were the leaders of a cult, then you need only look at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ response to a Marland church standing in support of gay marriage: don’t trust them!!

New Ways Ministry, based in Mount Rainier, Maryland, calls itself a “gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian and gay Catholics and reconciliation within the larger Christian and civil communities.” Saying such nonsense is, as we all know, blasphemy. And it’s also got the USCCB — most recently in the news over another pro-gay scandal — furious that anyone would believe New Ways Ministry represents true Catholic teachings.

In a statement released Friday, Cardinal Francis E. George says, “No one should be misled by the claim that New Ways Ministry provides an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice.”

To which News Ways’ executive director Francis DeBernardo, who testified last year before state lawmakers in opposition to a constitutional ban on gay marriage, responded: The cardinal’s statement “will not impede or slow us in our efforts to work for justice for lesbian/gay people in the church and society.”

Though the two parties have a long history of going back and forth over gays and the church:

DeBernardo said he was “astonished that Cardinal George released such a statement” without contacting New Ways or informing the organization that it was being released to the press.

Cardinal George said that as far back as 1984, then-Archbishop James A. Hickey of Washington “denied New Ways Ministry any official authorization or approval of its activities,” citing “the organization’s lack of adherence to church teaching on the morality of homosexual acts.”

“This was the central issue in the subsequent investigation and censure of the co-founders of New Ways Ministry,” Cardinal George added. “This continues to be the crucial defect in the approach of New Ways Ministry, which has not changed its position” since then.

New Ways Ministry was co-founded in 1977 by Sister Jeanine Gramick and Salvatorian Father Robert Nugent, who were ordered by the Vatican in 1999 to stop their ministry to homosexuals because “ambiguities and errors” in their approach caused confusion for Catholics and harmed the church community.

After they continued to speak and write about homosexuality, the two were directed by their religious superiors in 2000 not to speak publicly or write about the topic or about the Vatican actions. Father Nugent accepted the discipline and is in parish ministry, but Sister Gramick refused and continues on the lecture circuit.

By:           editor editor
On:           Feb 9, 2010
Tagged: , , , ,

    • Peter

      Do you suppose that they may become as famous and influential as Martin Luther? Civilized society can always hope so.

      Feb 9, 2010 at 9:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NJ
      Brian NJ

      It is heartening to see religious leaders getting tough with the Catholic Church establishment. I love how the New Ways refused to accept orders from the bigots who lead the Church. SLAP DOWN their attempts at disrespect and denigration!!!

      Feb 9, 2010 at 10:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joseph

      I am a released priest who was stationed at the Vatican for two years. Believe me, there are more gays at the Vatican than in Greenwich Village.

      The cabal of bigots known as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has, at least, several gays among its number, one in particular, very high – most likely will be named a Cardinal – now in D.C.

      These repressed closet cases are fearful and dare not defend gays in any way. It’s pathetic.

      Feb 9, 2010 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Peter

      Boob — your name is perfect.

      Feb 9, 2010 at 10:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 1 · Peter wrote, “Do you suppose that they may become as famous and influential as Martin Luther?” … the short answer is
      “no.” You get far more credit for being the first one to pull it off than for being yet another spinoff from the Catholic Church.

      Martin Luther was in the right place at the right time. Others had tried similar sorts of things before Luther, but were “neutralized”, in some cases by burning them at the stake.

      Luther lived further from Rome (which slowed any Catholic response to him) and some of the German princes helped protect him (possibly because decreasing the Roman Catholic Church’s influence would increase their influence). He managed to get a sizable following fast enough that the cat was out of the bag before the Catholic Church could react.

      Feb 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mojojojo

      I can’t understand why gays would want any part of christianity

      Feb 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA

      #6 We don’t pick it, it picks us. Then it’s a matter of reading and sorting truths and untruths. Faltering is easy to discern, by the apparent symptoms that follow. The fruit of the spirit is like no other. When exclusion, lack of mercy, and a worldly mindset is apparent, look down at the spiritual soil and take note of the quality. If the roots rest in healthy spiritual soil, healthy, beautiful fruit will make itself known.

      Feb 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Peter

      B just a thought or two::

      I think Maryland is quite a distance from Rome

      Helping Gays IS new for this church (any credit?).

      Are you German?: YOU can be their prince.

      Feb 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 8 · Peter wrote, “B just a thought or two:: I think Maryland is quite a distance from Rome.”

      Err, Peter, you were asking about Martin Luther. The distance from Rome was important then because when the local prelates asked someone in Rome for advice, they had to either go there in person or send a letter, which in either case means that someone would have to travel to Rome by some combination of boat (rowboat, sailboat), on foot, or either riding a horse or being in a wagon pulled by a horse. This obviously takes a considerable amount of time. Then when a reply finally arrives with a request for more information, you get to repeat the process. With that sort of infrastructure, it would take many months to come to a decision about what to do about him, and that isn’t including the time a letter spends in some cardinal’s inbox.

      All that helped slow the church down. There were some other factors as well (e.g., the development of printing) that allowed Luther to get a following much faster than people could previously. All of that, plus the support from German princes, which helped keep him physically safe, let his “heresy” grow to sustainable proportions before the Catholic Church could try to apply its traditional means of repression.

      Feb 9, 2010 at 9:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emmy

      Brian NJ is right; it’s time for all sorts of people to call out injustice and bigotry when they see it, and the Catholic Church cannot be excluded.

      Meaningful, positive change will take root when the struggles to recognize and validate these communities in the Church become the struggle of many different peoples.

      Feb 10, 2010 at 12:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      QUEERTY botched it again by saying, “New Ways Ministry, based in Mount Rainier, Maryland, calls itself a “gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian and gay Catholics and reconciliation within the larger Christian and civil communities.” Saying such nonsense is, as we all know, blasphemy.”

      Hint – “saying such nonsense” (obvious sarcasm) is not “blasphemy” but rather “heresy”. The hallmark of a good editor is the ability to use words correctly.

      Feb 10, 2010 at 12:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA

      Emmy, If the Pope were reading your post, #10, (and who’s to say what a Pope might be doing in his spare time), the thing that would likely peak interest is the meaning of, “it’s time for all sorts of people to call out injustice and bigotry when they see it, and the Catholic Church cannot be excluded.”

      The Church will change their thinking towards those of us born this way, if rebuked by it’s own standards. Omitting finances, omitting vain power, omitting prejudices, and having a full examination of this issue will, hopefully, result in an understanding that politics is unbecoming. Focus on winning hearts, as American laws tend to come and go. Anything else would make a Church look foolish. Proceeding with politics. The cares of the world should not tangle up the Church’s ankles. Teach, but more importantly, believe what is taught. If an archive in your library convicts the Church, open it up to be fully examined. The dust is settling on your treasures, the worms will soon follow. Teach and spiritually feed the flock. Love and mercy far exceeds worldly power and political manipulation. If the flock is spiritually fed, a gift, given by God, the words taught become propellers. The effects on the spirit is measurable. If the Church taught, or at least cracked open the vaults, so that others could learn, there would be little effort, compiling money in their quaint collection baskets. The flock wants to be fed. If all a Church has to offer is politics, that’s family-hold-back. The flock wants to be fed. Politics is not food.

      Feb 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Queer Supremacist
      Queer Supremacist

      @mojojojo: Christianity is a cult. Martin Luther was no better than the Papist scum he rebelled against, and he was an anti-semite. Goyim are shit-sucking bigots, and they have left a trail of blood across the centuries that no attempts at “reconciliation” can ever wash away.

      Jul 7, 2010 at 9:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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