'Gay and Straight' ministry off base
Margo Szews of West Allis has a letter to the editor (given the title above) in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in response to the article Gay Catholics find 'whisper of hope' in growing ministry. (see our earlier post.) She writes,
"Annysa Johnson's recent article on the "Gay and Straight in Christ" ministry at Good Shepherd Catholic Church requires some clarification.
"Sadly, this outreach is now offered at three more Catholic parishes. According to Deacon Bill Goulding, the members at St. Mary's in Hales Corners recently 'read about' Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND, co-founder with Father Robert Nugent, SDS, of the faith-based LGBT advocacy group New Ways Ministry.
"But, in 1999, after 15 years of discussion with Gramick and Nugent, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 'permanently prohibited' them from 'any pastoral work involving homosexual persons,' explaining that they do not faithfully convey the clear and constant teachings of the Catholic Church in regard to 'the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts and the objective disorder of the homosexual inclination.'
"In her article, Johnson also cites the Rev. Bryan Massingale, who claimed that 'these kinds of ministries are consistent with church teachings.' But in 2006, when the Wisconsin Marriage Amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman was on the ballot, Massingale authored a full-page article in the diocesan Catholic Herald urging Catholics to vote 'no,' while all five Wisconsin bishops encouraged Catholics to vote 'yes.'
"Rather than promote a Catholic life of chastity and sexual abstinence, 'Gay and Straight in Christ' appears to simply affirm the participants in their sexual orientation. Instead, this LGBT outreach should use the 'Courage' model, created by Father John Harvey for Catholics with same-sex attraction."