AFA-MICHIGAN ACTION ALERT
Please thank Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit for
standing firm against homosexual activist group
Dear AFA-Michigan supporter,
The Archdiocese of Detroit is under attack for refusing to allow homosexual activists to use a Catholic church in Royal Oak for an event intended to undermine Catholic Church doctrine and tradition that homosexual behavior is sinful and that marriage is by definition only between one man and one woman. (See referenced homosexual newsmagazine article below)
Please join AFA-Michigan in sending a message of thanks and encouragement to Cardinal Maida for the church’s stand:
In your message, respectfully encourage the Archdiocese to extend the same policy — if it has not already — to the Catholic chapel at Detroit’s Marygrove College.
According to the web site of Dignity USA, a homosexual activist group harshly critical of the church’s position on homosexual behavior, Marygrove’s Sacred Heart chapel continues to be used as the weekly meeting place of a Dignity chapter based in Royal Oak. http://www.dignityusa.org/local.html#mi
Dignity USA describes itself as a “national lay movement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics.” The Catholic League, however, lists Dignity USA as an “anti-Catholic” group. (See 6/18/94 entry at: http://www.catholicleague.org/1994report/94activists.htm)
Last year, Dignity USA publicly condemned the Vatican’s views on homosexual behavior as “infuriating…archaic…outdated…(and) vicious.” dignityusa.org
The Vatican, in a document entitled, “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons” — found on the web site of the Holy See in Rome — has directed that “all support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church (regarding homosexual behavior), which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely. Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted.”
“Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges,” the papal order said. “To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous.” (Section 17)
Thanks as always for your support of AFA-Michigan.
BETWEEN THE LINES
February 3, 2005
Catholic nun shut out of Royal
Oak church by archdiocese
by BTL staff
ROYAL OAK — A Roman Catholic nun who has dedicated her work to creating communication and dialog within the church on the subject of homosexuality and acceptance of gays and lesbians was barred from a Royal Oak Catholic Church facility, along with the group that had invited her and a local gay rights organization.
Sister Jeannine Gramick, who was in Metro Detroit for a Jan. 30 screening of a documentary based on her work, was to be a guest at a reception in her honor hosted by Call to Action of Michigan, a progressive Catholic social action organization. The film, “In Good Conscience,” was presented at the Triangle Foundation’s Reel Pride Michigan Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Royal Oak offered its facilities to Call to Action several weeks ago. Early during the week of Jan. 24, reception organizers visited the church to make final arrangements and were informed that an official from the Detroit Archdiocese, Bishop Walter Hurley, had issued the order banning Sister Gramick and the event from the building.
When informed of the archdiocese action Sister Gramick said, “Decisions like that are what makes the Church look foolish in the eyes of the world. It’s embarrassing to me as a Catholic that the leaders of my Church would censor [me].”
“This is typical of the archdiocese, which continues to try to silence its members and refuses to engage in any helpful dialog at all,” said Jeffrey Montgomery, executive director of Triangle Foundation. “It’s a shame, really, that the Church is so frightened of dissent, is so intolerant. The leaders must not be too confident of their convictions if they must go to such lengths to stifle disagreement.”
“The Church has been so hurtful to so many who seek only reconciliation and healing,” said Sister Beth Rindler of Call to Action. “At times it’s very disheartening working within the Church because of the action of people who are at the helm of the archdiocese.”
Triangle foundation found an alternative location to hold the reception: the law offices of Pitt, Dowty, McGhee, Mirer and Palmer in Royal Oak.
The Archdiocese responds
In an official statement, Ned McGrath, the director of communications for the Detroit Archdiocese, said that “the archdiocese has determined that one of its parish facilities is not the appropriate setting for a gathering not in accord with the mission and message of the Church.”
In a rebuttal statement, Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, said, “New Ways Ministry views the Detroit Archdiocese’s decision to cancel the reception at St. Mary’s as paranoid censorship. Decisions such as this one cause lesbian and gay people grave harm, and make them question whether some Church leaders operate out of pastoral sensitivity. Repressing discussion is not an authentically Catholic way to deal with the complex and sensitive issue of homosexuality. Censorship and silencing by Church leaders are a source of scandal for all Catholics.”
For over thirty years Sister Gramick has done pioneering work in ministering to gay and lesbian Catholics, initiating pastoral outreach to the gay community, counseling gays and lesbians and their families and writing two books and numerous articles. She is a co-founder of New Ways Ministries, whose goal is to build bridges between the institutional church and homosexuals. Her work in these areas earned her a permanent ban in 1999 endorsed by Pope John Paul II from any pastoral work involving gays, which Sister Gramick has chosen to ignore.
“In Good Conscience” chronicles Sister Gramick’s courageous ministry and journey. The Jan. 30 screening during Reel Pride was sold out and Sister Gramick received a standing ovation from the over 500 people in the audience following the film.