Cardinal Oswald Gracias champions LGBT cause at the Synod on the Family

OCTOBER 20/22/23, 2015


Cardinal Oswald Gracias champions LGBT cause at the Synod on the Family


THE EXTRAORDINARY SYNOD ON THE FAMILY was held October 5 to 19, 2014, on the theme “Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation“.

THE ORDINARY SYNOD is in progress, October 4 to 25, 2015, on the theme “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world“.


My comments/inclusions are in green.

I use blue colour for the “good guys”, red for the “bad guys”.

If the reader will look at the very first pages of any of my recent reports on the Synod on the Family, e.g.

16 OCTOBER 2015, he will find that I have already used red colour to highlight and identify the very same liberals and progressives who are apparently backed/inducted into the 2015 Synod by Pope Francis (as recorded in all conservative Catholic media reports) as in the same-sex New Ways Ministry (how dare they call themselves a “ministry” and “Catholic”!) blog — whose Executive Director is Francis DeBernardo — reproduced immediately below.


The “gay” agenda has been favoured at the Synod by several Cardinals and Archbishops.

Some background, chronologically:

1. How LGBT-Friendly Are the Appointees to the Synod on Marriage and Family?

By Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry,
September 11, 2014

The Extraordinary Synod on Marriage and the Family is less than one month away. The Vatican released the names of the bishops who will be participating, as well as a list of the lay observers.

In terms of the bishops who will be participating, there is a mixed bag on their approach to LGBT issues. Here are some of the prominent names, with a little bit of their history on LGBT topics:

Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, Paris: When France was debating marriage equality, he warned that the passage of such a law might cause violent protests in the streets.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Bombay: When India was considering reinstating criminalization of homosexuality, he was the only religious leader to speak against such a measure. He also met in the spring with a Catholic lesbian woman who is an LGBT leader in Great Britain.  He also directed his priests to speak more sensitively about LGBT issues.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Vienna: When a partnered gay man was rejected from his parish council by the local pastor, the cardinal met with the layman and re-instated him. He has also spoke positively about civil unions and transgender ideas.

Archbishop Andre Joseph Leonard, Mechelen-Brussels: He spoke favorably of laws that would stabilize and normalize same-gender couples.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Westminster (London): He was one of the first prelates to speak positively about legalizing partnerships of same-gender couples.  He instituted an archdiocesan ministry to LGBT people.

Cardinal Philip Tartaglia, Glasgow: He spoke harshly against marriage equality, and he caused a controversy when he stated that the death of a gay Member of Parliament may have been caused by his sexuality.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Dublin: He has spoken in very strong terms about the need to be more open to the LGBT community.  He also stated that the Vatican’s teaching on sexuality is “disconnected from real life experiences of families — and not just be younger people.”

Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Mechelen-Brussels (retired): Like his successor, Archbishop Andre Joseph Leonard, he has spoken favorably of laws that would stabilize and normalize same-gender couples.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and archbishop of Louisville: He did not support a Louisville nondiscrimination bill inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity in 2012.

Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, New York:  A few years ago, as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he spoke out strongly many times against marriage equality and LGBT issues.  Of late, he has softened his tone and has even agreed to be grand marshall of the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade with an only LGBT group marching. He also publicly congratulated professional football player Michael Sam for coming out.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and archbishop Cape Coast, Ghana: He has spoken strongly against homosexuality and even for a while supported Uganda’s anti-gay law. His 2014 statement that “homosexuals are not criminals” has been interpreted both positively and negatively.

These are only a handful of the more than 250 appointees, and it is by no means an exhaustive list of people with any sort of record on LGBT issues. It only includes names of those for whom I had concrete supporting evidence with which to link. However, others on the list, such as Cardinal George Pell of Australia and now at the Vatican, have a long history of anti-LGBT measures. Similarly, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich-Freising, Germany, are known to be very supportive of LGBT people and topics.

If you are aware of others on the list who have a record, positive or negative, on LGBT issues, please share your thoughts in the “Comments” section of this post.  Supporting links would be very helpful.

From my perspective, the most important feature from the list of lay observers is that no publicly LGBT person or couple is named. The Synod will be examining pastoral responses to families headed by same-gender couples.  Didn’t the Vatican think it would be good to hear from some of them? If the Vatican has invited heterosexual couples to participate, why did they not invite lesbian and gay couples, too?

Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, a columnist for The National Catholic Reporter, offers a critical view of the list in an essay entitled “The makeup of Synod of Bishops on the family is disappointing.” Reese is disappointed that so many Curia officials will be participating, and he notes that they should be “staff, not policymakers.”  He explained:

“They have all the other weeks of the year to advise the pope. This is the time for bishops from outside of Rome to make their views known.”

Reese observes that the choices of who will be advising the bishops also seems lopsided.

“Half the experts are clerics, which seems strange at a synod on the family. None of the 16 experts is from the United States; 10 are from Europe (including five from Italy), three from Asia, and one each from Mexico, Lebanon and Australia.

“There are more laypeople among the 38 auditors, including 14 married couples, of whom two are from the United States. Many of the observers are employees of the Catholic Church or heads of Catholic organizations, including natural family planning organizations.

“For example, one couple from the United States is Jeffrey Heinzen, director of natural family planning in the diocese of La Crosse, Wis., and Alice Heinzen, member of the Natural Family Planning Advisory Board of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.”

Bondings 2.0 will continue to update you on the Synod as the days of preparation progress, and we will try to provide LGBT-relevant information and analysis once the meeting begins.

New Ways Ministry must have been disappointed with
Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois
and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz
who eventually fell in with the conservatives and their other hopefuls (in black, above)
who did not participate in the 2015 Synod.


2. Vatican Document Holds Firm on Birth Control, Divorce, Gays

By Cathy Burke,
June 23, 2015

Despite Pope Francis’ controversial media comments, the Vatican is reportedly holding a traditional line on hot-button issues including birth control, divorce and remarriage, and homosexuality. A 78-page Vatican document written in Italian and released Monday lays out positions ahead of an October bishops’ meeting on the family, restating previously adopted positions on many divisive issues, according to the National Catholic Reporter. 
For example, the Vatican reaffirmed its prohibition on the use of birth control, didn’t offer any new options for Catholics banned from taking Communion if they’re divorced or remarried – and gave little attention at all to the issue of outreach to homosexuals, according to National Catholic Reporter. “While we want the synod to help renew the church’s pastoral outreach to families, we don’t anticipate change in church dogmas,” Antoine Renard, the French president of the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations, told NCR. “But there are clearly significant divisions over the synod already – we can expect a battle when it eventually convenes.”
Pope Francis 
has stirred controversy with moves to shift focus away from some issues that’ve alienated modern Catholics – like same-sex marriage and abortion – and toward issues of poverty, inequality and social justice – and even climate change. 

One “Catholic LGBT activist” was bitterly disappointed with the new documentInternational Business Times reports. 

The newly released document hasn’t reflected “any of this positive movement which is in the air,” Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry, a “Catholic LGBT advocacy” group, tells IBTimes.




“Bishops’ conferences have noted that their nations’ Catholics have responded critically to the official negative attitude toward lesbian and gay people,” DeBernardo added. “None of this is reflected in the document.”
Worse, the document shows a “stunning ignorance” with its use of the term “homosexual tendencies” to characterize sexual orientation, DeBernardo charges.
“For church leaders to continue to use ‘homosexual tendencies,’ which seems to connote impermanence as well as simply a controllable desire to act and not a personality trait, reveals a stunning ignorance of the topic, as well as a disrespectful attitude towards lesbian and gay people,” he tells IBTimes.
The October synod of bishops is the second of two on family issues called by the Pope; the newly released document is viewed as a barometer of how the conference will unfold, IBTimes reports.



3. Swiss Catholic money targets African bishops ahead of synod

By Kevin Jones, Washington D.C., August 21, 2015

(CNA) The Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund and a major U.S. foundation have helped fund an LGBT activist project intended to counter West African bishops at the Catholic Church’s Synod on the Family.
The Netherlands-based European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups originally planned to make a documentary film of self-identified LGBT Catholics in Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Cameroon.
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,” the European Forum said in its 2014-2015 activity report.
The forum’s activities report said the project was funded by the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund Fastenopfer and the Arcus Foundation. The wealthy U.S.-based foundation has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to LGBT activist groups to target the synod.
But Fastenopfer is a Catholic development organization. It traditionally raises its funds during Lenten almsgiving. Its Italian-language name is Sacrificio Quaresimale, which means “Lenten Sacrifice.”
Bishop Felix Gmür of Basel, Switzerland is president of the Lenten fund’s foundation council, which oversees the NGO’s directors group. Two of the nine members of the foundation council are named by the Conference of Swiss Bishops, with the rest being named by a separate body.
Michael Brinkschroeder, who until this year was co-president of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups, said that Fastenopfer’s support was in the form of a small project grant. He told CNA Aug. 10 that the grant was under 15,000 Swiss Francs (about $15,300) and was approved by the fund’s executive director. The grant did not have to be approved by the foundation council or its president, Bishop Gmür.
Romana Buchel of Fastenopfer told CNA Aug. 7 that the film project did not take place as planned because the filmmaker “suddenly had fear of flight” and left the plane at a transit stop. She said the interviews were collected from “afflicted people, from collaborators.”
She said the material “will be used for written works of sensibilization (sic) regarding the second Synod of the Family.”
The European Forum’s activity report similarly noted the filmmaker’s health problems. It said that due to a funding shortfall, the project’s interviewer could not reach Cameroon.

Instead, the project took the form of a written report based on interviews, to be included in a book.
The European Forum aims to publish the book under the name of a new global group of LGBT activists, the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, whose creation was announced in June. This book will include “other important documents” and lectures from a conference held in Rome last year before the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. It will be published in Italian in print form and in English as an e-book before October 2015.
The Catholic Church’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family, held in October 2014 to prepare for the October 2015 synod, was marked by a significant split between African bishops and a primarily European faction of bishops. Controversial issues included how the synod should address church ministry to homosexuals.
On May 25, leaders of the German, French and Swiss bishops, theologians and select journalists met at an unannounced meeting at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. The meeting included theological reflection and a discussion of goals for the Synod on the Family. Some of the speakers advocated changing Catholic teaching on contraception, homosexual acts, and communion for the divorced and civilly remarried.
Critics of the meeting dubbed it a “shadow council.” Bishop Gmür was one of the three Swiss bishops reportedly at the meeting.
CNA contacted the Diocese of Basel for comment but did not receive a response by deadline.
The European Forum activity report does not say how much the Arcus Foundation gave to support the European Forum’s video project. However, the report notes a $134,000 Arcus grant from 2013 to combat “religion-based homophobia in Europe” and to help the forum improve its ability to mobilize as “the main faith-based LGBT advocate in the region.”
The activity report said the forum will draft, test and use “a counter-narrative to traditional values and gender ideology” in various faith contexts from 2014-2016, with a special focus on “advocacy opportunities” like the 2015 synod, the Pan-Orthodox Synod in 2016, and efforts in the World Council of Churches.

The Arcus Foundation’s grant listings also show a $262,500 grant in 2015 to assist the European Forum’s response to “anti-LGBT opposition.” The foundation’s Jan. 20 grant announcement said the forum intended to use the grant to “pursue its successful strategy of shifting traditional views” and “responding to homophobic Catholic Church family synod decisions.”
Brinkschroeder told CNA that the European Forum had the impression that several African Catholic bishops and bishop conferences had not been willing to fulfill what he characterized as “their Christian duty to avoid signs in support of such unjust and violent discriminations and to protect the dignity of every human person.”
He objected to bishops’ support for increased penalties in Nigeria and Cameroon’s laws against homosexual behavior, some of which criminalize attempts to enter a same-sex marriage or displays of public affection between same-sex couples.
Brinkschroeder said that the purpose of the project was “not to blame any specific bishop” but to bring attention to the experiences of Catholic LGBT people from the region he said are usually ignored and suffer “severe discrimination and violations of their rights.”
Brinkschroeder and his organization were highly critical of the 2014 synod’s final document.
In an October 22, 2014 statement, Brinkschroeder characterized the synod outcome as “a disaster for gays and lesbians.” The European Forum criticized the final document for removing a “positive evaluation” of same-sex couples and the treatment of children they might raise. The forum also criticized the final document’s paragraph rejecting the use of international aid to force poor countries to recognize same-sex “marriage.”
The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics’ first official assembly, titled “LGBT Voices to the Synod,” will take place Oct. 1-4 in Rome. It will also hold a public conference, titled “Ways of Love,” to promote what it considers best practices for Catholic LGBT ministry.
Last year the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups sponsored the October 2014 “Ways of Love” conference in Rome. The conference’s keynote speaker was the controversial retired auxiliary bishop Geoffrey Robinson of Sydney, whose book was rebuked by Australia’s Catholic bishops for doctrinal problems.
The 2014 conference had financial support from the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. The Dutch government and the Arcus Foundation are partners of the U.S. State Department’s Global Equality Fund, which is helping promote LGBT activism around the world. The 2014 conference’s organizing committee included representatives of the U.S. dissenting Catholic groups New Ways Ministry and Dignity USA, which have received $200,000 in Arcus backing to conduct synod-related advocacy.
Recently, the two American groups called for same-sex “marriage” to be recognized as a Catholic sacrament.
The groups are part of the Equally Blessed Coalition, which is holding an LGBT advocacy event in September to coincide with the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, when Pope Francis will visit the U.S.
The European Forum has also received funding from the businessman George Soros’ Open Society Institute. The forum took part in an Open Society institute conference in Barcelona in September 2014 about reaching the “movable middle.” The forum contributed to conference sessions in partnership with the pro-abortion group Catholics for Choice and the European Parliamentary Forum for Population and Development, its activity report says.


4. Vatican: Pope Francis’ only ‘real audience’ at U.S. embassy was with former gay student, partner

By Dustin Siggins, Washington, October 2, 2015

Hours after the Vatican distanced itself from embattled Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, CNN has reported Pope Francis met privately with a gay couple and their friends while in the U.S.

“Three weeks before the trip, he called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug,” Yayo Grassi told CNN. Grassi was a student of Pope Francis’ in the 1960s in Argentina.

In its statement this morning about the pope’s meeting with Kim Davis, the Vatican press office had said that Davis was just one of a large group of people with whom the pope had briefly met at the nunciature.

The press release added that “the only real audience granted by the Pope at the nunciature (embassy) was with one of his former students and his family.”

Grassi says that former student was himself, and that he was accompanied by his same-sex partner, his mother, and some friends. “That was me,” Grassi said.

The Vatican confirmed that the meeting took place. 

“Mr. Yayo Grassi, a former Argentine student of Pope Francis, who had already met other times in the past with the Pope, asked to present his mother and several friends to the Pope during the Pope’s stay in Washington, DC,” said Rev. Thomas Rosica, the English-language attaché for the Vatican’s press office.

“As noted in the past, the Pope, as pastor, has maintained many personal relationships with people in a spirit of kindness, welcome and dialogue.”

While Grassi says the pope has always known of Grassi’s same-sex sexual attractions, Francis has not condemned the former student’s sexuality or relationships. Grassi had previously met with the pope, along with Grassi’s boyfriend Iwan, in Rome.

CNN reports that a video shows Pope Francis hugging both men and kissing them on the cheek.

“He has never been judgmental,” Grassi said. “He has never said anything negative.” “Obviously he is the pastor of the church and he has to follow the church’s teachings,” Grassi noted. “But as a human being he understands all kinds of situations, and he is open to all kinds of people, including those with different sexual characteristics.” […]


5. Questions Raised Again About Official Synod Briefings

By Edward
Pentin, October 7, 2015

At a Vatican press conference on the synod yesterday, language attachés for the meeting highlighted a number of subjects that appeared to take precedent in the opening debates.

To take the English language attaché, Father Thomas Rosica, as an example, he placed a special emphasis on the need to end “exclusionary language” saying a synod father, (or was it synod fathers?) said the Church should “embrace reality as it is and not be afraid of new and complex situations.”

Father Rosica was particularly focused on “homosexuals or gay persons,” saying “we don’t pity gay persons, but we recognize them for who they are — they are our sons and daughters and brothers and neighbors and colleagues.”

He later returned to the subject of homosexual relationships, saying the subject “came up several times” and that a synod father asked, “How do we speak about them and offer a hand of welcome to them?”

It wasn’t clear who said what under the synod rules, but neither was it clear how many synod fathers addressed the issues Father Rosica, or the other language attaches, had mentioned.

In effect, this meant the public were left with a skewed interpretation of what was said at the opening debate, as happened throughout the last synod.



6. Bad news coming at a torrent from the Synod

October 7, 2015

To me, the appointing of Fr. Rosica to be the English language PR man for this papacy is one of the most revealing actions taken to date. There are few more reliably modernist-progressive priests of public note in service today. He’s also the consummate Church politician – that is to say, he encapsulates almost all that is most wrong with the priesthood today. Appointing him to by the PR man for what is probably the most important, influential language group in the Church today (English) was a huge signal – really, something more like an upturned middle phalanges to the orthodox Catholic world.

This is the man who hearts the arch-heretic Gregory Baum, after all.



7. Fr. Rosica’s Bias: Are We Getting the Whole Synod Story?

By Steve Skojec, October 7, 2015



8. Gay Press Conferences

By Michael Voris,
October 9, 2015

Following up on a Synod Showdown Report we brought you yesterday about the constant pro-homosexual rhetoric coming from the daily press briefings — and by way of catching you up: Each day there are hour long press conferences from one o’clock until two. In order to gain access, you need to be accredited by the Holy See Press Office, which means a lengthy, detailed application asking a bunch of questions about you, your organization, etc. There’s no way the press office gives out credentials to just anybody.

So at Thursday’s press conference it was remarkable indeed that the executive director of New Ways Ministrya fake Catholic pro-gay group — asked a question, of course, about issues related to sodomy.

New Ways Ministry has been denounced by various bishops and cardinals in its long, 35-year history. And to be very clear, New Ways is nothing else than a lobby group for homosexual so-called rights. The man who asked the question, the executive director,
Francis DeBernardo, asked his question by announcing his name and not saying New Ways Ministry, but the blog page he writes for New Ways Ministry: Bondings 2.0.

Again, the question: How did an openly gay blogger who advocates for same-sex marriage and the Catholic Church to accept it and bless it get credentials to get into the press conference? He isn’t media. He has no professional background in media. He’s an advocate for gay rights. Period.

At this point, all eyes turn to Fr. Thomas Rosica, a man who is never without a friendly word for the gay subculture. Just two days before, here is what he was saying on the issue before the world press in the Holy See Press Office.

[Transcript unavailable]

Rosica is constantly campaigning for the acceptance of homosexuality. He has been one of the cheerleaders of not only homosexuality, but the acceptance of Holy Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. Since last year’s Synod, he has traveled to various venues giving the same pro-gay, pro-Communion for adulterers speech. His radical positions have earned him the spotlight of faithful Catholic reporters and bloggers.


And you might recall that Fr. Rosica, an influential Vatican spokesman, actually threatened to sue one blogger until it became a huge story in the Catholic media earlier this year which broke, and he was ordered to back off by superiors here in Rome.

But Fr. Rosica’s history with regard to faithfulness is a long, spotted one. When he was in seminary and still a deacon, he gave an interview to a local Canadian paper where he expressed some very strange ideas on ecumenism and shared Communion. He went on to establish Salt & Light TV in Canada, a little-viewed, little-known cable outfit where he routinely brings on questionable guests — for example, Gregory Baum, a wildly liberal priest who was eventually excommunicated for his radical views and getting married without being laicized. Rosica personally interviewed this man on his TV outfit and gushed like a school girl, calling him his hero.

He has carried the banner for the acceptance of gays in the Church for quite a time now and always walks right up to the edge, always careful to never cross the line, but always pushing the envelope. So it shouldn’t be surprising that at this Synod, where he has great control and influence over what is published and reported in the English-speaking world — which is, of course, the most influential media in the world — that Fr. Rosica is continually presenting the pro-gay messaging.

And adding fuel to the fire, various bishops are now telling faithful Catholic media that what is being reported in the press hall is not what’s going on in the Hall. In the Hall there is a wide-ranging discussion in all the small-circle discussions covering a huge range of topics relating to the family — but in the press room, you’d get the impression, thanks to Fr. Rosica, that the most talked-about issue is gay stuff.

For example, to show you how the media message is being manipulated, you will recall last year there was a huge revolt on Thursday of the last week of the Synod, where the cardinals and the bishops pounded on their desks and yelled and demanded that the Synod stop being manipulated. The revolt was led by Australian cardinal George Pell. The Pope himself had to intervene and tell the Synod organizers to give the delegates what they wanted.

This was an open revolt against the masters of manipulation, but when the press briefing happened, listen to how Fr. Rosica, one of the message massagers portrayed it. What he conveyed to the world press — or rather, how he portrayed it — was bordering on underhanded. He described it as a giant unity. What it was in fact was an in-your-face stare-down against Synod general secretary Cdl. Lorenzo Baldisseri and his gang of manipulating Machiavellian wannabes. But that isn’t how Rosica portrayed it — not even close.

So now we are at round two. Father Rosica is once again portraying things going on in the Synod Hall that bishops in the Synod Hall are saying are not true the way he is characterizing them. He is talking way too much about gay issues, and they aren’t that prevalent in the discussions.

And then this little gem: On Tuesday, Fr. Rosica sat on the dais very near to Canadian archbishop Paul Andre Durocher, who made some rather disturbing comments about Church doctrine. As the archbishop was leaving the press hall, a journalist-priest confronted him about his un-Catholic comments. That priest had his credentials yanked almost immediately*.

*The name of the priest is Fr. Nicholas Gregoris -Michael

So step back and look at the situation: A priest who confronts an archbishop for oddball statements gets sacked, yet the leader of a gay rights group, who has nothing to do with journalism, gets a free pass and is allowed in? What is going on?

One conclusion is simply that Fr. Rosica is manipulating the message to the English-speaking reporters, making sure that English-speaking bishops and cardinals who toe the liberal line are the ones who get the lion’s share of the time in front of the microphone, and that the steady drumbeat of gay this and gay that keeps getting brought up.

As we have reported earlier this week, the Vatican Press Office just doesn’t do English — the most influential language on earth. Father Lombardi, the Vatican press spokesman for the Pope, doesn’t know English, so he brought in Fr. Rosica to download all the English-speaking work for the press. It’s a safe bet, in fact, that English-speaking Abp. Durocher was brought onto the Tuesday dais by Fr. Rosica — and recall that Durocher went on to dismiss and politely trash Cardinal Erdö‘s Monday speech, which was as faithful to the Magisterium as you could get. It would be shocking to learn that Rosica had nothing to do with that.

So a good chunk of what you read in the English-speaking media has Fr. Rosica’s fingerprints all over it, and he has an agenda, which is oftentimes hard to square with the Faith. Again, how are enemies of the Faith, who deny the teachings for a living, who are not professional reporters but lobbyists for an anti-Catholic cause, getting press credentials while priests are getting tossed out?

The bottom line in all this manipulation is this: How can anyone trust what’s actually being presented at the press briefings? And to wrap up, it was somewhat funny given all this that at the most recent presser, Fr. Lombardi said we need to “trust” the process.

398 readers’ comments



Cardinal Oswald Gracias’ hint that the Church will “eventually accept homosexual activity” inflates the hopes of New Ways Ministry, who have been courting the Cardinal for the past two years:

1. Synod Cardinal: Church Needs Gays

Synod Father gives interview to condemned LGBT group New Ways Ministry

By Joseph Gonzalez,
October 19, 2015



“The Church embraces you, wants you … needs you.” That’s what Synod Father Cardinal Oswald Gracias said yesterday about homosexuals in an interview to New Ways Ministry, a “Catholic” LGBT activist group condemned by the Vatican.

The archbishop of Bombay, India, said the Church’s attitude towards LGBT people “must be all-embracing, inclusive,” since to “not be welcoming would not be a Catholic attitude. It would not be Christ’s attitude, certainly.”

Gracias supports the idea that the Church should get rid of terms such as “disorder” and “evil” when referring to homosexuality, and expressed hopes the Synod Fathers will “use gentler language, not judgmental language.”

He also discouraged LGBT people from leaving the Church, hinting that the Church would eventually accept homosexual activity. “The Church embraces you, wants you and the Church needs you,” He said. “Hold on … we will find a way.”

Gracias went so far as to say the bishops should have invited homosexual couples to speak at the Synod. “[It] would have been an enrichment,” he lamented. “[It] would help all the Synod Fathers to understand.”

Cardinal Gracias, one of the members of the Synod’s final drafting committee, gave the interview to Francis DeBernardo, Director of New Ways Ministry’s blog.

Last week’s Michael Voris reported that DeBernardo was granted press credentials to the Vatican’s press briefings on the Synod and even allowed to ask questions, despite the fact that his group has been condemned by the Vatican for its heretical ideas, and he isn’t a journalist at all, but rather a gay activist.

The faithful continue to wonder how the director of an LGBT activist group, condemned by the Vatican, got press credentials to the Vatican’s Synod briefing and an interview with a Synod Father, when such are denied to legitimate journalists and media organizations.


8 of 156 readers’ comments

1. With yet another prelate showing his true colors about a Sin that Cries to Heaven for Vengeance, the pope should also strip him of his office – and all the others who have ignored their responsibilities to protect the Faith.

2. And another “heretic” is heard from. Of course I don’t trust anything that comes out of ‘New Wave’, but if true, what is this man doing holding the title of a Cardinal of the Church???

3. Another heretic appointed by Francis to draft the synod final document. What a great comfort that is.

4. The Smoke of Satan is definitely in the Synod, at the very top!

May God give the faithful cardinals the courage and boldness to speak up and to act boldly to defend Catholic doctrine and resist the evil that is being perpetrated.




I hold P. Francis responsible for all of this deception – most of these apostates were hand-picked by him

5. In the past, l used to wonder what lead up to the situation or circumstance that would impel Jesus (surly as a last resort) to making whips and physically driving out those who were defiling His father’s house.

6. I bet bishop oswald garcia (sic) is homosexual.

7. Take note everyone. Yet another betrayer of the faith. This is getting downright painful to read about. Satan has launched a full on attack through sexual perversion. I just never would have thought that SO many high ranking clergy would be in his army (I know, I am probably a little naive).

8. I wonder if ChurchMilitant has an email address of Cardinal Gracias. Maybe instead of commenting what we think about his outrageous remarks here, we could send him some quotations about active homosexuality from the Catechism.
If he has to delete hundreds of emails, he might get the message at last. Actually one could do it for all the progressive Cardinals from the writing committee.



New Ways Ministry and Cardinal Oswald Gracias:

2.1 Cardinal Gracias to LGBT People: ‘Church Embraces You, Wants You, Needs You’

By Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry,
October 19, 2015

Below is the next installment of Bondings 2.0’s reports from the Synod on Marriage and Family in Rome. New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director Francis DeBernardo will continue to send news and commentary from this meeting. Previous posts can be reached by clicking here.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias is Archbishop of Bombay, the head of India’s National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and a member of Pope Francis’ Council of nine cardinal advisors from around the globe. In the last few years, he has emerged as one of the leading international advocates for better pastoral and civil care of LGBT people. He was the only religious leader in India
2.5) who opposed an initiative to recriminalize LGBT people, has urged his priests to be more sensitive in their language
2.4) about LGBT people, spoke out for better pastoral care
2.2) during last year’s extraordinary synod, and met with the Chair of Quest
2.3), the United Kingdom’s Catholic LGBT group.

He is here in Rome for the synod, and I had the pleasure of sitting down with him, one-on-one, for a brief interview on Sunday night to talk about the pastoral outreach to LGBT people, criminalization laws, church doctrine and language, and his own personal journey.


In the last couple of years, you’ve made some very positive gestures in regard to LGBT people. In what ways has your understanding of LGBT people evolved over the years and how did that happen?

Initially it began with involvement in civil law with banning homosexuality. I felt that was not right–indiscriminately putting everybody in same category. Therefore, I spoke, saying the Church was not in favor of this. This was a bit of a surprise to many people because of what they think the Church teaches. You must make a distinction with an individual, who is absolutely part of the Church, who we must care for, and who might have a [homosexual] orientation. You can’t put them in chains, or say we have no responsibility whatsoever. The law was struck down, but now it’s back again.

Subsequently, I met a few people also. I realized their goodness, that many people do not realize. They are often painted one way and the images are bad. My own view is that the Church has to be all-embracing, inclusive and take care of everybody. Our moral principles are clear. I would be too worried that we are breaking our moral code or that the Church’s principles are shattered because we say that we are pastoral. The Catechism has said also that they must be cared for. Some people say you are going too far.


In one way, it’s very Catholic position to welcome. To not be welcoming is wrong.

To not be welcoming would not be a Catholic attitude. It would not be Christ’s attitude, certainly. We have to be very compassionate, understanding, and open to people.


When I read about your stand on the civil law, I read that you were the only religious leader in India to oppose re-criminalization. How did you find the courage to be the only one?

I was convinced. I think gradually others will come to see what I am saying. It’s so clear in my mind. This is what the Church would want. I’m convince that eventually it will be de-criminalized. It’s a question of time.


Did you receive a backlash or criticism for your stand?

Not much. There were a few. There were some theologians who said they disagreed with me. But that was an intellectual discussion, and I was happy about that because it allowed me to sharpen my thoughts on the matter. But there was no campaign against what I said.


In the U.S. we have many parishes who have set up ministries of welcome to LGBT people. What advice would you give to those parishes and pastors working with LGBT people?




I honestly would think that they would know more than me. From experience, you always learn how to do things pastorally. Homosexuality is not fully out of the closet in India. The atmosphere is not so open in the civil society to be able to have people openly come and declare themselves. As a matter of fact a gay association asked me if I would say Mass for them. I said, “Absolutely. No difficulty whatsoever.” I said to them they should keep in mind that they would suddenly be coming out into the open. For me, it’s not a problem.


Do you see any gifts that lesbian and gay people bring to the Church?

I haven’t met enough to make a generalization. But the people I have met have impressed me very much by their sincerity, wanting to help the Church, generosity. Is this specific to them or just because they happen to be who they are? So, I can’t generalize. But all I have met have been good people, wanting to dedicate themselves to work for the Church. When I say “for the Church,” I mean “for people, through the Church’s charities.”


Let’s talk about the synod. Do you think there is going to be any progress made on lesbian and gay issues this year?

I can see there is a great hesitation from the synod fathers to really touch this topic. Therefore, I can see that the synod will probably say that we must receive them in pastoral care. Full stop. Something very gentle and limited. I don’t expect us to be able to say very much more specific on this.


Do you think it would be possible for the synod to make a statement about criminalization since that is happening around the globe?

I feel clear about it and strongly about it. One of the criticisms of the synod is that it is too Euro-centric, and we are carefully looking into that. It’s difficult at this stage to start shifting the whole focus. I’m saying this because I know that Africa is very sensitive about this topic. There’s very clearly a North American-European stance on this topic. How we as a Church, as the universal Church, can take something on board, is something that we have to consider. That is really key.


How about language? There’s been reports that some bishops are proposing getting rid of words like “disorder” and “evil” in relation to LGBT people?

It should be done gently. I’m glad you brought this up. I think there would be an acceptance of saying “Let’s use gentler language, not judgemental language.” The response to this view is “Are you condoning it?” I personally feel that it would help us to have a more clear, objective view of this matter.


Would it have been helpful to the bishops for lesbian and gay people, couples, to speak to the synod the way married couples have spoken?

Personally, I would have thought it would have been an enrichment. I would have been happy to hear them, and I think that it would help all the synod fathers to understand. I think most have never had direct contact or discussion. I have a feeling about that. For them, it’s just a theoretical opinion, but you really don’t come down to the person. When you really see a person, you speak to a person, and understand the anxiety. I often think about what Our Lord’s approach be in that circumstances: sympathetic, understanding.

The whole thing about the origin of sexual orientation has not been studied in-depth. Some say that it’s a choice. I see that it is not a choice for many people, so it’s not fair to say it is. In that sense, we are not open enough.


In my ministry with LGBT people, I meet a lot of LGBT people who are thinking of leaving the Church or finding it difficult to stay in the Church. What would you say to them?

I would say the Church embraces you, wants you, and the Church needs you. You are not someone who is a burden to the Church. The Church needs you. You are part of us. We’d like to help you, we’d like to see you more clearly. We are struggling to see how to help you more with pastoral care 

I’d also say, “Don’t get discouraged.” At the last synod there was just one official intervention on this topic; in group discussions it would come out much more. This time there were a few more. So, I would say to [LGBT people], “Hold on. It is certainly not the end. We are still in the process, and we will find a way. 


What advice would you give other bishops who may be opposed to any changes on LGBT people?

I would say to the bishops to meet with people. That’s important. Meet with people. That would help us–and me also– to see flesh and blood–that this is not an academic problem but a real problem. It’s not an academic case where you say “A equals B, and B equals C.” There are so many ramifications. 

I would say to them that the Church is an all-embracing mother. The Church is mother and teacher. The mother does not send her children away, no matter what.


You gave me a chill when you said that last sentence. It was beautiful.  In the. U.S. Church one of the biggest groups that pushes for the rights of LGBT people are the mothers and the fathers. We say they are a bridge because they are very dedicated to the Church and very dedicated to their children. 




The parents suffer a lot, but they understand their children. So we can’t be legalistic. We cannot change church teaching or doctrine. I’m not sure we have the final word. We have to continuously study ourselves: Scripture, morality, canon law to see what we could do. 


Thank you for your time.  I’m sure you are very busy.

When we first started, I said “Why are we having a synod for three weeks?” Now, I’m saying, “Three weeks is not enough!”


1 of 14 readers’ responses

1. As a compassionate representative of “Third World Catholicism”, he would be the perfect candidate for Pope — when (to our great regret, but inevitably) Pope Francis is “Called Home to Heavenly Glory”!



2.2 SYNOD: We’re Almost to the End, But Not Quite Yet

By Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry,
October 18, 2014

They Synod on Marriage and Family released its final “Message” this morning, and there is no mention of homosexuality or same-gender relationships in it. Actually, there are few specifics on anything in the text, which reads more like a spiritual reflection than a policy statement. You can read the entire text by clicking here.

India’s Cardinal Oswald Gracias, at a press conference for the release of the “Message,” had the following positive things to say about lesbian and gay people:

“Asked if the final version of the relatio would have a similar openness of tone of the initial working document, Gracias said the final version is ‘open’ and ‘accepting everybody.’

“‘I think it’s very balanced,’ said Gracias, who also serves as the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. ‘It admits that we don’t have the answers to all the questions today … but it’s a commitment that we will continue to search for a way ahead to find a pastoral approach to the problems of today.’

“Gracias also addressed questions about how the working version of the relatio addressed gay people, using a tone of unusual openness and asking if the church was welcoming them into the community.

Asked pointedly if gay people were welcome in the church, Gracias responded: ‘The answer is an unequivocal yes. Of course they’re welcome’.”



2.3 British Catholic Lesbian Leader Meets with Close Papal Advisor

By Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry,
May 31, 2014


Ruby Almeida and Cardinal Oswald Gracias


A British Catholic lesbian leader
has met with one of Pope Francis’ most trusted advisors, and she discussed outreach to LGBT people with him, reports  

Ruby Almeida, the chair of Quest, a British Catholic LGBT organization, met with Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, India, while she visited the country on a personal trip. During her visit with Gracias, who is one of the eight cardinals that Pope Francis has chosen to be part of his closest advisory council, Almeida discussed LGBT experience with him, and received a very favorable response. In a report to the Quest governing committee, she writes:




“On a recent trip to India, I took some of our new Quest leaflets when I met with a group of local lgbts. We had an in depth discussion about the reality of their lives under a colonial law that does not recognise their rights as Indian citizens. A few individuals were keen to try and set up something similar to Quest, to act as contact point for social and pastoral support for lgbts. Whilst there I was also able to organise a meeting with Cardinal Oswald Gracias who is one of the Group of Eight Cardinals to help reform the Church. I took along a young gay man who is actively involved in lgbt issues there and is also an organiser for Pride in Mumbai!! The Cardinal was very welcoming and interested in the problems that Catholic lgbts face in India. He was honest enough to say that he was not aware of the difficulties and pain that they suffered as he isolated from grass roots issues and only aware of what he is informed of by his advisers. I suggested to him that if he could appoint a priest as a point of contact for the gay community, so that their needs could be addressed and a level of support could be made available. The possibility of a Mass under the banner of ‘all are welcome’ was also something in which Cardinal Gracias showed an interest, and the hope is that this could be the start of something positive for the Catholic gay community there.”

Terence Weldon, who is the editor and main contributor of QueeringTheChurch.comcommented on this encounter:

“What excites me about this meeting, is simply that it took place, and that we’ve had an attentive hearing from a man so close to the pope, and who will surely be influential in the synod on marriage and family.

“What disappoints me (but doesn’t surprise me) is that he confessed to knowing so little about the real hardships faced by ordinary gay and lesbian people, as he is ‘removed from grassroots issues.’ That is precisely the problem with the Catholic cardinals and bishops as a group they are necessarily far removed from real life issues at the coal face, especially those concerning sex, marriage and family – and yet they continue to pontificate to the rest of us on issues of which they are largely ignorant.”

I agree with Weldon. I think this is a wonderful and important step for the Catholic LGBT movement!  Cardinal Gracias has already shown he can be courageous about LGBT issues when
last year he was India’s only religious leader
to speak out against the possible re-criminalization of homosexuality in that country. The fact that he is also so close to Pope Francis means that his opinion on these matters can have a lot of weight. In addition to being a close papal advisor, Gracias is also President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and Secretary General of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, so his influence can also be horizontal to other bishops, as well as vertical to the Vatican and Pope Francis.

And we also know that a personal encounter can move someone so much more than any theological or political argument about LGBT issues. Almeida’s account of the meeting indicates that Gracias’ heart indeed seems to have been opened. This is certainly an occasion for prayers of joy and thanksgiving!



2.4 Cardinal Directs Priests to Speak More Sensitively on LGBT Issues

By Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry,
September 11, 2013

In what is being described as another after-effect of Pope Francis’ seemingly more open approach to LGBT issues, the Archbishop of Mumbai (Bombay), India, directed his priests to “be more sensitive while referring to homosexuality during their sermons or in their public statements,” reports The Hindustan Times*.

This directive from Cardinal Oswald Gracias was made in response to a letter by an LGBT equality organization, Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM) after they complained that a priest at St Thomas Church, Goregaon, gave a sermon opposing marriage equality in which he described homosexuality as “a great sin.”

In his response, Gracias stated:

“Going by the data in the letter, some of what the priest said is alright and some part is inappropriate. The Church does not accept gay marriage because the Bible teaches us that God willed marriage to be between man and woman. On the other hand, to say that those with other sexual orientations are sinners is wrong. I do think we must be sensitive in our homilies [sermons] and how we speak in public and I will so advise our priests.”

QAM was happy with the response. A member of the group who is a parishioner at St. Thomas said:

“The Archbishop’s response was very reassuring for the community. It gives me confidence as a member of the Church that I will not be discriminated against.”

A leading Indian LGBT advocate, Harish Iyer, stated:

“We are grateful to the church for categorically stating that they are not against homosexuality. The Archbishop of Mumbai has set a benchmark for everyone else.”

Iyer is correct. As we’ve noted recently, U.S. bishops can learn some lessons in sensitivity from international bishops who seem to be following the pope’s lead in this regard. The archbishop of Dublin (Diarmuid Martin) recently made a similar statement of acceptance. As the pope’s statement at the end of July has shown, a little kindness can go a long way to creating good will.

The pope and these sensitive bishops can’t stop there, though. They need to back up their words with pastoral outreach and begin a serious dialogue with LGBT people. Kind words are the first step, but they shouldn’t be the last one.


*Being gay not a sin: Mumbai Archbishop

By Mugdha Variyar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai, September 9, 2013


The Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, assured the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community that he would advise priests to be more sensitive while referring to homosexuality during their sermons or in their public statements, a month after Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic church, said that society should not be judgmental about homosexuality.

The Archbishop’s statement came in response to a letter from Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM), an LGBT group, about a sermon at St Thomas Church, Goregaon, where the priest allegedly described homosexuality as “a great sin” and opposed gay marriage.

Some Catholic members of the group had written a complaint letter to the Archbishop last month, and had discussed the issue on social media.

The sermon had taken place just a day before the widely-discussed statement by Pope Francis, in which he said: “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge*?”

Cardinal Gracias, in his letter dated August 31, said “Going by the data in the letter, some of what the priest said is alright and some part is inappropriate. The Church does not accept gay marriage because the Bible teaches us that God willed marriage to be between man and woman. On the other hand, to say that those with other sexual orientations are sinners is wrong. I do think we must be sensitive in our homilies [sermons] and how we speak in public and I will so advise our priests.”

He added that the Church l oved everybody, including those with different sexual orientations.

Members of QAM said they were satisfied with the response.

“The Archbishop’s response was very reassuring for the community. It gives me confidence as a member of the Church that I will not be discriminated against,” said a parishioner of the Goregaon Church and member of QAM who had attended the sermon.

LGBT activists lauded the archdiocese’s stand.

“We are grateful to the church for categorically stating that they are not against homosexuality. The Archbishop of Mumbai has set a benchmark for everyone else,” said Harish Iyer, who recently figured among the 100 most influential LGBT people in the world.

The Archbishop was not available for comment on Sunday, as the community was celebrating Mother Mary’s Feast.




2.5 Catholic Hierarchy Is a Shining Light in Dark Moment for LGBT Rights in India

By Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry,
December 16, 2013

India’s Supreme Court reinstated a law that bans homosexuality as a “crime against nature” earlier this week, intensifying divisions between LGBT advocates and the religious communities they blame for this development. Catholic leaders have varied in responding to the Court’s decision, but there are hopeful signs as at least one bishop spoke out against the law.

Outlawing homosexuality in India dates to British colonial rule more than a century ago. Recent legal debates began after a New Delhi court overturned the law in 2009. Anti-LGBT organizations, including faith-based ones, have sought to re-criminalize homosexuality since then. The Supreme Court’s ruling now says it is up to the nation’s legislators to repeal the law if that is what is desired.

The Times of India reports that religious groups have welcomed the ruling, with leaders using extremely homophobic language and advocating “ex-gay therapy” in their statements. Relative to these, Catholic leaders’ remarks have seemed muted and even positive. Archbishop Anil J T Couto of Delhi merely reaffirmed the hierarchy’s position on marriage equality and a spokesperson stated the archdiocese opposed any law that would criminalize homosexuality. 

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai is quoted by* as saying:

“[T]he Catholic Church has never been opposed to the decriminalisation of homosexuality, because we have never considered gay people criminals. As Christians, we express our full respect for homosexuals. The Catholic Church is opposed to the legalisation of gay marriage, but teaches that homosexuals have the same dignity of every human being and condemns all forms of unjust discrimination, harassment or abuse.”

Two interesting notes in this story. First, in addition to heading up the Mumbai Archdiocese and India’s bishops’ conference, Gracias is also a member of the eight member Council of Cardinals formed to advise Pope Francis. The pope has been noted for his pastoral tone when speaking about LGBT people and his emphasis away from social issues.

Second, India’s Christians are a minority struggling for recognition of their own rights. In the same week that homosexuality was criminalized, police injured Catholic demonstrators, including ten nuns, and arrested Archbishop Couto. Relations between the government and the Catholic Church are contentious, as reports. Defending all minority rights, including LGBT equality aside from marriage, is seemingly a position with which leading Catholic voices seem comfortable.




With elections about to occur in the coming week, and conservative nationalist politicians gaining popularity, it seems unlikely India’s government will act to decriminalize homosexuality. That said, the Catholic Church in India now has a concrete opportunity to act upon oft-stated teachings against LGBT discrimination and continue to speak out and work against this law.



*Indian cardinal speaks out against ban on homosexuality

December 12, 2013

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Episcopal Conference of India, said that the Church has “never considered gay people criminals,” after the Supreme Court of India restored a law banning homosexual acts.

According to reports, Cardinal Gracias, a member of the Council of Cardinals advising Pope Francis on Curial reform, said “the Catholic Church has never been opposed to the decriminalisation of homosexuality, because we have never considered gay people criminals.”

“As Christians, we express our full respect for homosexuals. The Catholic Church is opposed to the legalisation of gay marriage, but teaches that homosexuals have the same dignity of every human being and condemns all forms of unjust discrimination, harassment or abuse,” Cardinal Gracias said.

India’s Supreme Court overturned a decision taken by the High Court of Delhi in 2009, which had decriminalised homosexual acts. The court said it was up to parliament to legislate on the issue. According to Section 377, a 153-year-old colonial law, a same-sex relationship is an “unnatural offence” and punishable by a 10-year jail term.

Source: ‘Gay people are not criminals,’ says Cardinal Gracias

December 11, 2013




We would like to affirm that we stand with Cardinal Oswald Gracias on his stand against the criminalization of homosexuality, that gay people are not criminals, that they are welcome in the Church, and that priests and bishops should not turn gays away by insensitive or judgemental words or actions.

But apart from his being the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), he is also President of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC), it has to be kept in mind that he is one of Pope Francis’ elite council of nine advisors on curial reform as also that he is on the commission for the elaboration of the Final Report of the Synod to which post he was recently appointed by Pope Francis.

He is therefore expected to be the guardian of orthodoxy and orthopraxis of the Universal Church and of Asian and Indian Catholics in particular.

However, at no time during the past two years, since ground preparations commenced for the 2014 Synod, did our Cardinal consult the faithful whom he serves on the issues that he now openly advocates.

What is condemnable are his consorting with “Catholic” pro-gay organisations and lobbies for gay rights such as New ways Ministry and Quest in such a manner as to give them the false impression that indulging in homosexual activity is not sinful and the false hope that homosexuality will one day be accorded acceptance and formal recognition by the Catholic Church. In fact, representatives of these groups who met the Cardinal came away believing that he would exercise his pro-gay influence on the Synod and more so on Pope Francis, the final arbiter of the outcome of the Synod, because of his proximity to the Pontiff.

We do not see any problem with his “saying Mass for an association of gay Catholics” but one wonders whether how they would be able to receive “the Source and Summit of life” at Mass if they are practicing homosexuals, considering that nowhere in his pronouncements and interviews does the Cardinal explicitly state that indulging in homosexual acts is mortal sin, something that no gay activist desires to hear.

In that context, I do not find any point of contention with the Goregaon priest of St. Thomas’ Church who “allegedly described homosexuality as “a great sin” and opposed gay marriage” to cite the Hindustan Times.

Gay activist Harish Iyer did not need to be “grateful to the church for categorically stating that they are not against homosexuality” when appreciating the Cardinal. The Church has never been “against” homosexuality, but there are many places in the Holy Bible where homosexual behaviour is condemned as sinful.

Genesis 19, 1-29, Leviticus 18, 22-24, Leviticus 20, 13, Deuteronomy 23, 17-18; 1 Kings 14, 24, 1 Kings 15, 12; Judges 19, 22ff., Romans 1, 26-32; 1 Corinthians 6-9, 1Timothy 1, 8-10; 2 Peter 2, 6, Jude 1, 7, etc.

Marriage and family in the Catholic tradition, based on Divine Revelation, are between a man and a woman and not between two individuals of the same sex. So, it is most ironic that gays are inordinately interested in a Synod on the Family, an institution that organized LGBT activism seeks to destroy.






19 SEPTEMBER 2015, I had written:

Finally the Latin-Rite
Indian Bishops
of the CCBI under Cardinal Gracias made their unique priorities evident! 

Endorsing the highly-criticised recent motu proprio of Pope Francis on marriage annulments, they want to see the annulment process “speeded up” and “simplified“. People have already called it ‘Catholic divorce’. The Bishops appear to be quite ignorant of the Catholic Church’s existing position on “sex education” and propose that such programmes be made available to Catholics in India. The Bishops want the Church to relax its “stand on contraception in the context of increasing abortions”, in other words, to declare the use of contraceptives as not-sin in order to address the sin of abortion (as if this issue is endemic only to India; in fact the Bishops’ document imagines that several social problems mentioned by them are exclusive to the Indian sub-continent)…

We see that the demand of the Latin Rite bishops of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) for the Synod on the Family to relax the Church’s stand on contraception conforms to the agenda of the liberals and so-called progressives. In a March 2015 report on the Latin rite archdiocese, I had rhetorically asked:


The answer to that question is now only too obvious.




1. DANGER AHEAD. Synod document drafting committee member: Familiaris Consortio? “Circumstances have changed!” Divorced-and-remarried, “decentralization” still on the agenda

October 22, 2015

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, one of ten mostly-liberal prelates assigned by Pope Francis to the drafting committee for the final Synod relation, has unexpectedly emerged in recent days as a champion for greater “openness” to homosexuals. His comments in today’s Vatican press conference
are true to form, and given his role in drafting the Synod document hints at something that can be manipulated in favor of Kasperite and liberal concerns. 


It is telling that in speaking of decentralization he, and other champions of this idea, repeatedly refer to the problem of polygamy in Africa as an example of issues that need to be dealt with by local bishops’ conferences. One has to ask if this is an agreed-on liberal talking-point to humiliate the African bishops into endorsing the “decentralization” option. 

As we said yesterday, we have no reason to relax our vigilance as the Synod enters its final days. Continued prayers and mortifications are all the more necessary in the lead-up to Saturday, when the final relatio is consigned to Pope Francis.

From News.Va’s report on today’s Synod press briefing (emphases ours) – take note that the Cardinal’s name is weirdly misspelled throughout as “Gracious”:

Gracious was asked for his thoughts on “healthy decentralisation.” He said that the Church is one universal body but this also means that there are diverse circumstances in this body. He said that the Church had to deal concretely with situations. It would therefore be appropriate for Episcopal Conferences to study behaviours which occur in their context, he thought. He used polygamy as an example. He said that this was not an issue in India but was in Africa so it would be fitting for the African Church to investigate this. He added that bishops would need to have the right training and assistance theologically and canonically. 

He also said that the drafting committee received between 700-800 “modi” or “comments” for the final text. They were given to experts to be sorted into various different areas. They were looked at by the drafting committee then given to the writers.

The Cardinal was asked about Familiaris Consortio #84 (the document from the 1980 Synod on the Family). In this document St. John Paul II said that the divorced and civilly re-married could not be admitted to the Eucharist. He was asked if the drafting committee would raise this issue in the final document because it had been spoken of often at this Synod. Gracious said that a number of issues were similar but that circumstances have changed. He pointed out that in Familiaris Consortio it also stated that cases should be looked at carefully. He said that St. John Paul II, in that paragraph, stated that we must not put everyone in the same category. The Cardinal said that we cannot treat all people in the same manner. The one who broke up a marital bond is different to another who did not want that to happen and tried by all means to keep it. Gracious said, “To be honest, we don’t have a solution.” He said that there needs to be a study of scripture, moral theology, doctrine, tradition and, hopefully, as understanding is deepened, so too will a way forward emerge.

Cardinal Gracious added that there are divergent views but it is important that a key text is produced which can offer pastoral direction at this time.




2. Cardinal Oswald Gracias: From Bad to worse

By Fr. Conrad Saldanha, St. Pius College, Seminary, Mumbai, India, October 23, 2015

This article is based on an interview Cardinal Oswald Gracias has given to LGBT blogsite:


Introduction: The church is home both for saints and sinners alike and no one can be ostracized from the church who have chosen to accept the sound teachings of Christ, handed down through the teachings of the apostles of Christ Jesus and wants to remain in it.

Yet like the prodigal son mentioned in the parable found in the gospel of Luke Chapter 15: 11ff, the church in the spirit of the father of the prodigal son looks with concern at those prodigals, without approving of their sinful actions.

People who choose to remain in the bondage of sin, opt to be like the prodigal son who chose the riches and pleasures of the world rather than the happiness and joy present in the Father’s house.

The modern day prodigals have become bold, deceptive and manipulative, making every attempt to also be part of the father’s house even as they want to continue to live in the abys of sin publically through crafty interpretation of the teachings of Christ and his church. What is more, they seem to have managed to deceive those in the hierarchy who have been ever willing to listen to their deceptively empirical logic.

No one, even the highest ranking official, has the right to legitimize the actions of the men and women who, like the prodigal son, opt to remain in lustful sin, living the life of the beast; as understood in the light of the insight given to us by scripture.

It is beastly to live in such sin and to seek the allure thereof. Some who envy those who are living the dignified life in the father’s house, despite their pulls, are behaving worse than the prodigal son. He at least chose to walk out from his father’s house and only when he came to his senses (Lk.15:17) decided to return. But unlike this prodigal son the modern day Prodigal sons consisting of the openly and defiantly manifesting gays and lesbians, want the best of both world: the life of sin and pleasure and the happiness and comfort of the fathers house too.

The fathers house, which is the Church, is meant only for those who want to live according to the rules of the father’s house, even if they too may have the tendencies for the pulls and attractions of the world like the prodigal son (Lk. 11:29); a desire also expressed by the elder son too but he knew where to weigh his decision.

What is worse there are those sponsors and godfathers of the new type of prodigal sons, among the highest offices of the hierarchy in the Catholic Church who have chosen to back these prodigals mindlessly, often unilaterally either like despots or manipulators or both. They have chosen to abuse their position and power they wield in the Church of God.

One such godfather and sponsor, who has acted as betrayer of the faith of Christ is none other than one of the 9 advisers to the Pope and also one of the 10 members drafting committee for the synod; Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India.

He has proved himself as a heretic and apostate on several occasions and is once again proving himself to be so by going against the sound teaching of Christ Jesus and the sound teachings handed down to us over a period of time. He has failed the Christian community at all levels in the church and his continuing in office is detrimental to the survival of the Catholic faith in its originality and authenticity.

If the good man of the house (Mt. 13:27) himself seeks to sow the weeds and directs his servants too to do the same and thus acts like the enemy then what is remained?

Here bellow, I have surgically isolated some of the serious erroneous statements made in an interview to “New Ways Ministry” – A so called LGBT Catholic group seeking legitimacy in the Catholic Church but banned by the Vatican.


The interview has appeared on the following blogsite of NWM:

NWM: The Banned Organization: What is wrong with giving interview to a group like “New Way Ministry”: The fact that they are an organized deviant group that publically seeks legitimacy in itself goes contrary to catholic moral teachings. What is more, the group theologizes and seeks to interpret Jesus Christ and the doctrines and sacred history of the church from the homophilic point of view.

In keeping with their agenda, and as the name of their organization itself suggests, it is far removed from the true Catholic tradition from which they are seeking to deviate towards a “newness” that cannot be Christian in any sense of the term.

The Cardinal Oswald Gracias: Has quite a reputation for abuse of his power and position as head of the local church of Bombay, India.  In the late 1980’s a group called “The Catholics for the Preservation of Faith” which at one time was in confrontation with the local church for serious erroneous teachings and its support towards a serious erroneous doctrine, exposed the Cardinal for manipulating the verdict of the inquiry held against the erroneous group called the “Emmanuel Prayer group”.

Another group called the “Association of Concerned Catholics” has also been exposing serious financial and administrative scams in the Archdiocese under the same Cardinal for long. Monetary wise, these scams amount to Crores of Indian Rupees.

There has also been abundant complaints of manipulation of the processes of Law in granting annulments and violations of the laws of the church. Only a close scrutiny of the documents will reveal the abuses committed.





One of the most serious violations has been the abuse of Canon Law of which he is considered an international expert and also the violation of the more stringent law on the sacrament, viz. Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela. He uses his influence in the Curia and with the Pope to suppress the grave violation. One of the key victim of this violation is Fr. Conrad Saldanha, the author of this article. The reason for such attacks on him: For exposing the violations in teaching sound doctrine, even by some of the leading Bishops of the Archdiocese, including the Cardinal himself.

By his act and erroneous teachings His eminence has now become a pre-eminent menace to the church and is leading the church into the abys of hell. (May be like many of his theologians he too doesn’t believe in the doctrine of hell)

His most recent action of allowing himself to be interviewed by the Vatican banned “New Ways Ministry” gives us a taste of his proficiency in heretical teachings, which amounts to Apostasy. As far as the “New Ways Ministry” were concerned they were more than elated to receive one of their own. They proudly proclaimed this about him:  “He is the only religious leader who opposed an initiative to recriminalize LGBT people, has urged his priests to be more sensitive in their language about LGBT people, spoke out for better pastoral care during last year’s extraordinary synod, and met with the Chair of Quest, the United Kingdom’s Catholic LGBT group” – as quoted by the Blog article in its introduction to the interview they carried with him.

In keeping with the theme of the synod, viz. “Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World”, one wonders what has the LGBT and their pastoral care to do with the Family.

The fact that he gave this interview to a group that is condemned by the Vatican in itself suggests a rebellious stubbornness to be extra-synodal and could even be a way of being the precursor; preparing the way for the Pope to come out with an encyclical favoring homosexual legitimacy through a cleverly devised language of which he is an adept.

From the interview to the “New Ways Ministries” it seems evident from statements made by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, India, once head of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and also head of the Asian Bishops conference, one of Pope Francis’s 9 advisor and now one of the 10 members in the final drafting committee, that he has acted extra-synodal and is capable of a similar harm in the drafting process of the final document. I have listed down some of the erroneous points made by the Cardinal and which needs to be read in the light of the sound doctrine mentioned at the start, in the light of the story of the Prodigal son: (His quotes verbatim in the given interview has been put into inverted coma’s: “……”. Lest you may not be deceived by the irresponsible logic of the Cardinal, kindly read my introduction at the beginning of this article again)


1. The Archbishop was in complete favor of decriminalizing homosexuality from the Indian Constitution and thus being favorable to it. He further lays claim that he has been solely responsible to communicate this to the world, without taking his Auxiliaries or the other Bishops of the Church in India into confidence. (Is this a collegial or Synodal spirit? Such duplicity of expressing compassion on the one hand and then acting despotic is not new and what is more such actions are often loaded with a heavy dose of misrepresentation and falsehood). To affirm this autocratic attitude, he asserts: “I was I think gradually others will come to see what
I am
saying.  It’s so clear in my
mind.  This is what the Church would want.  I’m convince that eventually it will be de-criminalized.  It’s a question of time.” (Emphasis mine, also of great concern is the taking for granted that his mind is the mind of the church: How can a heretical view be the Church’s mind? Where is the post Vatican Church of collegiality? If his personal view and conviction has to be the view of the church, then he surely is a false prophet; a messenger of Satan)

The interviewer affirms the authoritarian dictator thus: “When I read about your stand on the civil law, I read that you were the only religious leader in India to oppose re-criminalization. How did you find the courage to be the only one? (The one and only One, he stands among them as the leader to lead the church astray)

2. “I was convinced. I think gradually others will come to see what I am saying.  It’s so clear in my mind.  This is what the Church would want.  I’m convince that eventually it will be de-criminalized.  It’s a question of time.” (Heretical thoughts sowed in hope, so that tomorrow it will become the law, because the word ‘hope’ too is found in the Christian lexicon! – Alas for the insidious methods of the deceivers!)

3. “To not be welcoming would not be a Catholic attitude. It would not be Christ’s attitude, certainly. We have to be very compassionate, understanding, and open to people.” (This is deception! There have been abundant instances when Christ has not been too welcoming in his attitude, especially to those so called righteous and those who stood justified in their own understanding. (Mt. 15:24, 26; 16:12; Jn. 1:11) Even the Apostles carried the same attitude of selective welcoming or rejection, based on discernment. (Rom 16:17; 2 Cor. 6: 14-16; Eph. 5:7; 2 Tim 3:5; I Pt. 4:4; 2 Jn. 10)

4. When asked by the interviewer: Did you receive a backlash or criticism for your stand? His reply was thus: “Not much.  There were a few.  There were some theologians who said they disagreed with me. But that was an intellectual discussion, and I was happy about that because it allowed me to sharpen my thoughts on the matter. But there was no campaign against what I said.” He has no value for theological feedback from his theologians. What matters is his thoughts: I, Me and myself. He has begun to think that he is infallible; an irresponsible autocratic behavior. Perhaps it seems that a campaign would have worked!

5. “Homosexuality is not fully out of the closet in India.  The atmosphere is not so open in the civil society to be able to have people openly come and declare themselves.”  (Nihil Obstat and his seal of imprimatur to the Homosexuals to come in the open for seeking legitimacy and the Cardinal will give it and he has assured it here too)

6. As a matter of fact a gay association asked me if I would say Mass for them.  I said, “Absolutely. No difficulty whatsoever.  I said to them they should keep in mind that they would suddenly be coming out into the open.



For me, it’s not a problem. (What problem can the Cardinal have in abusing the sacrament as the Pope’s appointee to the congregation on Divine worship and also as self-appointed chairman of the forthcoming National Eucharistic Congress; you name the grave abuses of his and he knows that he can escape the noose here on earth at any level. But you can’t fool all the people all the time! We do not know what other sacrilegious acts he may have performed with these at the Eucharist.)

7. When asked: Do you see any gifts that lesbian and gay people bring to the Church? His answer was thus: “But the people I have met have impressed me very much by their sincerity, wanting to help the Church, generosity, Is this specific to them or just because they happen to be who they are?  So, I can’t generalize.  But all I have met have been good people, wanting to dedicate themselves to work for the Church” (Can a group of people thinking and acting contrary to the laws of the church be working for the good of the church? The Cardinal who thinks likewise is in a serious satanic delusion; that he can and so too these who oppose the laws of Christ can do so. Can one rob Peter to pay Paul? The end doesn’t justify the means but the Cardinal has always managed to do so with great success because he is an expert Spin doctor) He considers these who seek to obstinately violate the law of God and openly justify it as people of “sincerity” (like himself who apparently too appears extra sincere than any crook born of a woman!) and “good people”. (Mk. 10:18; Lk. 18:19: Here Jesus reveals to us that God alone as good)

8. Concerning the Synod discussion he says: “I don’t expect us to be able to say very much more specific on this.”  (The spin doctor at work; how to say two things in one single statement or speaking with one forked tongue: With them but with you more! Shocking but true! He continues in this tradition of similar deception in the whole interview)

9. “There’s very clearly a North American-European stance on this topic.  How we as a Church, as the universal Church, can take something on board, is something that we have to consider. That is really key” (By erroneously categorizing the issue as North American-European centered issue  and seeking for means and ways to take it up on board he has further given his seal of approval to this controversial issue and a subtle condemnation of those outside this so called ‘stance’, as being insensitive.)

10. “It should be done gently. I’m glad you brought this up. I think there would be an acceptance of saying “Let’s use gentler language, not judgemental language.” – This means, according to Cardinal Oswald Gracias words like ‘disorder’ and ‘evil’ should no longer be used. In other words keep these LGBT’s where they are and don’t make attempts through pastoral action to rehabilitee them or let your pastoral action be that of keeping them where they are.

11. “I think most have never had direct contact or discussion.  I have a feeling about that.  For them, it’s just a theoretical opinion, but you really don’t come down to the person.  When you really see a person, you speak to a person, and understand the anxiety.” (A new way of theologizing, rampant in the Archdiocese, an ascending Christology, a sociological perspective are some ways of looking at this mindset of this Cardinal. In other words, overlook the most serious doctrine and listen to people. As if what has been revealed to us by divine origin is faulty.)

12. “The whole thing about the origin of sexual orientation has not been studied in-depth.  Some say that it’s a choice.  I see that it is not a choice for many people, so it’s not fair to say it is.  In that sense, we are not open enough.” (Do we need to know the origin of sexual orientation in the first place from in-depth study? Do we ignore revelation if it contradicts or has a divergent view vis-a-vis what comes through by the Cardinals “in-depth study”? Are theological and traditional teachings on the subject not enough? But the greatest problematic is this: the Cardinal has caught the bull by the tail by looking at the public avowal and justification of homosexuality as a legitimate act. By not understanding the issue at hand from the spiritual and theological angle, as is evident from this interview, the Cardinal has proved his brains. In fact the greatest need of the church today is to discuss a legitimate solution of healing the condition through prayer, sacramental confession, healing and deliverance rather than talk about mercy, communion and embrace which in the end is no mercy but eternal condemnation.)

13. “I would say the Church embraces you, wants you, and the Church needs you.  You are not someone who is a burden to the Church.  The Church needs you. You are part of us. We’d like to help you, we’d like to see you more clearly.  We are struggling to see how to help you more with pastoral care” (1. What scrap? From what theological view point do you talk to these publically professed offenders and welcome them and feel the need for them? If it was the prodigal son who has come to his senses and acknowledges the evil thereof then we can welcome him to the bosom of the Father, manifest through the Church’s pastoral ministry? Do you want their corroding contribution to eat into the moral fibre of the Church? What pastoral care can you provide when you yourself, supposed to have the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and being the first exorcist in your Archdiocese, have never performed exorcism on an actual case? What is more you in your Archdiocese have been a serious violator in encouraging ‘new Age’ methods to provide pastoral care to your people. It proves how much of authentic pastoral care and concern you have for people who struggle.)

14. “I’d also say, “Don’t get discouraged.”  At the last synod there was just one official intervention on this topic; in group discussions it would come out much more. This time there were a few more. So, I would say to [LGBT people], “Hold on.  It is certainly not the end. We are still in the process, and we will find a way.” (The man with the thickest ever skin or may be an impenetrable hide seem to be bent on accommodating the Prodigal son who wants the best of both worlds)

15. I would say the Church embraces you, wants you, and the Church needs you.  You are not someone who is a burden to the Church.  The Church needs you. You are part of us. We’d like to help you, we’d like to see you more clearly.  We are struggling to see how to help you more with pastoral care. (Can a man who wants to live in obstinate sinfulness, despite there being a solution for such a deviant state, be welcome in the Cardinal Oswald’s usurped Church which has no solution to solve their problems but instead recognizes their problem as acceptable lifestyle? Your embracing them may solve the problem because a new religion will be born through the ministry of a false prophet who listens to no one but self and is all the more convinced when corrected.)




Church embraces you, wants you, needs you

By Jyoti Shelar,
October 23, 2015

Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias‘ interview on LGBT rights that is making waves both at the Vatican and in Mumbai

Archbishop Oswald Gracias has sparked off an angry reaction in certain quarters in Mumbai with his candid views on the LGBT community in an interview at the Vatican, where he is attending the Synod on Marriage and Family.

Speaking to Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry‘s executive director, the Cardinal, among other things, stressed the importance of not being judgemental when dealing with the members of LGBT community, especially on their right to be treated with love and compassion by the Church.

The Cardinal, who has been at the forefront of the battle to push for decriminalisation of homosexuality in India, said: “You must make a distinction with an individual who is absolutely part of the Church, who we must care for, and who might have a [homosexual] orientation. You can’t put them in chains, or say we have no responsibility whatsoever.”

Answering a question on the language used in Churches when referring to the members of the LGBT community and some bishops’ suggestion that words like “disorder” and “evil” be discarded, the Cardinal said: “I think there would be an acceptance of saying ‘let’s use gentler language, not judgemental language.’ The response to this view is “are you condoning it?” I personally feel that it would help us to have a more clear, objective view of this matter.”

Cardinal Gracias is being criticised for his welcoming stand on homosexuality by the orthodox within the community. “In Catholic parlance, a man and a woman make for a family. There is no question of homosexual alliance. It doesn’t count as a family,” said Michael Prabhu, a community member.

According to Prabhu, the cardinal had a lot of time to sound off the community about his stand before talking about it in the interview. Melwyn Fernandes, secretary of the Association of Concerned Catholics, said the community will not support the archbishop on his stand.” The Bible has never supported or mentioned anything about homosexuality,” he said.

In April this year, the archdiocese, for the first time, had asked an open question about homosexuals in the Family Synod Survey circulated within the community suggesting openness about LGBT issues. While many in the community filled the survey, there were closed-door discussions on whether it was right to have that question.



Does this help explain the present condition of things?

Catholic Mass Lectionary Omits Anti-Homosexualism Verses from Romans 1

By Dr. Taylor Marshall

Why do Catholics in America support homosexuality proportionately more than the general population?

Two reasons: lack of authentic Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality…and the Church removed one of the clearest Bible verses on homosexuality from the lectionary:



One of the very unfortunate results of the New Lectionary is that verses that might be deemed offensive have been removed from our liturgical celebrations. (I’ve written about how three “offensive” Psalms were removed from the Liturgy of the Hours after 1971 here.)


Verses against Homosexuality Removed from Current Lectionary

An example of the removal of offensive passages is from the readings of last week, where the reading of Saint Paul against homosexuality (including female lesbianism) in Romans 1:26-32 is notably removed from the cycle. Below are the readings for the 28th Week in Ordinary Time (Lectionary 468 and 469):



Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 468
Reading 1 Romans 1:16-25

Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 469
Reading 1 Romans 2:1-11

So what’s missing? Romans 1:26-32 is clipped out. Yet this passage at the end of Romans 1 is the locus classicus for Paul’s theology against homosexual behavior and it also forms the cited passage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church for its teaching:

CCC Para. 2357. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law.”

In the footnotes in the CCC for this passage, you’ll find the citation for Romans 1:26-32. So if this passage is important for the Saint John Paul II’s Catechism, why is it skipped over in the Lectionary?


The Missing Romans 1:26-32

Here is the skipped passage in full:

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural [Paul calls lesbianism is “unnatural”]27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men [male homosexual acts are “shameless acts”] and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. [Homosexual acts are an “error” with “due penalty”]

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

32 Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve those who practice them. [Those that approve of homosexual acts and any of the sins above deserve to die according to “God’s decree”]

This passage is inspired by the Holy Spirit – by the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. This is not a politically correct passage of the Bible, but it’s just as true as John 3:16. We may not read it at Mass, but we need to accept it as “inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Why is it omitted from the cycle of Romans for the Catholic Mass?

Is there a bishop out there who will ask the Holy Father to have this verse included in the Mass readings of Roman Rite? In this time of crisis, we need a Saint John the Baptist who defends God’s teaching on human sexuality against the Herod’s that compromise God’s loving law.


Question: Should the Catholic Church revise the Lectionary and include Romans 1:26-32 in the readings for Holy Mass? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


196 readers’ comments

1. I noticed this immediately at Mass last Tuesday. How could they stop at verse 25? I have noticed other key passages of Scripture left out of the readings over the years. Who cobbled together the readings for the Lectionary? When? Have the readings been changed since the new lectionary was first formulated?

And then, to add insult, our pastor, overlooking the rich food for fodder in the Romans verses that actually were there, went on to preach about Pharisees – ummm, that would be us who are not “tolerant.” Sigh … these are not easy times.

2. The omission of such passages as Romans 1:26-32 is another victory for those in the Church hierarchy who have espoused the tenets of “progressive liberalism”. Whoever approves these “selected” readings should be held fully responsible for misleading Catholics along the road to salvation.

3. The post-Vatican II lectionary was first issued in 1969. The second edition in 1981 – which is the edition currently in use – added a few extra readings here and there for new saints, new Votive Mass formularies, etc., but the Sunday and weekday cycles remained the same. (BTW, Rom. 1:26-32 isn’t in the 1962 Missal either.)




The Best of 2013 in Catholic LGBT News

By Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry,
December 31, 2013

Yesterday, we posted our list of the worst of 2013 in Catholic LGBT news.  Today, as promised, we end the year on a positive note by presenting our list of the BEST of the previous year.  It has been quite a good year for Catholic LGBT issues, on all levels of the church.  From a pope who is setting a more positive tone to Catholics in the pews organizing to support marriage equality, we have seen positive movement this year on all levels of the church.  

As we noted yesterday, when we drew up our list of “nominees,” it was hard to come up with 20 serious negative stories from last year, and it was just as hard to limit the positive stories to only 20.

If you’d like further testimony to the positive movement this year in regard to Catholic LGBT issue, you might want to take a look at Michael O’Loughlin’s essay entitled “For Gay Catholics, 2013 Was A Banner Year. Will It Continue?   It was published on the WBUR website, Boston’s public radio station.

Thanks to the 286 of you who voted in our poll to determine the selection and ranking of these best news stories.  The percentage following each story is the percentage of people who chose this item as one of their top five.


The Top Eleven (It would have been the top ten, but we had a number of ties):

1. Pope Francis, in word and action, begins moving the worldwide Catholic Church towards a more accepting and pastoral approach towards LGBT people. 22%

2 and 3 (TIE).  Catholics play a major positive role in the legalization of marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Minnesota, Illinois, Hawaii, France, and Great Britain.  11%

The Vatican asks for input from lay Catholics around the globe for its upcoming Synod on Marriage and the Family, including questions about pastoral care of families headed by same-gender couples.  11%

4 and 5 (TIE). Catholic high school students and alumni organize in cities around the U.S. to protest decisions by their schools to fire LGBT personnel. 6%

The Vatican presents a top science award to a young gay high school student in Maryland. 6%

6, 7, 8 (TIE).  Cardinals and bishops around the world, including at least two Vatican officials, endorse the idea of legalizing civil unions for lesbian and gay couples. 5%

New Ways Ministry’s Sister Jeannine Gramick debates Springfield, Illinois’ Bishop Thomas Paprocki on marriage equality, and the audience supports the pro-marriage equality arguments. 5%

Catholic leaders and commentators welcome the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act, despite criticism of the decision from the U.S. bishops.  5%

9, 10, 11 (TIE). Catholic parishes in Baltimore, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and Minneapolis/St. Paul march publicly in Gay Pride parades. 4%

The president of McQuaid H.S., Rochester, N.Y., allows two male students to attend the junior prom as a couple. 4%

Fr. Gary Meier, St. Louis Archdiocese priest, comes out as a gay man and reaches out to LGBT Catholics.  4%


Other Items which garnered votes:

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, speaks out against his nation’s court decision to allow for the re-criminalization of homosexuality.  3%

The National Catholic Committee on Scouting supports the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to lift the ban against young gay men joining the organization. 3%

Two Catholic hospitals are given national honors for their employment and patient care standards in regard to LGBT equality. 2%

Theologian Bryan Massingale challenges justice and peace Catholics to embrace LGBT issues as part of their social agenda. 2%

Santa Rosa, California’s Bishop Robert Vasa withdraws an orthodoxy oath for church ministers after lay people protest such a measure. 1%

Linda Karle-Nelson and Thomas Nelson, Catholic parents, are presented with PFLAG’s highest honor for LGBT family outreach and advocacy. 1%

LGBT young adults from the Equally Blessed coalition travel to World Youth Day in Brazil to spread the message of inclusion and equality. 1%



One respondent wrote in what he/she considered to be one of the best Catholic LGBT stories of 2013:

“Francis is elected pope, and says with regard to gay people, ‘Who am I to judge?’ “

All in all, it has been a very good year! Bondings 2.0 and New Ways Ministry looks forward to even greater strides for LGBT equality and justice in 2014!





MARCH 2012/APRIL 2013




14 MARCH 2013

APRIL 2013

28 JUNE 2013

MARCH 2015


20 AUGUST 2015

Categories: Uncategorized


1 reply


  1. Cardinal Oswald Gracias champions LGBT cause at the Synod on the Family | Heresy and Apostasy

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