Bishop Leonard Blair, a member of the Apostolic Visitation of the Leadership Council of Women Religious, has forbidden a Franciscan convent in Tiffin, OH, from hosting a conference by New Ways Ministry.
This is the organization
Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry, claims that, “the work we do’s in line with the best of the Catholic tradition” (but apparently not the best of English grammar).
Despite being disciplined again by the Church, DeBernardo has promised that his pro-homosexual workshop will take place in Toledo, saying “We might not be able to use a Catholic facility, but we’ll reach Catholic people.”
Let’s see what they say on their own website.
“Celebrating 31 Years of Ministry in the LGBT Catholic Community!”
They oppose a Maryland Marriage Protection Act.
They have a directoy of “Gay Friendly Catholic Parishes.” Sadly, Our Lady, Queen of Peace in Arlington is listed, as is the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Atlanta. Lots in California. None in South Carolina.
They also have a directory of Catholic colleges that offer “lesbian and gay studies” [some highlights]:
Omaha, Nebraska: Creighton University!!!
Denver, Colorado: Regis University (I trained to teach online there and
never heard back; probably because they assigned an essay on “tolerance” as part
of the training, to which I wrote a Catholic response)
Washington, DC: Georgetown (duh)
Miami Gardens, Florida : Saint Thomas University
Indiana: Notre Dame University (duh), Holy Cross College and Saint Mary’s
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts: Boston College (duh)
Missouri: Saint Louis University (almost went there)
Erie, Pennsylvania: Mercyhurst College
Seattle, Washington: Seattle University
Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marquette University
Many of these are not surprising, and should be added to the reasons these universities are stripped of their Catholic status. But it’s sad that Creighton and Marquette, both of which have contributed to Natural Family Planning, should otherwise be so corrupt. [NOTE: The principle point here is that *this is what New Ways Ministry is saying.* Whether New Ways Ministry is accurately depicting the situation at these colleges is another matter, but from what I know of several of the schools on this list, it’s true. Most of these are colleges that have long traditions of liberalism and heresy. Given the climate of most colleges, I think the burden of proof is on the college to show it does not teach LGBT “tolerance.”]
Other than this, it’s hard to find info. They have links for Archives on Press Releases, In the News and the Gramick/Nugent Case, but all come up blank.
Trying to cover their tracks?
“What is the Gramick/Nugent Case”, you ask?
Well, way back in 1999, the founders of New Ways Ministry, Fr. Bob Nugent and Sr. Jeannine Gramick, were censured by then Josef Cardinal Ratzinger and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for heresy!
Here’s a copy of the Notification on the website of New Ways’ sister group Dignity USA.
Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND, and Father Robert Nugent, SDS, have been engaged in pastoral activities directed toward homosexual persons for more than 20 years. In 1977 they founded the organization New Ways Ministry within the territory of the Archdiocese of Washington in order to promote “justice and reconciliation between lesbian and gay Catholics and the wider Catholic community.”1 They are the authors of the book Building Bridges: Gay and Lesbian Reality and the Catholic Church (Mystic, Conn.,: Twenty-Third Publications, 1992) and editors of the volume Voices of Hope: A Collection of Positive Catholic Writings on Gay and Lesbian Issues (New York: Center for Homophobia Education, 1995).
In 1984, the Congregation for Religious ordered them to stop association with New Ways Ministry.
Despite this action by the Holy See, Father Nugent and Sister Gramick continued their involvement in activities organized by New Ways Ministry, though removing themselves from leadership positions. They also continued to maintain and promote ambiguous positions on homosexuality and explicitly criticized documents of the church’s magisterium on this issue. Because of their statements and activities, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life received numerous complaints and urgent requests for clarification from bishops and others in the United States of America. It was clear that the activities of Sister Gramick and Father Nugent were causing difficulties in not a few dioceses and that they were continuing to present the teaching of the church as one possible option among others and as open to fundamental change. In 1988 the Holy See established a commission under the presidency of Cardinal Adam Maida to study and evaluate their public statements and activities, and to determine whether these were faithful to Catholic teaching on
In 1994, the Commission reached its decision and recommended disciplinary action. In 1995, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life transferred the case to the CDF. The CDF gave them another chance to recant, and, in 1996, they wrote responses which, while demonstrating knowledge of the Church’s teachings on homosexuality. They also, at the same time, published a new book on the subject, which showed no change in their positions.
Given the fact that certain of the statements of Father Nugent and Sister Gramick were clearly incompatible with the teaching of the church and that the wide dissemination of these errors through their publications and pastoral activities was becoming an increasing source of concern for bishops in the United States of America, the congregation decided that the case should be resolved according to the procedure outlined in its “Regulations for Doctrinal Examination” (Chapter 4).2
In the ordinary session of Oct. 8, 1997, the cardinals and bishops who make up the congregation judged that the statements of Father Nugent and Sister Gramick, which had been identified through the above-mentioned procedure of the “Regulations for Doctrinal Examination,” were in fact erroneous and dangerous. After the Holy Father had approved the formal contestatio of the authors, the above-mentioned erroneous statements were presented to them through their respective superiors general. Each was asked to espond to the contestatio personally and independently from the other, to allow them the greatest freedom in expressing their individual positions.
Yet another opportunity was given in 1998, when they were ordered to give public declarations of
their interior assent to the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality and to acknowledge that the two above-mentioned books contained errors.
The two declarations which arrived in August 1998 were examined by the congregation in the ordinary session of Oct. 21, 1998. Once again, they were not sufficient to resolve the problems associated with their writings and pastoral activities. Sister Gramick, while expressing her love for the church, simply refused to express any assent whatsoever to the teaching of the church on homosexuality. Father Nugent was more responsive, but not unequivocal in his statement of interior assent to the teaching of the church. . . .
Given the failure of the repeated attempts of the church’s legitimate authorities to resolve the problems presented by the writings and pastoral activities of the two authors, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is obliged to declare for the good of the Catholic faithful that the positions advanced by Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent regarding the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts and the objective disorder of the homosexual inclination are doctrinally unacceptable because they do not faithfully convey the clear and constant teaching of the Catholic Church in this area.3
Father Nugent and Sister Gramick have often stated that they seek, in keeping with the church’s teaching, to treat homosexual persons “with respect, compassion and sensitivity.”4 However, the promotion of errors and ambiguities is not consistent with a Christian attitude of true respect and compassion: Persons who are struggling with homosexuality, no less than any others, have the right to receive the authentic teaching of the church from those who minister to them.
The ambiguities and errors of the approach of Father Nugent and Sister Gramick have caused confusion among the Catholic people and have harmed the community of the church. For these reasons, Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND, and Father Robert Nugent, SDS, are permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons and are ineligible, for an undetermined period, for any office in their respective religious institutes.
So, how, exactly, has New Ways Ministry been “misunderstood”?
Here’s Sr. Gramick’s response.
Fr. Nugent’s Responses