Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

“New Ways Ministry is not a Catholic group”

March 20th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

I hope that Bishop Clark gets the message.

From CNS:

“WASHINGTON (CNS) — The publication of a recent booklet about a “Catholic approach” to same-sex marriage by New Ways Ministry prompted the chairmen of two bishops’ committees to reaffirm a year-old statement that the organization cannot be considered a Catholic group.

Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach” is a 45-page booklet written by Francis DeBernardo, the organization’s executive director.

New Ways Ministry, based in Mount Rainier, Md., describes itself as a “gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian and gay Catholics and reconciliation within the larger Christian and civil communities.”

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine Committee, and Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, Calif., chairman of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, issued a statement March 11.

They said they wanted to reaffirm a statement made in February 2010 by Chicago Cardinal Francis E. George, then president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, “and assure Catholics that [emphasis] in no manner is the position proposed by New Ways Ministry in conformity with Catholic teaching and in no manner is this organization authorized to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church or to identify itself as a Catholic organization.”

A description of the booklet on the organization’s website makes the claim that Catholics across the United States are supporting same-sex marriage. It adds that the booklet “dispels the myth” that Catholic laypeople follow what the church teaches against same-sex marriage.

In his 2010 statement, Cardinal George denounced New Ways Ministry for its criticism of Catholic efforts to defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman and said it does not offer “an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching.”

Since the founding of New Ways Ministry in 1977, he said, “serious questions have been raised about the group’s adherence to church teaching on homosexuality.”

“No one should be misled by the claim that New Ways Ministry provides an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice,” the cardinal said.

At the time, DeBernardo said in a statement posted on his organization’s website that the cardinal’s words “will not impede or slow us in our efforts to work for justice for lesbian/gay people in the church and society.””



One Response to ““New Ways Ministry is not a Catholic group””

  1. Thinkling says:

    Tom Peters recently had a fascinating piece about the funding and impetus behind New Ways et al. An absolutely fascinating read. His three amazing provoking points:

    First and foremost, Catholics should be outraged that an outside group – which also funds anti-Catholic groups – is funding dissident organizations within the Church to confuse fellow Catholics and undermine our bishops and the teachings they articulate.

    I disagree with the Jehovah’s Witnesses about their position on blood transfusions, but if I were to win the Lotto I would never dream of funding dissenting Jehovah’s Witnesses to change their Church’s position on that. I would be open about the fact that my view is different from the view many JW leaders express on the subject. And I wouldn’t pass off my view as the “authentic” JW teaching through the mouthpiece of JW’s whose salary I pay. Simply honesty would suggest such a practice would be subversive, unfair and wrong. And yet that is what Tim Gill and Jon Stryker (through the Arcus Foundation) are doing to Catholics.

    Second, Catholics who have signed up for the gay marriage agenda should be deeply troubled that it is being funded by an outside, powerful interest group which also funds groups (like the ACLU) which attempt to thwart the Church at every turn. Who honestly would want to be part of a Church whose theological opinion is swayed by the raw money poured into it by a small group of activists? The Church’s teaching on homosexuality has been set for two millennia. A church that overturns two millennia of teaching in a generation because of a handful of billionaires is not the Church I believe Christ founded.

    Third and finally, this finding should encourage us. Why? Because it strongly suggests that the internal dissension we Catholics in the pew witness daily on the issue of homosexuality and marriage is artificial and unnatural. Catholics – when left free to follow the Church’s clear teaching – are far more likely to follow it than in the current situation we now inhabit, where there is free, easy money to be had if you wish to dissent from the Church. In the humbled economic state we find ourselves in today, who can ignore the strong possibility that the ability of dissenters to have their salaries paid, booklets published, and op-eds placed in major newspapers, originates from the fact that there is a powerful foundation like Arcus ready to write these public dissenters a blank check.

    As informed and faithful as I think myself to be, I have never before acknowledged any of those points.

    I am also intrigued by the NW rep’s comment. Indeed, the Cardinal’s words will not impede or slow justice from occurring, in fact that is what the Cardinal wants. It is only a tragic (and scandalous) shame that the rep has no idea what justice really means here.

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