The following comes from a Feb. 6 story by One Peter 5.

The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (REC) takes place this March 21 through 24 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The REC, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is hailed as the largest annual convention of Catholics in the country, drawing nearly 40,000 Catholic educators and students each year.

This year’s Congress will feature Cardinal Roger Mahony giving a workshop to junior high and high school students regarding “Volatile Immigration Issues.” His appearance comes despite the fact that he was stripped by Archbishop Gomez of all “administrative or public duties” in 2013, following revelations of his cover-up of homosexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. 

Also speaking at the 2019 Congress will be Fr. James Martin on “LGBT Spirituality.” Martin has drawn criticism for his wholehearted endorsement of the Manhattan-based gay ministry, Out at St. Paul, whose activities include: outings to local gay bars, “Pride Mass,” social media postings celebrating St. John of the Cross’s “gay soul,” drag shows, and “Queer Lady of Guadalupe.”

Last year’s conference featured five workshops on “LGBT Ministry” including one titled “Transgender in Our Schools: One Bread, One Body,” whose presenters included a transgender panelist, offering discussions about gender identity and transgenderism, including proper use of gender pronouns and acronyms and more awareness for Catholic schools to adjust their uniform policies to accommodate children wishing to “transition.” 

The Masses at past conferences were held in the large convention center surrounding a wooden table altar with no visible tabernacle. They featured large jazz ensembles, rock bands, modern anthems of Haugen and Schutte, and liturgical dancers twirling wooden bowls of incense around the altar.

The REC has been no stranger to controversy in years past, and 2019 looks as though it will not be any different.