Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone is considering declaring the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry “not authentically Catholic” after the group’s board of directors refused to take an oath promising fidelity to Church teaching on homosexuality. 

CALGM was formed in 1994 as the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries and changed its name to the Catholic Association for Lesbian & Gay Ministry in 2008. The group has long advocated views of human sexuality that often seem inconsistent with Church teachings, for example suggesting that homosexuals are called to chastity — not celibacy — in their sex lives.

CALGM lists a Berkeley mailing address on its website, which places it under the authority of Bishop Cordileone because Berkeley is in the Diocese of Oakland. One of the group’s co-founders, Fr. Jim Schexnayder, is a retired priest of the Oakland diocese.

According to a June 25 story in the National Catholic Reporter, Bishop Cordileone has been investigating CALGM for more than a year, looking into its “adherence to the fullness of Catholic teaching.”

Now, according to the Reporter, CALGM’s future is “uncertain because its board members refused to sign an ‘oath of personal integrity’ to Catholic teaching given to them by the local bishop.”

In a letter to the group’s board of directors from CALGM president Sheila Nelson, she warns that refusal to sign the oath could result in Bishop Cordileone declaring CALGM “not authentically Catholic,” the Reporter story says.

Bishop Cordileone, said the Reporter, “declined NCR’s request for comment.”

According to the Reporter, the bishop’s “list of concerns with the association have included the omission of specific church documents on its website and publications; its use of the terms gay and lesbian; members’ statements deemed critical of the church; and the backgrounds, affiliations and public statements of both conference speakers and board members.”

“In an April 12 letter to the association’s board, Cordileone stated he would ‘take public action to clarify the status of CALGM with regard to authentic Catholic ministry’ should they refuse to take an oath that requested that each member ‘strive to clearly present Catholic doctrine on homosexuality in its fullness’ and ‘profess personally to hold and believe, and practice all that the holy Catholic church teaches, believes and proclaims to be true, whether from the natural moral law or by way revelation from God through Scripture and tradition,’” said the Reporterstory.

Bishop Cordileone’s investigation of CALGM began in 2010 and has included two face-to-face meetings and the exchange of “nearly a dozen letters,” according to the Reporter.

The current confrontation between CALGM and Bishop Cordileone is not the first time the group has been at odds with a California bishop. In September 2008, when CALGM invited Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto (then coadjutor bishop) to keynote the group’s annual conference in Long Beach, several members of the audience walked out when the bishop gave a clear presentation on Church teaching on human sexuality.

“Sexual relations between people of the same sex can be alluring for homosexuals, but it deviates from the true meaning of the act and distracts them from the true nature of love to which God has called us all,” Bishop Soto told the stunned audience. “For this reason, it is sinful.”

To read the full story in the National Catholic ReporterClick Here.



Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 4:13 AM By Thomas Edward Miles
Fidelity Pledge, ridiculous nonsense, HELLO, children are starving in this world and the Bishop is concerned with this nonsense!! Gangs members in East Oakland take a “fidelity pledge, the all can take the pledge together, sounds like something out of the, Godfather!! Take the pledge with PRIDE!!

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 4:25 AM By MIKE
Amen! I hope that all US Bishops will stop heretics and schismatics from using the name “Catholic” for their organizations. SCANDAL is one of the biggest mortal sins which – confuses many, adds to relativism and secularism, and thus loses Souls. All sex outside of marriage – between one man and one woman – is sinful.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 5:09 AM By irene
God bless Bishop Cordileone, a truly heroic man of God! Hopefully this will be the beginning of the removal of the word ‘catholic’ from other dissenting organizations, hopefully beginning with one of the largest, the National ‘Catholic’ Reporter – unless they change it to what it already is – the ‘National Cafeteria Catholic Reporter’.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 5:19 AM By Juergensen
“For this reason, it is sinful” ~ Many things are “sinful”. Homosexual acts are more than “sinful”. They are “acts of grave depravity”, “intrinsically disordered”, “contrary to the natural law”, and “under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2357).

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 5:38 AM By JMJ
What is there to consider? Just do it in the name of Jesus!! +JMJ+

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 6:06 AM By St. Christopher
This type of vacillating behavior cries contrasts to the model of the Christian warrior-priest, that sets out the Church’s rules, and then acts accordingly when they are not obeyed. Only a blind man can fail to see the CALGM is not Catholic, and exists “within” the diocese only to gain the legitimacy of being called “Catholic” rather that pagan, which is what it is. This “investigation” is ongoing for two years — two years!! Nearly a dozen letters; meetings, and the like!! This is an exact example of what is wrong with America’s bishops; so willing to embrace ongoing and active evil, so unwilling to enforce anything that somehow shows the affected to be sinful, or evil. The bishop should consider resigning, as should most American bishops, given his dereliction of duty (yes — failure to act is wrong). In fact, B. Cordileone enables this type of evil, encouraging its growth and boldness through his weakness. Contrast this to the powerful words of B. Soto in 2008, words that were not well received (and many, many Catholics no longer believe this type of thing, given the deficient state of their knowledge of their religion and the feebleness of ordinaries throughout the State — unless someone wants to say the TLM, or put up an altar rail, or simply to kneel when receiving communion).

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 6:21 AM By Life Lady 
I commend both sides in this dialogue thus far but appears that they are at an impasse. I can see the Bishop’s point quite clearly. If this organization wants to consider itself “Catholic” and use that name then it must truly have a commitment to the authentic teaching of the Church. If its’ board refuses to declare themselves faithful to that authenticity how can they claim themselves and their organization truly Catholic? Which is more important to them, the core value of their ministry or the “appearance” of their ministry? There appears to be an obstinacy in their refusal to affirm their adherence to Catholic teaching. That would be a shame. It would make what they purport to be doing a sham and false. There is no value in it if that turns out to be the case and Bishop Cordileone is right and just in his request.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7:27 AM By Jack Hockel 
Yea for our Bishop! An action long overdue for a group that is decidedly NOT Catholic.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7:45 AM By Singing Mum
Why would a Catholic group not declare faithfulness to the fulness of Catholic teaching? Bp. Cordileone’s request is reasonable- and more. How can he entrust souls in his care to a Catholic group if the groups’s leaders refuse to present Catholic teaching? Dissenters do not have a right to mislead Catholics. Its a matter of honesty. They should strive to be fully Catholic in their outlook or drop the name. Please, everyone, pray for this bishop and all he has to handle as a matter of his duty to the faithful. It seems there is more dissent and confusion in Oakland than just about anywhere in our state.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7:46 AM By Brian in Canada
LET THE AXE FALL! Just as God set St. Michael the Archangel to drive Satan out of Heaven…let the good Bishop remove the title “Catholic” from the Sinners. Someone must remind those “people” Sodom and Gomorrah being turned into pillars of salt. Perhaps we should all ask declared homosexuals which part of the sex act they perform. This will surely put them in their place, as none will actually want the world to know what devious part of “Their Sex Act” they are limited to? Mouth or Deriere? As Donald Duck at the end of the Cartoons used to say: “Th.. Tha..That’s All Folks!” Will the Truth Set Them Free? Worth a Try?

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7:47 AM By Catherine
“Bishop Cordileone’s investigation of CALGAM began in 2010 and has included two face-to-face meetings and the exchange of “nearly a dozen letters,” according to the Reporter.” Bishop Cordileone has shown much patience with this particular group and after all of this tolerant dialogue they still refuse to sign an oath of personal integrity. It is time to remove the Catholic name from this group. We have witnessed the same type of rigidly unbending thought process on CCD. There are posters who claim to accept all of the teachings of the Catholic Church, yet they will praise others who disobey Church teaching. If you try to dialogue with them about this disobedience they refuse and will then tell you that the conversation is closed. These individuals are not interested in tolerance. They wanted the foot in the door and they want to change the Church. They will say that they don’t want to change the Church but their actions speak differently. If CCD posters praise disobedient clergy on a public Catholic website, then what are they teaching children behind closed doors? These individuals should be removed as CCD teachers. When CALGAM board members also claim to accept Church teaching but then refuse to sign personal oaths of integrity, it is time to remove the Catholic name.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 8:19 AM By Laurette Elsberry
This is great news that I trust will result in the only conclusion possible: CALGM is a pro-homosexual organization which seeks to homosexualize the Catholic Church, especially through a type of infiltration of Catholic parishes. I hope everyone will support Bishop Cordileone in his efforts to document the truth.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 8:38 AM By MD
Good for Bishop Cordileone!!! It is such a joy to see bishops defending the Gospel in love of Christ and His Bride our beloved Catholic Church. God Love You.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 8:41 AM By JLS
Such people could care less about integrity, so why would they have any problem signing a fidelity oath? They could sign it and carry on as usual. Then what? But they refuse to sign … power play becoming more of a kick to them than their usual perversion?

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 8:45 AM By k
Mr. Fisher challenged me to find out about this organization which I tried to do. I did receive an answer to my email very promptly, but no real answer about whether they actually helped people within the Church’s teaching. I think their compassion for suffering is real. The Church need’s an organization for those who want to live within the Church’s call to chastity and their families. COURAGE is a 12 step program for those who are recovering from the lifestyle. People who have not committed the sin and their families need support, too. And Catholic families of active LGBT who are worried about their loved ones do, also.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:34 AM By Michael Arata
… Hurrah for Bishop Cordileone’s reining in of the so-called “Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry” (CALGM)! CALGM (previously NACDLGM) founder Rev. James Schexnayder, in public meetings wherein I challenged his assertions, has routinely misrepresented four elements of Catholic teaching in particular (among others): 1. (mis)representing the homosexual condition as a blessing rather than as a disordered inclination or affliction (Catechism, nn. 2357-2359). And yes, I know about diversionary claims by the thoroughly compromised APA twins, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association. See, e.g., for background: Ronald Bayer’s Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnosis (Princeton University Press, 1987); 2. (mis)representing conscience as an as-you-like-it, free-for-all internal decision, ignoring the fact that “when a man ‘takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin’ …the person is culpable for the evil he commits” (Catechism, n. 1791); 3. (mis)representing “chastity” as merely “the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being” — and omitting, indeed overtly refusing to read though requested, the very next sentence in Catechism n. 2337: “Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman” — and also leaving out other relevant Catechism elements, including nn. 2360-2363. [to be continued…]

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:41 AM By Marie
I remember when Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto stunned the CALGM group by telling them that homosexuality was sinful. Obviously, if they were surprised by his speech they must have been expecting something more positive to their cause. CALGM must have had some reason to invite him in the first place. What was he expected to say and why did he change his tune?

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:43 AM By Michael Arata
Continuing with Schexnayder misrepresentations of Church teaching… 4. (mis)representing Scriptural prohibitions of homosexual activity as merely a problem involving “vocabulary and understanding, [because supposedly] the availability of science was not there when the Scriptures were written.” So, allegedly, “It’s not a simple issue of reading back our understanding of these questions into the Scriptures” (Schexnayder’s claim in a talk at Hayward’s All Saints Parish in 2007, responding to a question about St. Paul’s admonitions to the Romans). St. Paul was 2000 years closer to Christ’s time on earth than Schexnayder and other revisionists. So a trip on the road to Damascus is in order: “Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity” (Romans I, 26-27).

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:53 AM By Dave N.
Ten bucks says all this dithering will ultimately come to nothing.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 10:00 AM By Michael Arata
…Long and short, Schexnayder and his NACDLGM / CALGM outfit have routinely been about normalizing homosexuality within the Church and in society at large. Some will deny such a broader “gay agenda.” But there really is one, already mostly implemented. Homosexual activists Marshall Kirk and “Erastes Pill” (a pen name for Hunter Madsen) articulated the scheme in “The Overhauling of Straight America,” published in Seattle’s homosexualist Guide magazine in 1987 — and re-posted in a number of places on the Internet today: “The first order of business is desensitization of the American public concerning gays and gay rights…. The principle behind this advice is simple: almost any behavior begins to look normal if you are exposed to enough of it at close quarters and among your acquaintances…. First let the camel get his nose inside the tent— only later his unsightly derriere!…” It is meanwhile false compassion to endorse or otherwise to encourage behaviors which harm their participants. We don’t do that for alcoholism (another condition for which genetic predispositions are sometimes claimed), and we ought not to do that for homosexual activity. So again, hurrah for Bishop Cordileone’s response to CALGM, and an Oakland Diocesan assertion of Courage as the authentically appropriate Catholic ministry for those who are homosexually inclined!

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 10:00 AM By Tracy
Thank you Bishop Cordileone for inviting Bishop Soto to be the key note speaker at this organization’s annual conference in Long Beach. I wish I could have been there to witness the uneasiness in the audience. I hope that Bishop Soto’s words effected a change of heart in at least a few of the attendees. Evil has once again been tolerated in our church for too long and we can’t expect the cure to be an easy one. I am praying for both of you brave Bishops as well as our unchaste homosexual brothers and sisters in desperate need of conversion to the love of Christ.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 10:15 AM By Tracy
I just heard that a bill has been introduced into the California legislature which, if it passed, would make it illegal for therapist in the state of California to offer therapy to those seeking help for unwanted same-sex attraction. If it became law, therapist who offer this service to those who request it could face fines and jail time. Can you imagine? if this bill passes, even those with a homosexual identity seeking healing wouldn’t be allowed to follow their own consciences. It would be nice if Cal Catholic informed their readers about this especially since I see that a couple of your advertisers offer this type of therapy.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 10:33 AM By Anne Hendershott
Bishop Cordileone has proven himself once again to be one of the most courageous bishops we have. His defense of marriage and commitment to protecting hte unborn are commendable. I am grateful that he has been willing to courageously lead – It is not an easy thing in today’s culture of death. He needs the prayers of all faithful Catholics.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 11:36 AM By Carolyn
Thank you Bishop Cordileone! Has the sword of St. Michael been executed! The slicing away of all that is evil and unworthy in the sight of God our creator. Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 12:02 PM By Logan Bear
“its use of the terms gay and lesbian” Is using these terms anti-Catholic? I’m very confused. Does the Catholic Church have control of words that Catholics can and cannot use? And what is wrong with the words gay and lesbian?

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 12:08 PM By Jimmy Mac
All CALGM has to do is relocate to a different diocese. Cordileone will look like a hero and CALGM can keep about doing its good work.

Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 12:10 PM By Jimmy Mac
Let’s listen to the Magisterium on this: “When Pius X died, the conclave of 1914 elected Benedict XV, who immediately issued an encyclical (Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum) calling on Catholics ‘to appease dissension and strife” so that “no one should consider himself entitled to affix on those who merely do not agree with his ideas the stigma of disloyalty to faith.’ ‘There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism,’ he concluded. ‘It is quite enough for each one to proclaim ‘Christian is my name and Catholic my surname’ “ David Gibson, “Who Is a Real Catholic?” The Washington Post, Sunday, May 17, 2009