The following Letter to the Editor was published in the November 23, edition of The Wanderer.

The October 19 Wanderer article by Dexter Duggan covering the San Diego Diocese’ 20th Anniversary of “Always our Children” (AOC), clearly pointed out the pro-homosexual culture in San Diego.  What was worse, however, is the abysmal ignorance of the Diocesan spokesman who discussed AOC. I assume that the spokesman, Kevin Eckery, is just ill-informed and poorly educated in the Faith, and not deliberately mis-stating facts about this wretched document.

“Always Our Children”, was composed by a cadre of homosexualist advocates who pushed it through the system at the USCCB where it was published by a committee of bishops without a consensus of the bishops at large.  Upon its release in October of 1997, there was a storm of criticism from faithful Catholics. For example, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz pointed out that AOC’s “bad features…sometimes cross the border from poor advice to evil advice”; and Fr. Kenneth Baker of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review described it as “a disgrace,…a thinly veiled advocacy for the homosexual lifestyle”.      

Praised by the homosexualist culture, a second edition was released in December of 1997. However, much to the dismay of the pro-homosexuals, the document was revised in early 1998. While some of the more egregious statements were changed, and some just “wimped down’, AOC remained – to this day – a Catholic-tinged advocacy of homosexuality. 

There was little dissemination of what were called “modifications” of the 1997 document. The one undated copy I have is just printed on one-third of a piece of brown paper. In all these years I have seen these modifications nowhere else. Several years later I obtained a copy of the AOC booklet from an AIDS event at a Catholic Church. It was the 1997 edition – no modifications – so those who read the document had the “disgraced” version.

I would have thought that Kevin Eckery as chancellor for communications and public affairs, as he is described in the Wanderer, would have been aware of the original document and its modifications, but he states he didn’t “know of any callback or revisions that might have taken place…”. Eckery referred Duggan to the USCCB website and explained that it “says quite clearly that to be homosexual is not a choice for most people and to be homosexual, therefore, is not a sin because it wasn’t a conscious choice”. 

This is not correct. Perhaps Eckery prefers to think this, but here is a situation where words must be defined. Does Eckery mean that to practice homosexuality is not a sin, or does he mean that to be homosexually inclined is not a sin? Unfortunately, AOC itself shows deceptive language by referring to heterosexual AND homosexual orientation. There is no such thing as “sexual orientation”. This term was created by the gay (homosexual) lobby. We are all created heterosexual. Homosexuality is a disorientation. While there may be other factors involved which could have an influence on one’s having a homosexual inclination, an individual still has free-will to reject committing the sin. God did not create anyone with no ability to reject sin. 

But correcting Mr. Eckery’s statement via a review of AOC is not possible because of the perversity of the wording in the document. Once the reader accepts “homosexual orientation” with no clear understanding of the facts, the battle can’t be won. Note that the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not use the “orientation” concept.   

Another inherent problem with the AOC modifications is that they state that the section discussing “homosexual orientation” is followed by the statement from the Catholic Catechism, paragraph 2558, “This inclination, which is objectively disordered constitutes for most [persons with the homosexual inclination] a trial. In reality, this paragraph does NOT FOLLOW the “homosexual orientation” section but is buried in “Notes”, below the “Bibliography of Church Teaching”. What happened here? The term “objectively disordered” has been vehemently rejected by gay activists, especially Catholics. It is no surprise that the Catechism’s strong statement is relegated to “Notes”, at least in the AOC version currently on-line on the NCCB website. It might be revealing to see where the Catechism statement appears in the actual AOC revision of 1998.

A final point:  How many Wanderer readers have the revised Catechism of the Catholic Church?  I did a study recently and was appalled to see that many Internet references to homosexuality still quoted the 1994 text before it was revised in 1997.

Everyone needs to realize that homosexuality is objectively disordered and that active homosexuality – sodomy –  is a deadly sin.

Laurette Elsberry

To see modifications to the first and second editions of Always Our Children, please click here.