The following comes from a May 8 Catholic Education Daily article by Justin Petrisek:
Catholic dissidents have been opposing the efforts of the San Francisco archbishop to reinforce the Catholic identity of his schools by asking teachers to witness to the Catholic faith, both inside and outside the classroom. But the intentions of Archbishop Cordileone’s critics seem far removed from the best interests of faithful Catholic education.
At the end of April, representatives from Call to Action, DignityUSA, New Ways Ministry, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Catholics for Choice and Human Rights Campaign met in Chicago to strategize how to best oppose Cordileone and other bishops taking similar measures in their dioceses. According to Crux, about 30 participants attended the meeting.
Call to Action claimed that the weekend was an opportunity to meet other groups and discuss “ways to hold our Church accountable to its own teachings” by discussing “working conditions, legal rights and plans for action” for LGBT employees of Catholic schools.
Call to Action is “committed to pushing back against morality clauses and religious exemptions” that protect the identity of Catholic schools.
In 2006, the Vatican confirmed the excommunication of Call to Action members by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., because of the organization’s activities and stances contrary to Catholic teaching on issues including abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage.
Belonging to or supporting Call to Action was deemed “irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic faith,” the official letter from the Vatican read. “The judgment of the Holy See is that the activities of ‘Call to Action’ in the course of these years are in contrast with the Catholic Faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint.”
The homosexual advocacy groups DignityUSA and New Ways Ministry were also present at the meeting to oppose protections for Catholic education. DignityUSA advocates the redefinition of marriage and “advocates for change in the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality,” according to its website. New Ways Ministry has been publicly opposed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which in a 2010 statement said:
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. Their claim to be Catholic only confuses the faithful regarding the authentic teaching and ministry of the Church with respect to persons with a homosexual inclination.
In a recent blog post about the Chicago meeting, New Ways Ministry claimed that the dissident coalition will not stop at one strategic meeting and is planning another event in the fall.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, also at the Chicago meeting, is a political organization that grew out of the 2004 presidential campaign of Catholic dissenter John Kerry, who made substantial efforts to recruit the support of Catholics by claiming doctrinal support for leftist public policy. The group’s leadership has included Catholic academics like former Georgetown University president Father William Byron, S.J., and Catholic University of America professor Stephen Schneck.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good undermined the Church with its public support—contrary to the public statements of 83 Catholic bishops—for President Barack Obama’s commencement honors at the University of Notre Dame in 2009, and its promotion of a faulty report that claimed to prove that redistributive policies would reduce abortions, part of an argument to convince Catholics to back liberal social policies and stop advocating strong pro-life laws. Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good had to retract the report when co-author Michael Bailey seemed to back away from supporting the conclusions.
The final group at the Chicago meeting, Catholics for Choice, touts dissent on its website. “We are part of the great majority of the faithful in the Catholic church who disagrees with the dictates of the Vatican on matters related to sex, marriage, family life and motherhood,” the group states. “We are part of the great majority who believes that Catholic teachings on conscience mean that every individual must follow his or her own conscience ― and respect others’ right to do the same.”
“Discrimination, lack of access to contraception, low pay and job insecurity” were some of the reasons that the groups met in Chicago, according to Call to Action. And the groups didn’t get there on their own. Some were funded by the Human Rights Campaign, according to Crux:
Several participants received grants to attend the three-day long conference from the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights organization and one that has slammed the Catholic Church for its opposition to same-sex marriage.