Holiness being helped during a
||Permits Jacksonville Gay/Lesbian
Opposing Group Holds Vigil,
Prays & Carries Signs at Door
A twenty-minute audience
John Paul II was granted recently to Bishop John J. Snyder who presides
over the 17-county Diocese of St. Augustine in Northeast Florida.
The result of their conversation--one
between religious administrators-- has been the giving to Bishop Snyder
of permission to establish the second gay/lesbian outreach in a Roman Catholic
diocese and on American soil. This will be an outreach program that intends
to reclaim into the fold of the Roman Catholic Church all wandering, skeptical,
independent-minded gay Catholics.
Lesbian and Gay Catholics,
it is apparent, often feel easily estranged by the hostility lurking behind
the Vatican’s “Attilla the Hun” sexual policies. Such estrangement, say
critics, costs the Vatican financially, and this is why it is attempting
experimental gay and lesbian outreach programs.
Many estranged Catholics,
it is now recognized, are both males and females who can no longer deny
their innate same-sex affections and their loves in spite of powerfully
organized Catholic opposition groups that work to assure the continuance
of centuries-old second-class citizenship for persons who bond with their
Roman Catholicism’s crusades
find hosts of value-judgment missiles fired regularly into gay civil rights
legislation nationwide at the same time that two “outreach groups” now
operate. Some of the worst of Catholic abuses, in fact, have originated
from the pen or mouth of ailing Pope John Paul II himself.
Asked by late 80s reporters
if AIDS was God’s punishment for homosexuals, His Holiness replied in a
suspiciously evasive fashion, saying “it is not easy to know God’s intentions.”
It is due to Vatican opposition
that worldwide population controls and condom distributions are regularly
Most telling about Bishop
Snyder’s audience with the head of the Roman Catholic Church, however,
was the clergyman’s unembarrassed report about the Pope’s behavior as the
Pontiff was compelled to face up to the Church’s latest anti-homosexual
crusades, namely the loss of numberless tithe-paying gay and lesbian church-goers.
After Snyder had explained
to the Pope that he intended to maintain conventional Church teachings
about same-sex contact, but that he wanted to reach out to Catholic gays
and lesbians and their families, John Paul II pondered the matter.
Snyder reported that he sat
quietly for a few minutes, then said, “We all need redeeming, don’t we?”
Approximately 300 gay men
and lesbians jammed Jacksonville’s Assumption Church last weekend.
A smaller group, according to Jacksonville’s Florida Times Union, prayed
outside and held signs protesting the outreach event.
No changes in Roman Catholic
Teaching may be expected by “fallen-away Catholic” attendees. Instead
there are only a Bishop’s local assurances that as long as gays and lesbians
live the lives of chaste, non-sexual beings they’re welcome to gather under
Northeast Florida Roman Catholic Church roofs and to take the priest-administered
sacraments. Such rituals are reported to assure eternal salvation
to chaste Roman Catholic gays in the afterlife.
new about all this?” asked critics.
Catholic gays and lesbians,
they fear, seem too willing to forgive the church’s negative fulmination
against gays, saying “it was kind of backward before,” remaining unaware
that the Roman Catholic Church currently opposes civil rights for gays
from Maine to California and in the Councils of Europe.