Mo Rocca, of CBS, the gay first reader at New York's papal Mass:
Hundreds Turned Away From Only Session On Gays At Catholic Meeting
The room was changed last minute from one that could hold 10,000 to another that seated just 1,000.
Posted: 09/26/2015 07:20 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA (RNS) Homosexuality was such a combustible topic at the World Meeting of Families, a four-day Catholic gathering under way here, that it was doused twice.
First, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput earlier this month barred LGBT Catholics from holding a workshop at a Catholic parish near the event. It moved to a local United Methodist Church instead and is operating simultaneously, but with vastly smaller numbers than the 17,000 people on hand for the main event at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Then, just as the single session on homosexuality at this Vatican-approved meeting of Catholic families was to begin on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 24), a conference official took the stage in the main hall, capable of seating at least 10,000, and announced the location had been moved.
Thousands of people got up and made their way up one floor to another room capable of seating only about 1,000. Hundreds of others were turned away, the doors shut on them by convention center officials citing fire code regulations.
Inside the session, it was standing room only, with some people sitting on the floors and in the aisles. All were silent as Ron Belgau, the sole openly gay man allowed to make a presentation here, took the microphone and, with his mother Beverley, described how he follows a “traditional Christian sexual ethic” that says homosexual activity is sinful.
“Some people have described me as the official face of gay celibate Catholics,” Belgau, 40, said from a small podium at the front of the room. “But the last thing I want after this session is people looking at me. Every parish has gay kids, every family has a member suffering with same-sex attraction. I hope that when you return to your parishes you will be able to accompany them in whatever struggles they face and speak up” against the stigma of same-sex attraction.
At that, the crowd broke into applause — something they did multiple times throughout the session. They seemed especially absorbed when Belgau’s mother, Beverley, took the podium and described her son’s coming out at age 21 as “the worst day of my life.”
“You may think the fact that he is celibate makes my life easier, and in some way it does,” she said. “But to be attracted to the same sex and publicly celibate in a sexually free society is no easy road to walk.”
World Meeting of Families organizers were not immediately available to answers questions about the last-minute move to another room.
But for members of Equally Blessed, a coalition of several groups supportive of LGBT Catholics who are not celibate, the move was an echo of the earlier rebuffs.
“We are just trying to understand and give them the benefit of the doubt,” said Ryan Hoffmann, director of communications for Call to Action, one of the groups in Equally Blessed.
Hoffmann was there with several members of Equally Blessed. He characterized Ron Belgau’s appearance as “generous,” “sincere” and “courageous.”
But he added: “The frustration is that he didn’t speak to the many expressions of love LGBT Catholics and their families experience every day.”
Still, he said, the fact that so many were turned away is a positive sign.
“This just speaks to the fact that people want to talk about LGBT Catholics and their relationship with the Catholic Church,” Hoffmann said.
The Church is swirling the drain and we are fretting about a bunch of deviates...are you serious? Can you not see that this stuff is just another weapon being used against the Church and her values? Is there anybody left out there with a modicum of good sense?
What about the just revealed report that Pope Francis' great friend Cardinal Daneels (who was proven to have shielded a priest who molested his own nephew) was involved in a secret group of cardinals who identified themselves as the Cardinal Mafia. And was formed with the express intent on sabotaging the pontificate of Pope Benedict and putting Bergollio on the throne of Peter. All of this is starting to stink and stink badly.
And yet Cardinal Burke is PUBLICLY humiliated. Silence on Ireland and the USA accepting sodomy as marriage. Praising liberal women "religious" and refusing to acknowledge the scandal and yes, the evil, they have inflicted on the Church for the past decades. Nonstop talking about saving trees and the poor. Even to the point of obcession might I add. Yet entire speeches given never mentioning the word abortion or the name of Christ. Something is very very wrong.
I agree with the comments of Clyde Catholic and Anonymous at 11.27 am. In fact I think the information recently disclosed by Daneels is the reason why we are being served up things such as an openly gay lector at Pope Francis's Mass. You can now expect that many priests are now going to be expected to accept openly gay readers, etc. How can they refuse when thisi happened at a papal Mass? The thumbs up seems to have been given.
The truth is Daneels and his crowd are in control and they are not afraid to say it - boasting in fact from reports I have read of what is in the approved biography of Daneels. Things are obviously going to get a lot worse. One can only guess what is in store for us at the synod on the family with a papal delegate in the form of Daneels now openly involved with Kasper.
My sister in law wants a face lift, but she cannot get one because all the heavy equipment is on its way to St. Jo's to get FR's head out of the sand.
OnePeterFive is a very moderate blog I find but even he has reached his limits - I think many of us have.
"The anger one feels at the open and flagrant contempt on display for the Catholic faith from the highest echelons of the Church is perhaps matched only by the astonishing naivete of those members of the faithful who refuse to admit there is a problem. From the tepidity of the Catholic message during the papal visit to the aggrandizement of manifest opponents of the moral law at papal Masses to the conspiracy of known heretics who are so brazen that they admit their misdeeds in public to the never-ending assault of heterodox prelates hand-picked by the pope to have a seat at the Synod…it’s time to be angry. But we mustn’t stop there.
“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.”
– St. Augustine"
You think its bad now? Wait until Danneels and Company hit the stage this October, yes you are right he and his gang feel very very strong to say what they want. I just want to know what they had on poor Pope Benedict the XVI to make him step down so fast??????
Why does the male seed have a tail if not to swim to the female egg? The idea that the tail is meant to propel the seed towards another man's innards is preposterous. So, why would anyone publicly profess a life lived in opposition to this natural order of things?
Dialogue, Because our culture promotes and tolerates things it should not. They publicly profess this stuff because they can.
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