It seems we spoke too soon last week when we defended Cardinal Francis George, Chicago Archbishop and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops top dog, against gay activists’ call for protest of the Holy Name Cathedral Sunday. Last week, Cardinal George issued a statement condemning the Washington, D.C. area’s New Ways Ministry, which identifies as a “gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian and gay Catholics and reconciliation within the larger Christian and civil communities.” In what’s being described as an “unprovoked attack” against the ministry, George said the ministry does not provide “an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching.”
“I wish to make it clear that, like other groups that claim to be Catholic but deny central aspects of Church teaching, New Ways Ministry has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church and that they cannot speak on behalf of the Catholic faithful in the United States.” ….
Current New Ways executive director Francis DeBernardo responded, saying the cardinal’s statement “will not impede or slow us in our efforts to work for justice for lesbian/gay people in the Church and society.” DeBernardo claims the ministry was not contacted by the U.S. Conference. They only learned of the statement through media reports.
“If the USCCB had concerns about our ministry, why didn’t they contact us before a judgment was made? Why was New Ways Ministry not given an opportunity to explain our positions?” asked DeBernardo.