New Ways Ministry not approved by Catholic Church, Cardinal George states
Cardinal Francis George, USCCB President.
Cardinal Francis George, USCCB President.

.- The New Ways Ministry for homosexual Catholics does not present an authentic view of Catholic teaching, Cardinal George has said. Rather, it confuses the faithful about the Church’s efforts to defend traditional marriage and to minister to homosexual persons.

“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,” the cardinal explained.

Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), explained the history and status of the organization in a Feb. 5 statement

New Ways Ministry, based in Mount Rainier, Maryland, describes itself as a “gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice.” Since its founding in 1977, the cardinal said, “serious questions” have been raised about its adherence to Catholic teaching on homosexuality.

In 1984 the group’s founders, Sr. Jeannine Gramick, SSND, and Fr. Robert Nugent, were barred from continuing their activities in the Archdiocese of Washington.

That same year, their superiors ordered them to separate themselves from New Ways Ministry. The two resigned from leadership posts but continued their involvement until 1999, when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that because of “errors and ambiguities” in their approach, Sr. Gramick and Fr. Nugent are permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons.

Cardinal George said New Ways Ministry’s “lack of adherence” to Church teaching on the morality of homosexual acts was the “central issue” in the censure of its founders and continues to be its “crucial defect.”

He then noted that the organization has criticized Church efforts to defend the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. It has also tried to rally Catholic support for initiatives to recognize same-sex “marriage.”

In March 2009 Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry, testified for legislation favorable to homosexuals in the Maryland legislature.

He claimed that most Catholics do not hold the same position as the Catholic bishops.

“While the hierarchy is concerned with the ethics of sexual activity, the Catholic people are concerned about the benefits and quality of life that people experience,” De Bernardo argued.

In a response to Cardinal George’s statement, De Bernardo said the comments “will not impede or slow us in our efforts.”

He characterized the criticisms as questions arising from “individual Church leaders” and claimed New Ways Ministry programs have been reviewed and approved by “scores” of bishops and theologians.

But Cardinal George’s statement had criticized the organization for being misleading.

“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,” the cardinal said. “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.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: