Catholics for Equality leader calls for activist unity against bishops

One board member of the dissenting homosexual advocacy group Catholics for Equality says it is “imperative” for activists to unite against “the anti-gay bishops,” whose opposition to same-sex marriage he calls “appalling.”

Eugene McMullan of San Francisco, a doctoral candidate in history at Graduate Theological Union of Berkeley, talked to the LGBT newspaper the Bay Area Reporter about Catholics for Equality’s strategy of organizing brunches after Mass to try to convince Catholics to back homosexual political causes.

“We love brunch," he commented. "And what could be more subversive, since we don't have equal access, while at the same time most of us at the parish level are pro-LGBT and utterly unsympathetic to the erring bishops. And we already have a brunch captain signed up for the parish of the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, no less, in Oakland Bishop Cordileone's own backyard."

Proponents of same-sex “marriage” have blamed Bishop Salvatore Cordileone for supporting the campaign to pass Proposition 8, the successful 2008 California ballot initiative which again defined marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

"It is imperative that we come together against the anti-gay bishops," McMullan told the Bay Area Reporter. "We have to do it for ourselves, as a matter of principle, and to save the church we love. The anti-gay, anti-marriage activism of our 'shepherds' is appalling and brings discredit to the Body of Christ.”

McMullan also founded the group Catholics for Marriage Equality in California and serves on the board of the local Dignity affiliate.

The group Catholics for Equality was founded by dissenting groups such as New Ways Ministry and Dignity USA with cooperation from the homosexual advocacy group Human Rights Committee (HRC). It aims to “support, educate, and mobilize equality-supporting Catholics to advance LGBT equality at federal, state, and local levels.”

The group also charges the Catholic hierarchy with favoring discrimination and having an “anti-equality voice” that does not represent Catholics.

HRC spokesman Fred Sainz told the Bay Area Reporter that the HRC lent Catholics for Equality meeting space and supported some start-up costs totaling less than $10,000. Former HRC media manager Phil Attey is the group’s acting executive director.

In a Sept. 20 statement responding to a CNA inquiry, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for Military Services said Catholics for Equality “cannot be legitimately recognized as Catholic.”

Rev. Joseph Palacios, a Georgetown University adjunct sociology professor who identifies as a celibate gay man, told the Bay Area Reporter that the group is relying on a “strategic use of social media” to advise followers how to discuss the issue and how to “challenge misinformation in our parishes.”

He said the organization is not a “church reform group.”

"We are not going to handle doctrine. We can't change that. That is the church's thing. We don't even have the illusion that we as Catholics can do that," he commented.

Fr. Palacios said the group is engaged in “public education on public issues” and is trying to help the “Catholic movable middle rethink their positions.”

While the Bay Area Reporter identified Rev. Palacios as a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, his exact status was not clear by publication time.

The media relations office of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles told CNA on Thursday that he had been a priest of the archdiocese before joining the Jesuits.

According to the 2010 Catholic Directory, Fr. Palacios is presently a priest of Los Angeles serving outside the archdiocese.

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The priest previously organized the group Catholics United for Marriage Equality to back same-sex “marriage” in Washington, D.C.

The Bay Area Reporter piece on Catholics for Equality was authored by Chuck Colbert, an attendee of the group’s organizational meetings who also contributes to the National Catholic Reporter.

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