Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Ways Ministry - An Old Dinosaur Sneezes

New Ways Ministries was one of those gadfly outfits that rose out of the stench of the so-called "spirit of Vatican II" in the 1970s.  Founded by Father Robert Nugent and Sister Jeannine Gramick, their self-styled "mission" was to be "a gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for LGBT Catholics.."  In 1984, the Vatican clamped down on this bunch and forced Nugent and Gramick to separate from New Ways.

Now what does this "mission" entail?  They certainly have published no works detailing how the LGBT-afflicted Catholic might be freed of his/her cross.  There have been no exhortations from New Ways urging them to live chaste lives according to the teaching of the Church (as does Courage, a truly worthwhile ministry).  No, they are about dissent and the promulgation of dissent.  Namely, they want all the Church to pretend that the gay lifestyle is just as acceptable as adherence to tradtional Church teaching.

They're headquartered in Prince George's County, MD - within the Archdiocese of Washington.  A few months ago, New Ways plopped one of their booklets upon the public at large entitled "Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach".  Of course the release of that booklet would coincide with the recent gay-marriage struggle that occurred in Annapolis.  Make no mistake - it was designed to obfuscate the Catholic voice in that struggle.

This past February, then-USCCB president Cardinal George issued a statement denouncing the position of New Ways on marriage as being at variance with the Catholic Church.  He went on to say that "in no manner is this organization authorized to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church or to identify itself as a Catholic organization."   On March 11th, two committee chairmen of the USCCB, including Washington's Cardinal Wuerl, issued a statement reaffirming that of Cardinal George's.

About five or so years ago, some of us picketed a meeting that New Ways conducted in Silver Spring.  There were only five of us picketing.  However, we outnumbered the meeting attendees!  It was a clear sign to us that these dissident groups are in their death throes.  However, just as a dying cockroach often flails its legs about in its final agony, these groups also let loose their sputters during their last gasps.

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