“The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (LA REC) provided a platform for LGBT affirmation in conflict with Catholic teaching again this year.
The LA REC is billed as the largest gathering of its kind in the United States, with between 20,000 and 40,000 attendees, and has built a reputation through its presentations for liturgical novelty and dissenting speakers, particularly on LGBT issues.
Catholics have expressed concern and some have protested, beginning decades ago, the problematic offerings.
Of the 10 LGBT-themed workshops on the program this year, nine were categorized as LGBTQ Ministry. Workshop descriptions showed a focus on LGBT acceptance, with no mention of chastity or Catholic sexual moral principles…
Workshops from Father James Martin, S.J.; Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice; and Father Chris Ponnet, director of the Los Angeles archdiocese’s Office of Catholic HIV/AIDS Ministry and its spiritual director for Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons (CMLGP), followed suit from previous years in LGBT affirmation.
The idea conveyed was that to welcome LGBT-identifying individuals into the Church they must be taken as they are and their sexual orientation, which they do not choose, is to be accepted. But this does not include counseling chastity.
Chastity is pushed too much on LGBT persons, REC workshop attendees were told, and this is a double standard from what’s applied to straight individuals. It was not clear if this meant that all persons, LGBT or not, should be free to abandon the Church’s teaching on chastity.
Workshop attendees were told on one hand that LGBT individuals’ sexual orientation was a part of who they are, but then also that LGBT persons were more than just their sexual orientation, as though they shouldn’t be defined as such.
Martin’s Building Bridges book was promoted as a resource, as were other troubling sources such as activist group GLSEN and a project from radical gay activist Dan Savage, alongside the archdiocese’s CMLGP office…
A local Catholic man who requested anonymity expressed concern to LifeSiteNews about the LGBT-affirming programming at the REC; that it had the blessing of Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, and the harm that it could do in influencing Catholics at the event.”