by Max Douglas • ChurchMilitant • September 19, 2016
NEW YORK – A gay alumni group from the University of Notre Dame will be hosting an LBGT “Pilgrimage of Mercy” in New York City. The goal of the October 2 pilgrimage is to “to celebrate and recognize LGBT faithful Catholics in the United States.”
The website for Gay and Lesbian Alumni of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s (GALA) claims to be working on behalf of Pope Francis and late University of Notre Dame President Fr. Theodore Hesburgh. The website advocates for following in the footsteps of Fr. Hesburgh’s “social justice” work.
There will be many notable dissenters attending, including “Gay priest and advocate for LGBT Catholics” Fr. Warren Hall. Earlier this month Fr. Hall was fired from his teaching position at Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey and before that, he had been removed from his chaplaincy at Seton Hall for his pro-gay activism. Hall has since been stripped of his faculties. In response to his dismissal from Paramus, Fr. Hall told reporters, “The problem is that we have an archbishop who doesn’t believe you can be gay and Catholic.”
The pilgrimage will also feature gay Notre Dame alumnus Greg Bourke and his “husband” Michael De Leon, who were named 2015 Persons of the Year by the National Catholic Reporter. The dissident newspaper was ordered 50 years ago by its bishop to stop using the name Catholic, an order it has always refused to heed. The GALA website claims the couple are faithful Catholics, despite the fact they have been in a same-sex relationship for nearly three decades.
The pilgrimage will start at Central Park in New York City and end at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, run by the Paulist Fathers, known for their heterodox leanings.
In an official video about their founder, the Paulist Fathers say, “His hope 150 years ago was to make America Catholic. But given our modern appreciation for the diversity of cultures and faith backgrounds how do the Paulist Fathers understand our founder’s vision today? We embrace the Second Vatican Council’s call for Catholics everywhere to re-evaluate their relationship with those from different denominations.”
Sponsors and co-sponsors for the pilgrimage include dissident Catholic groups Dignity, Equally Blessed, Fortunate Families and New Ways Ministry, none of which teach chastity for those struggling with same-sex attraction. Secular pro-gay groups are also sponsoring the event, including Human Rights Campaign, The Fairness Campaign and GLAAD.