by Rodney Pelletier • ChurchMilitant • October 3, 2016
DETROIT – The archdiocese of Detroit is again allowing an anti-Catholic LGBT group to speak in a parish.
On November 5, the dissident Catholic group Fortunate Families is scheduled to have an “afternoon of reflection & dinner” at Christ the King Church in Detroit. The group describes the event as a way for parents of LGBT people to “Find support and learn how sharing your stories with Church leaders helps them know our LGBT+ children as the whole and holy children of God they are.”
This year’s theme is “Our Transgender Children … Always Our Children.”
Christ the King’s pastor, Fr. Vincent Clore, is expected to speak at the event as well as Peter Tchoryk, the father of a so-called transgender eight-year-old. Tchoryk made news in April when he publicized that his daughter, Jacq Kai, allegedly identified as transgender when she was two years old.
His wife Sarah commented that their daughter had said, “I’m a boy” as soon as she could speak. “Of course, we thought that he was confused because he was just learning to talk,” the mother explained. “We’d correct him and there’d be a major meltdown over it. So we stopped correcting him and we thought, ‘oh, he’ll figure it out.’ We ended up figuring it out.”
ChurchMilitant reported earlier that Fortunate Families held a meeting at the same parish in December 2015 with pro-homosexual, retired bishop Thomas Gumbleton as guest speaker.
Based in Albany, New York, Fortunate Families maintains it is a Catholic group that ministers to family members of LGBT people. It’s one of several groups claiming to be Catholic while promoting opinions in open disagreement with Catholic teaching on homosexuality. It publicly associates with other dissident groups, including DignityUSA and New Ways Ministry.
One of the co-founders of Fortunate Families, Casey Lopata, considers himself Catholic and has commented that homosexual relations are good. He told New Ways Ministry,
[H]omosexual acts are not necessarily a sin (even if considered objectively wrong by the Church, an act is not a sin for a person who honestly believes it’s not wrong (for him or her)). … [If] Jim believes physically expressing his orientation is right for him (even if considered objectively wrong) he not only has a right to do so, but he risks condemnation if he doesn’t follow his conscience.
Co-founder Mary Casey explains the use of “fortunate” in the group’s name:
Many Native Americans believed in the concept of “two-spirited” people who did not fit typical gender roles in society — and thought families were very “fortunate” to have such members. We can learn from tribal cultures that appreciate each individual for their unique talents and character.
At the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015, Fortunate Families was banned from advertising because its website “indicate[s] that if parents give any sense of disapproval of behavior at all (or even ambivalence), they are harming their children and even setting them up for greater risk of suicide.”
In 2014, Abp. Allen Vigneron refused permission for Francis DeBernardo — head of New Ways Ministry — to speak at the Fortunate Families gathering at Christ the King. He then told Fr. Clore the meeting couldn’t happen on Church property and it was moved to a condo clubhouse.
Clore described Abp. Vigneron’s decision as childish, saying, “It’s treating people as if they were children.”
In 2013, Abp. Vigneron had told advocates of so-called gay marriage they act contrary to Catholic law “and should not approach for Holy Communion.” However, some speculate he backpedaled in 2015 when he said, “Given the variety of circumstances which go into a person’s particular situation, the best way forward for one person may not be best for another.”
The group Courage is different from Fortunate Families in that it is actually Catholic and seeks to help men and women with same-sex attraction live in chastity according to Church teaching.