Friday, March 18, 2011

"Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach" NEW WAYS MINISTRY Responds to Bishops' Criticism of Same-Sex Marriage Book, March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011


For more information, contact: 

Francis DeBernardo, office: 301-277-5674; cell: 240-432-2489

New Ways Ministry 
Responds to Bishops' Criticism of Same-Sex Marriage Book

MOUNT RAINIER, Maryland--The author of a Catholic booklet which examines the issue of marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples has responded to criticism of the publication offered by a Catholic cardinal and bishop (see full statement).

Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry, chided the Catholic leaders for not even stating the substance of their opposition to his recently-published 40-page booklet entitled Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach. New Ways Ministry, a national Catholic ministry of justice and education for lesbian/gay Catholics and the wider church community, published the booklet in February 2011. (A pdf of the booklet can be downloaded from

DeBernardo issued the statement in response to a March 11th, 2011, joint statement by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Doctrine, and Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage (available at The bishops' statement was released to the public on March 16th, 2011.

DeBernardo stated that the bishops' comment "shows a lack of true leadership on the part of church officials. By condemning the publication without dialogue with its author, the bishops continue to ignore the voices of Catholics who support marriage equality."

The bishops' unwillingness to discuss the issue of marriage with equality with Catholics who support such initiatives "does not engender confidence in their leadership style," DeBernardo added. "Catholic bishops can no longer rely on the blind obedience of the Catholic faithful. Reasonable Catholics require reasonable explanations."

The booklet cites statistical information which shows that Catholics lead all Christian denominations in their support for lesbian/gay issues. It also explains the reason support for marriage equality is so strong among lay Catholics.

The main text of the book is interspersed with statements from Catholic Marylanders, explaining why they have taken a positive stand towards marriage equality. Some prominent names include: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former lieutenant governor of Maryland, State Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola, State Delegates Heather Mizeur, Joseline Pena-Melnyk, and Kriselda Valderrama.

Three Catholic religious Sisters also offer testimonials: Sister Hope Bauerlin, a long-time social justice advocate; Sister Jeannine Gramick, a pioneer in pastoral ministry to lesbian and gay Catholics; and Sister Maureen Fiedler, host of the public radio show, Interfaith Voices. Lesbian/gay couples and single people, as well as their parents, also are represented.
Read more, access related links:

Gay Marriage & Benedict XVI’s Obsession “…HITLER YOUTH brainwashed young Germans into support of their prejudices and policies against homosexuality.” 

“Hidden holocaust?: gay and lesbian persecution in Germany, 1933-45” 
By Günter Grau, 1995

Hitler’s Anti-intellectualism - downfall of German science & Germany’s eventual destruction in 1945 – HITLER YOUTH Benedict XVI’s Rejection of Gender Theory – Gay Marriage

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