Catholic Church and Gays
There was a time when they worked together
Retired Catholic Archbishop Harry Flynn takes both myself and the Star Tribune to task for “statements and actions attributed” to him in the Nov. 17 article “Gays reject church’s attempts to ‘cure’ them.”
Flynn labels as “pure fabrication” the claim attributed to me that he personally approached the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM) in the late-1990s and requested that it be a resource for the archdiocese. I regret such a claim was printed but nevertheless maintain I was misquoted.
I believe what I said was that throughout the 1980s and ’90s CPCSM, an independent grassroots coalition, worked with various parishes and archdiocesan agencies and was approached in 1995 by the archdiocesan Education Administration Office – then called Catholic Education and Formation Ministries (CEFM) – to share its experience and expertise in ministry with gay people in designing and implementing a Safe Schools Initiative for Catholic high schools. A need for competent and compassionate ministry with gay youth in Catholic high schools had been identified by school administrators and brought to the attention of the head of CEFM. Archbishop Flynn was aware that CEFM had approached and was working with CPCSM. This collaboration took place in the mid-late 1990s.
I empathize with Archbishop Flynn’s annoyance at having statements wrongly attributed to him, but I am also disappointed that he did not take this as an opportunity to set the record straight and acknowledge that there was a time when the archdiocese, although not the Archbishop himself, collaborated with CPCSM.
Executive Coordinator, CPCSM
* I actually submitted two versions of the same letter to the Star Tribune. One was slightly longer and more detailed (see above) than the other. Perhaps not surprisingly, the paper chose to print the shorter version (which can be viewed here).
See also the previous Wild Reed post:
For the Record