The World Meeting of Families congress, scheduled to take place in Dublin in August with Pope Francis at the helm, faces competition from an alternative gathering organised by conservative Catholics.
Outraged by the fact that an LGBT-friendly priest, Fr James Martin, above, has been invited to be a keynote speaker at the WMOF 2018, the Lumen Fidei Institute is hosting a separate Conference of Catholic Family slap bang in the middle of Francis’s much-vaunted congress .
Those attending the institute’s bash will hear from Cardinal Raymond Burke via video and Kazakhstani Bishop Athanasius Schneider, both prominent critics of Pope Francis.
Anthony Murphy, Director of the institute said that the more conservative alternative to the WMOF 2018 pastoral congress is “our contribution to and in support for the World Meeting of Families” at a time when “there is so much confusion in the Church” over the teachings on marriage and the family.
We think that the best service we can give is to try and explain the beautiful teachings of the Church in a clear and open and direct way.
Addressing the issue of Jesuit Fr James Martin, Murphy said that if the Church in Ireland wanted to reach out to “homosexual – same-sex attracted people in a genuine way”, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who is president of the event, should have invited:
apostolate like Courage which has been around far longer than this publicity seeking priest.An
Courage International is a quack “pray-away-the-gay” outfit approved by the Catholic Church. It runs a 12-step programme aimed at helping gay people remain abstinent from sex. It is based on a treatment model for drug and alcohol addictions used in programmes like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
Murphy said of Martin’s efforts to build a bridge between the institutional church and the gay community:
I think any faithful Catholic would be deeply disappointed to have someone who has caused so much confusion with his various interventions and so much harm to the body of the Church by this confusion.
I’ve spoken to many clergy in Ireland, America and in England who cannot believe that such a man would invited with Vatican approval. All we can say is that this man doesn’t represent the teaching of the church and he is heavily influenced by the anti-Catholic homosexualist lobby.
In an interview with America magazine, Martin has said that the invitation to him to speak at WMOF 2018 is a message to LGBT Catholics:
You’re an important part of the Church.
Conservative Catholics have something else to be glum about about: a stern warning from the Irish authorities that WMOF 2018 is not be used to verbally bash LGBT communities.
According to this report, the Irish government “has exerted pressure” on the WMOF 2018, with one government minister warning it should not express “intolerance” of LBGT groups or same-sex couples.
Katherine Zappone, the Irish Minister for Children and Youth Affairs said:
There should be a welcome for all. And never again should public statements or remarks which seek to isolate certain families be tolerated