Dissent: Catholic Parish in Minneapolis to host Gay & Lesbian fundraiser with “same-sex marriage activist” pastor

UPDATE: I have been informed that the Archdiocese of St. Paul – Minneapolis has just now been informed of this. They are looking into it now. Please prayerfully support them as they pursue a pastoral solution.

UPDATE 2: Gay & Lesbian Fundraiser at Catholic Parish in MN *CANCELED*


Why is a Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis hosting a Gay & Lesbian fundraiser?

That’s what St. Frances Cabrini Parish is doing this Saturday:

BENEFIT for CALGM (Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry) February 26, Cabrini’s Garvey Hall, 6:30 pm. Enjoy wine and dessert. One Voice Mixed Choir, silent auction, meet board members. See flyer in entryway for more info. To order tickets call Jeff Longenecker or order on line by emailing CALGMtics@gmail.com

The Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, run out of Berkeley, CA is an organization that dissents from the teachings of the Church. It was founded by Fr. James Schexnayder, who has a long history of associating with dissenting organizations. I wonder what will be said about the Church’s teaching at this event, should it take place.

More problematic is who is the main speaker for this Gay & Lesbian fundraiser, the pastor of St. Frances CabriniFr. Leo Tibesar.

Where to start with Fr. Tibesar? In this notice for the fundraiser, he is described as a “well-known and highly-respected Same Sex Marriage and Gay Rights Activist.”

Did you catch that? A “same-sex marriage activist?” That goes squarely against the teachings of the Church, as well as numerous recent statements by Pope Benedict.

Furthermore, this invite being circulated says “This is being held on the property of the Saint Frances Cabrini Parish in Minneapolis, so this Lesbian Gay Ministry Fundraiser has approval of the Archdiocese.”

From what I understand, the Archdiocese was not notified about this event in advance.

What really gets me about this situation is that Fr. Tibesar isn’t even trying to hide his efforts to undermine the teachings of the Church. He “supports OUTFRONT Minnesota both financially and spiritually” according to the notice. OUTFRONT is a clearing house of activism which goes squarely against the Church.

And sure enough, “Leo J Tibesar” is listed as a $250-499 donor on their online report. So we have public proof that Fr. Tibesar is financially supporting such organizations.

This Flickr page claims Fr. Tibesar is in “full support and endorsement of the new Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Parish – The Spirit of Saint Stephens by distributing Eucharist to these parish Members.” If this is true it is a gravely disobedient act to grant the Eucharist it a schismatic sect (which also has a long and vivid history of disobedience).

I think it is clear that all this subversive activity has crossed the line into outright dissent.

Fr. Tibesar has a long track record of such activities. He has been hosting Gay & Lesbian fundraisers and talks since at least 2007. That one he had to reschedule at the urging of an archdiocesan official. He’s been on the radar of LifeSiteNews for these sorts of activites since at least 2006. There was even a kurfuffle in 2007 that Fr. Tibesar was going to try to bless same-sex unions. The details on that episode are still fuzzy – but given what I have presented here – are we all that surprised that people came away with such a conclusion about Fr. Tibesar’s intent?

I think it is clear that Fr. Tibesar is disobediently supporting organizations financially which actively undermine the Church and is guilty of numerous activities that betray his priestly vows. This fundraiser is simply the tip of the ice burg. It is precisely because he is a Catholic priest that his activities cause such scandal.

Practically speaking, this event should be cancelled because it deceives Catholics into thinking the Church does not teach what it does about the homosexual lifestyle. I would prayerfully urge the Archdiocese to take action. Next, Fr. Tibesar should be asked to renounce all ties (financial and otherwise) with these problematic organizations. He should be asked specifically if he has given Communion to apostate Catholics. And if he refuses to cooperate, other canonical remedies ought to be sought.

Priests like Fr. Tibesar and organizations like CALGM cannot continue to be allowed to deceive Catholics and lead them into sinful lifestyles while simultaneously claiming to be Catholic. It’s really that simple.



  • Art Stoeberl

    As president of a Catholic group, Dignity/Twin Cities, I would like to praise Fr Leo Tibsar and his Catholic community for ministering to all people – for not discriminating against any of God’s people. Why are the “righteous” so quick to judge the lives of others? How does the bishop think he can save the marriages of straight people by condemning LGBT people? Instead of wasting the KC funds on DVDs he should use their money to provide marriage counseling to their contributors and there by stem the tide of divorces in the Catholic church.
    Art Stoeberl
    Dignity/Twin Cities

  • Tami

    Thomas, did you notice that the homepage of the this parish has a “prayer from the Buddhist tradition”?


  • Lili

    Just a question here: how exactly are you supposed to help them (gays and lesbians) see the truth if you exclude them?

    • TruthfulMD

      Not supporting a fundraiser that endorses unhealthy and sinful behavior is quite a different thing from exclusion. We are all sinners, and although the Church does not exclude sinners, neither does she support or endorse the sin.

  • Alumnus

    This line is no surprise: “Saint Johns Collegeville is also a regular host for CALGM”

  • Gabriel

    it must not be entertained. for fear the weak be decieved.



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