Exclusive: Who is funding the coordinated attempt to subvert the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and marriage?

Pro-gay-marriage billionaires and foundations are behind an organized effort to sow dissent and confusion among Catholics on the issues of homosexuality, marriage and family. And the first step to stopping them is knowing what we’re up against.

First, the background:

A few days ago, Donald Cardinal Wuerl – Archbishop of Washington DC and Chairman of the US Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine – issued a statement condemning “Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach” published by New Ways Ministry (NWM).

The Cardinal does not mince words in his conclusion about NWM’s booklet:

The full statement can be read here as a PDF file. CNA also has a helpful write-up here. The statement details the long history of dissent and disobedience at New Ways Ministry.

What is notable is this: NWM’s talk of “Marriage Equality” (as code for redefining civil marriage to include homosexual couples), in the opinion of the US Bishops, represents a denial of central aspects of Church teaching about the immorality of homosexual acts. Therefore NWM is guilty of actively undermining the Church’s teaching on a central moral norm.

Now that the US Bishops have made it clear what NWM’s standing is in the Church, it’s time to follow the money: who is funding NWM’s subversive activities?

New Ways Ministry received almost $100,000 from the Arcus Foundation in 2009. (Anyone who works for a small non-profit will appreciate how far $100k goes.) The Arcus foundation was founded by Jon Stryker, a friend of Tim Gill, a gay billionaire from Colorado who has promised to spend the entirety of his vast fortune on redefining marriage in the United States.

(The financial, personal and ideological ties between Gill and Stryker are well-documented in this Slate article from 2006. This 2007 article in the Atlantic describes the “network of gay political donors [who are] stealthily fighting sexual discrimination and reshaping American politics” in depth and focuses on Tim Gill.)

You’ll notice I had to make several hops to get from Tim Gill and Jon Styker to New Ways Ministry. This is because proponents of gay marriage are smart – they create organizations to funnel their wealth to the causes they want to see succeed.

New Ways Ministry is not the only subversive Catholic group that has benefitted from the largesse of organized gay money provided by Arcus, whose public mission is “to advance LGBT equality.”

Ready for the big list? First I will show the evidence and then I will reflect on what it means.

Here are the financial grants Arcus has made to “Catholic” organizations to promote the gay marriage agenda in America over the past few years (taken directly from the Arcus website – update: link fixed):

(2010) Dignity USA – $200,000 to increase the impact of Catholic pro-LGBT advocacy in the US through the work of Equally Blessed, a coalition of pro-LGBT Catholic advocacy organizations.

(2010) Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual – $70,000 to create a cadre of Catholic lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and their allies that would assume a leadership role within the Catholic community on issues related to gender, sexuality, reproductive health, and other justice issues.

(2010) Fairfield University – $100,000 to hold and disseminate information from a series of forums at four academic institutions in order to expand the current discussion on homosexuality within Roman Catholicism to include the diverse opinions of progressive Catholic thought leaders and theologians.

(2009) Dignity USA – $36,000 to support a planning process that defines strategies to expand Dignity’s national membership base of pro-LGBT Catholics.

(2009) National Gay and Lesbian Task Force – $152,625 for support of a collaborative strategic planning process focused on building a pro-LGBT movement within the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S.

(2009) New Ways Ministry – $93,345 to educate Maryland’s Catholic laity and lawmakers about marriage equality.

(2008) Dignity USA – $20,000 to support media and advocacy activities in connection with the first visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States in April 2008.

(2008) Mainstream Media Project – $23,000 for the Mainstream Media Project to work with four leading Catholic LGBT organizations to conduct a messaging campaign and schedule interviews in the broadcast media that promote pro- LGBT messages in connection with Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Washington, D.C. and New York City in April 2008.

In other words, almost $700,000 in the past few years to “Catholic” organizations and organizations tasked with changing Catholic beliefs.

These monetary grants above have a real impact. Take for instance the $100,000 grant given to Fairfield University “to hold and disseminate information from a series of forums at four academic institutions in order to expand the current discussion on homosexuality within Roman Catholicism to include the diverse opinions of progressive Catholic thought leaders and theologians.” That grant translated exactly into this:

Catholic Online: “A group of “Catholic” universities and non-denominational divinity schools claim they are “collaborating to change the conversation about sexual diversity and the Catholic Church.” They believe the current discussion regarding homosexuality is too much of a monologue.

Later this year there will be a series of four events held at Fordham University, Union Theological Seminary, Yale Divinity School and Fairfield University.

In legal terms, this is a smoking gun – $100,000 given by Arcus to Fairfield University is the sole and single reason why four universities – including Catholic ones – will hold forums this year to further undermine the Church’s teaching on these issues.

And this is just the tip of the ice burg – if you add up Arcus giving to other “Christian” outfits, the total since 2007 is a staggering $6,500,000. And not to overwhelm with numbers and figures, but Arcus also grants millions upon millions of dollars to anti-Catholic groups such as the ACLU. It’s all on their website.

Digging deeper into these numbers, however, it is clear that more total money is being donated each year. Why? Simple: it’s having results. And again, because this powerful lobby is smart – they went for “easier” targets first: liberal and progressive Christian groups that needed little convincing to sign on to the gay-marriage agenda. Now that these groups are abandoning their adherence to traditional marriage, we can expect more and more of this money to be devoted to “softening up” Catholic resistance.

[Three quick points: 1) Mark Stricherz pointed out today that the degree of religious observance among Christians correlates strongly to their support of natural marriage. This is why gay money first went after Christian denominations that are less observent. 2) For just one example of non-Catholics arguing for gay marriage from a biblical perspective (!), see this article by Rev. Douglas Long, a minister at Umstead Park United Church of Christ, just published this week. 3) To witness one of the first glimpses of "Catholic" outfits promoting the gay marriage agenda, look no further than this article published in the National Catholic Reporter (surprise!) which promotes New Ways' Ministry booklet! A prominent gay blog picked up NCR's story with the introduction: "[A] Refreshing admission from a Catholic news outlet” … see how it works? A soft “Catholic” outfit legitimizes a dissenting point of view and the gay community translates it as vindication that their viewpoint is winning out, while faithful Catholics in turn feel demoralized and marginalized. This sort of coordination is no accident.]

Now that we begin to see the picture, here is what we should learn from seeing it.

First and foremost, Catholics should be outraged that an outside group – which also funds anti-Catholic groups – is funding dissident organizations within the Church to confuse fellow Catholics and undermine our bishops and the teachings they articulate.

I disagree with the Jehovah’s Witnesses about their position on blood transfusions, but if I were to win the Lotto I would never dream of funding dissenting Jehovah’s Witnesses to change their Church’s position on that. I would be open about the fact that my view is different from the view many JW leaders express on the subject. And I wouldn’t pass off my view as the “authentic” JW teaching through the mouthpiece of JW’s whose salary I pay. Simply honesty would suggest such a practice would be subversive, unfair and wrong. And yet that is what Tim Gill and Jon Stryker (through the Arcus Foundation) are doing to Catholics.

Second, Catholics who have signed up for the gay marriage agenda should be deeply troubled that it is being funded by an outside, powerful interest group which also funds groups (like the ACLU) which attempt to thwart the Church at every turn. Who honestly would want to be part of a Church whose theological opinion is swayed by the raw money poured into it by a small group of activists? The Church’s teaching on homosexuality has been set for two millennia. A church that overturns two millennia of teaching in a generation because of a handful of billionaires is not the Church I believe Christ founded.

Third and finally, this finding should encourage us. Why? Because it strongly suggests that the internal dissension we Catholics in the pew witness daily on the issue of homosexuality and marriage is artificial and unnatural. Catholics – when left free to follow the Church’s clear teaching – are far more likely to follow it than in the current situation we now inhabit, where there is free, easy money to be had if you wish to dissent from the Church. In the humbled economic state we find ourselves in today, who can ignore the strong possibility that the ability of dissenters to have their salaries paid, booklets published, and op-eds placed in major newspapers, originates from the fact that there is a powerful foundation like Arcus ready to write these public dissenters a blank check.

===

I expect this post to generate controversy. Excellent – this topic needs to become a discussion point for Catholics, wherever you fall on these issues. I believe the evidence I have provided is compelling enough that other Catholic writers should join me in creating a public conversation to expose this calculated effort to change our Church against the will of Christ and the bishops he has called to perserve His teaching.

A couple days ago at Mass I heard the first reading, taken from the book of Leviticus, where the Lord said to Moses: “nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake.” My Catholic friends, only Christ has the words of eternal life. We cannot stand idly by as His words are emptied of their meaning. Our life and our neighbor’s life is at stake.

Photo: Catholic News Agency

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42 thoughts on “Exclusive: Who is funding the coordinated attempt to subvert the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and marriage?

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