I escaped the Catholic Church when I left home.
Websites like Church Militant, LifeSite News and the Lepanto Institute are ratcheting up the rhetoric with personal attacks on supporters of gay Catholics.
By Corky Siemaszko
Nov. 18, 2018
The call for action against the “Forces of Organized Perversion” landed in the inboxes of conservative Roman Catholics across the country just before Election Day.
“Have you had enough?” activist Randy Engel wrote in a column that first appeared on the conservative website RenewAmerica.com. “Or will you wait until the Homosexual Collective’s hobnail boot is pressed on the neck of your prone body or that of your child or grandchild before reacting?”
“Cast your vote for God, family, and nation,” she wrote.
Many Catholics say they are worried that activists like Engel are the vanguard of a new offensive by ultra-conservative Catholic groups that see the growing acceptance of LGBTQ Catholics by Pope Francis and other reformers as a mortal threat to their church.
Websites like Church Militant, LifeSite News and the Lepanto Institute are ratcheting up the rhetoric while replacing polite and prayerful discourse with personal attacks on supporters of gay Catholics, they say.
Meanwhile, anti-gay activists have increasingly been disrupting gatherings of LGBTQ Catholics and their supporters, a phenomenon first reported by the National Catholic Reporter. Just this month, a group of Dominican nuns in suburban Milwaukee hired security guards to keep more than two dozen anti-gay protesters off their property where they were hosting a retreat for gay clergy.
Fordham University theologian Jason Steidl has coined a name for them.
“I call them the ‘Catholic alt-right,’” Steidl told NBC News. “We haven’t seen anything like this before. I think they are part of a bigger cultural movement. These people have hitched their wagons to Trump’s presidency, to his tactics.”
They have also tried to weaponize the Pennsylvania grand jury report released in August that named more than 300 “predator priests” to scapegoat homosexuals, never mind that many of the 1,000 victimized children were girls.
“They inject fear, hatred and homophobia into religious discourse,” said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity.”
“They use the same tactics as the political alt-right: lies, personal vilification and demonization of minority groups,” he said.