Friar's Response: The occasion was the anniversary of the Archdiocesan ministry to the Gay and Lesbian community founded by Cardinal Joseph Bernardine. Cardinal George was called to Rome for a meeting and could not preside, which has been his custom, so I was asked to do so. It was at the time that the civil union bill passed in Illinois and media groups were outside after mass waiting to speak to the cardinal. By the way- It is a Catholic mass that is open to Gay and lesbian people and their family and friends- its not a "Gay Mass", for the record. When I was approached by the media my actual comments were highly redacted (edited) when they appeared in print. I said that the Church historically has had same sex friendship services and blessings. But the Church's position is very clear. Homosexual sexual activity is against the church's teaching as intrinsically ordered away from procreation, ergo "disordered" as is masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, artificial birth control. My comment was then, that we should wish friendship and celibate love as a blessing for all the AGLO members. And if people are in a deep, committed, celibate relationship, lets bless that love.
Notice how my comments about the Church's teaching and the word celibate were left out of the article.
The earlier comes from the Newsletter of a group called Roman Catholic Faithful from Springfield Illinois,
who's mission is the following;
Catholics protesting Catholics 2006
By Matt C. Abbott
I received the following (edited) e-mail from pro-life and Catholic activist Paula Emmerth: "I don't know if you remember me, but I spoke to you a few weeks ago at [deleted] regarding Pat Byrnes [husband of pro-abortion Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan], a speaker for Theology-on-Tap [sponsored by the Young Adult Ministry of the Chicago archdiocese]. "My sister Teresa and I attended his talk and a few other TOT talks. After we heard how heretical and mocking of Church teaching these speakers were, we decided to make a couple of signs to hold out in front of Holy Name Cathedral for TOT's concluding Mass. Our signs simply read 'FOR TRUE CHURCH ANSWERS READ THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH' and 'QUESTION THE AGENDA OF THEOLOGY ON TAP.' "We remained on the sidewalk, out of the way of pedestrians, and spoke to people who wanted to chat with us about their experience with TOT. We had the Catechism of the Catholic Church with us and showed it to those with whom we spoke. The associate director of the Young Adult Ministry, Kate DeVries, came out and demanded to know what we were doing there; she stomped off while we were answering her. "The Chicago police arrived shortly after and ordered us off the sidewalk. They said there is an ordinance prohibiting demonstrations near church services. Remember, however, that SNAP and Rainbow Sash demonstrations — or those by any other group that wants to protest Catholic teaching and practice — are always seemingly 'welcome.' "The police made us go to the other side of the street where our signs couldn't be seen by those whom we were trying to influence. Father John Cusick, director of the Young Adult Ministry, came out after Mass and gave the police a big 'atta-boy' pat on the back and hand shake for making us move. This whole program is nothing but political conditioning. "Pat Byrnes and another speaker, Friar John Paul Cafiero, both ridiculed and dismissed the Catechism as 'their' rule book. Somehow the suggestion of the Catechism in any way at TOT really hits a nerve.
The Following two "Misquotes" Have been traveling around the internet for about 15 years and appear in various forms. Because I can not respond to these "misquotes" on these sites , they are often taken at face value by some to defame and question my faith and commitment to the Church, which I love. They have been used also by some moved by hatred and fear, to pressure pastors to un-invite me to parish events and cancel speaking engagements.
I have added this page to my site to address and clarify these two misquotes.
For Your Information- The Roman Catholic Faithful (RCF) was an organization of Catholics who claimed to be completely faithful to the teachings of the Holy Father and the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. They have since closed down their operation with only an archive CD set of their materials.
In the Winter 2001 Issue of their Newsletter, the following appeared.
"Friar Johnpaul Cafiero, described by the Associate Press as “one of 16 friars or priests who take turns presiding over the gay and lesbian Mass at Mount Carmel” parish in Chicago, spoke out in an A.P. article that appeared in the November 26, 1999 issue of the Springfield State Journal Register. According to the article by Martha Irvive entitled “Gays take part in Catholic Mass despite anti-homosexual stance,” Cafiero “would even like to be able to preside over same-sex commitment ceremonies.” He stated, “If people are in a deep, committed relationship, let’s bless that love...”
Friar's Response: The topic of my talk was- "Whatever happened to Sin: And the Command to Love". During the two hour talk and reflection, geared to young adults, I said that if relationships were built on true love we would not need a set of rules and laws, we would act in love and follow the Lord's commands naturally out of love. You can tell how sick and out of love a society is by the need for rules and laws. If we truly loved one another we wouldnt need traffic laws, we wouldnt speed or have road rage because we love each other. If we truly loved and respected our parents, we wouldnt need curfews or house rules, we would want the smooth working of the family out of respect and love. If we truly loved God and each other, we wouldnt need commandments or the Catechism, we would live these laws and rules naturally out of love. Thats what I said and all Ms Emmerth heard was I called the Catechism "their rule book" obviously she missed the whole point of the two hour presentation and came with her own limited agenda.