BUFFALO, New York (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, New York, faces fresh criticism for its open support of the LGBT agenda after a parish hosted a so-called “Pride Mass” for “LGBTQI+ individuals, families and friends” as well as people “from any faith background” to “participate in the worship and connect to the God of their understanding.”
St. Joseph University Parish in Buffalo hosted a blasphemous “Pride Mass” on May 30 during the city’s “Pride Week.” The advertisement in the Buffalo Pride Week calendar, which was posted by the event organizers, stated:
This will be the 1st annual Pride mass in support of LGBTQI+ individuals, families and friends. While the mass is the central act of worship in the life of a Catholic, all are welcome to this faith-sharing event. The service will be considerate of everyone present. Accordingly, a person from any faith background will be able to participate in the worship and connect to the God of their understanding. It is not intended to combine all faiths or indicate that all faiths are the same, but rather allow space for anyone from any faith background to participate in a way meaningful to them. A reception will follow the service.
The announcement of the Mass on the parish website reveals that the event was spearheaded by an “LGBTQ+ Task Force” at the parish. The announcement read: “Tonight’s Mass is an effort on the part of the LGTBQ+ Task Group, working with the diocese and hosted at St. Joseph University Parish. For further information or questions please contact by calling 716-84-8700 or email [email protected].”
Despite the pastor’s assurance to LifeSiteNews that the parish’s “LGBT ministry” upholds and is in line with the Church’s teaching – that all sexual acts outside of lifelong marriage between one man and one woman are gravely sinful – the parish’s Facebook page reveals numerous pro-LGBT posts that express full and unreserved support of the anti-Christian agenda.
One post with a rainbow background, dated June 28, reads: “How can I be a strong ally? Be inclusive and invite your LGBTQ+ family and friends to hang out with you and your family/friends – supporting them unconditionally… Attend events that are important to the LGBTQ+, gender variant, and intersex communities … Be willing to find ways you can make a difference in your community by advocating politically, educating people, and engaging in the issues that LGBTQ+, gender variant, and intersex people face.”
Another post featuring the parish’s prominently flown Pride banner in June reads, “All LGBTQ+ people are children of God. Their stories are sacred and must be welcomed, encouraged & fully integrated into the St. Joseph University Parish community.”
“All are welcome! June is a month dedicated to the LGBTQ+ Community and we stand in solidarity with our siblings. Please like and share our banner that is hanging in front of church on social media as visible support. We sincerely request everyone to come to the community room this month and sign a letter of our parish’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community to be sent to Bishop Mike Fisher as we advocate for our siblings.”
St. Joseph’s was not the only parish in Buffalo to host an LGBT event in the diocese this past June. St. Katharine Drexel Parish held a “Pride Prayer Service” that included an actively gay speaker who received a standing ovation. During the program for the “Pride Prayer Service,” participants recited an LGBT creed that captures the militant agenda behind the façade of inclusion.
The “Pride” manifesto read, “We believe in our gay, lesbian, transgender youth and teens. We believe in a Church that has room for all… We believe that homophobia will one day be a disease of the past… We believe in the gift of our sexuality. We believe in our mission within the Church.”
According to an attendee at the event, who asked LifeSiteNews to remain anonymous, a full endorsement of active homosexual lifestyles was communicated by both the speaker and the pastor of the parish:
“The service was conducted by members of the St. Katharine Drexel Parish community. About 50 people attended. Rainbow colored balloons were at the front entrance of the church. ‘Pride’ flags were given out along with a program of prayers, readings, and songs,” the attendee wrote.
“An openly homosexual man/parish member read the Gospel and gave a speech. He spoke about living as a homosexual, being oppressed for years, and now finally being accepted in his church for who he is. The man stated he at one time wanted to be a priest but then realized he could not live a celibate life. He is currently involved in the ‘LGBTQ+ Ministry’ at St. Katharine’s and is ‘married’ to his life partner of 30 years.”
The attendee told LifeSiteNews that they spoke with the parish priest, Father Jim Monaco, who related that “in spite of the fact there has been an ‘LGBTQ+ Ministry’ in this diocese for years, not many Catholics are aware of it.” The attendee then suggested the diocese must be more transparent about the ministry and explain to the faithful its purpose and goals. “Fr. Monaco agreed. Bishop Mike Fisher is totally on board with progression of the ministry and helping the gay community to be accepted for who they are.”
Continuing, the anonymous attendee noted that “Fr. Monaco reaffirmed everything the gay speaker said and added more to it. When referencing supposed transgender individuals and how changing gender could be interpreted as God making a mistake, Fr. Monaco disagreed, stating that God knew our soul, not our body, and that often children are born in the wrong body and that has nothing to do with God, but it is the mistake of the parents. He concluded by saying the Bible is not easily understood and can be confusing. There are often many different meanings to what God is actually saying.”
“It was pretty clear to me that the LGBTQ+ Ministry in this parish and the church, does not consider the behavior of the gay population sinful,” the parishioner concluded.
Earlier in the year, in February, a blasphemous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary wearing a rainbow flag called “Mother of Pride” – a sacrilegious mockery of Mary’s title Mother Most Humble – was circulated to promote an LGBT event at St. Joseph University Church organized by the pro-LGBT group Fortunate Families, an offshoot of New Ways Ministry that, among other LGBT-agenda items, advocates for same-sex “marriage.”
However, the problem in the Buffalo diocese goes deeper and higher within the ranks of the hierarchy. In response to the many objections the diocese received over St. Joseph’s “first annual Pride Mass,” Bishop Fisher sent a letter to all clergy of the diocese, in which he defended the Mass and disparaged those who objected as persons casting “judgment” and failing to show “charity.” The bishop claimed the Mass did not compromise Catholic teaching, even though advocacy for LGBT lifestyles clearly contradicts Christ’s command to call sinners to repentance and St. Paul’s injunction to exclude the sexually immoral from the Eucharist.
The Mass hosted by St. Joseph University Parish on May 30, 2023, was one of prayerfulness and, indeed, a faith-inspired gathering of support for God’s children who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, their friends, and families. The celebration of the Eucharist is never the context in which to cast judgment on others, but always an opportunity for members of our Catholic Faith to come together, acknowledging that we are all sinners seeking a deeper relationship with each other and Christ our Redeemer. The teachings of the Church are not compromised by the celebration of this essential sacrament with those whom some would seek to marginalize and, because of their sexual orientation, label them as unworthy to be members of our Family of Faith.
The Church teaches that any sexual activity outside the context of sacramental marriage is a sin, and we uphold this teaching. At the same time, Pope Francis has recently reminded us that it is also a sin not to demonstrate charity toward others. His Holiness further asserted that homosexuality is itself not a crime, and that “persons with homosexual tendencies are children of God.
It is against Christian faith to disparage or condemn those who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Along a similar line of ostensible welcome to LGBT persons, the diocesan “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” policy was amended this past year by the LGBT Task Group to ban discrimination based on “sexual orientation, gender identity,” and “gender expression” in a move that allows active homosexuals and those identifying as transgender to work for the diocese, regardless of the scandal such a situation may cause.
The policy now reads, “The Diocese of Buffalo embraces and values the diversity of all of stakeholders and strives to be inclusive and mindful of this diversity in our employment policies and practices for non-ministerial roles.”
“Our aim is to foster a culture where every member of the Diocese feels valued, supported, and inspired to achieve individual and common goals with an uncommon will. This includes providing opportunity and access for all people across differences of race, age, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin, migratory status, disability/abilities, political affiliation, veteran status and socioeconomic background.”
The Diocese of Buffalo has long been plagued by sexual scandals. In 2019, several priests were suspended for participation in what is now known locally as the “pornographic pizza party.” The matter came to the bishop’s attention through a complaint letter from seminarians that pushed this story into the headlines. In May 2020, Buffalo’s Christ the King Seminary ended up having to close its doors due to the homosexual culture that made it a scandal-ridden haven of sexual perverts.
A member of the lay faithful within the diocese of Buffalo, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed to LifeSiteNews the dissatisfaction of practicing Catholics with the diocese regarding the wholesale advocacy for the LGBT agenda, which is widely understood to be the latest bitter fruit of the decades-long problem of homosexuality within the clergy of the diocese and the Church at large.
The layperson said it was especially alarming to see that the Diocese of Buffalo not only had not learned from the problems of homosexuality within the ranks of the clergy that were the root cause of the sexual scandals but was now codifying the problem with its newly founded LGBT advocacy group, “Pride Mass,” and DEI policy.
Another problem identified was the “new theology of inclusion,” which welcomes wholesale the LGBT agenda but castigates with hostility the slightest objection from faithful Catholics who base their assessments on Catholic sexual morality, dubbing such objections “judgmental,” “uncharitable,” and “against the faith.” This new theology of inclusion is what now demands and justifies the sacrilegious use of the Mass as a forum to promote the LGBT agenda within the Church.
Commenting on the situation in the Diocese of Buffalo, the anonymous layperson told LifeSiteNews, “It has been almost seven years since the sex abuse crisis ravaged this diocese, which saw the ousting of Bishop Richard Malone, and his replacement with Bishop Michael Fisher. We know from the John Jay study that 81 percent of sex abuse victims were male. We who were paying attention in the Diocese of Buffalo knew that the abuse crisis was a homosexual crisis.”
“Now, seven years after the fact, this diocese, under this bishop, has not only not made any firm purpose of amendment against the root of this crisis – but it has, in fact, doubled down on allegiance to, and partnership with, the radical LGBT agenda.”
“We faithful Catholic members of the Diocese of Buffalo are exasperated because it’s clear we have no recourse in our situation. We are also afraid to go on record because of the mafia-like operations history this diocese is notorious for having. But I believe this is a true ‘case in point’ story about just how gravely bad off we are: when a diocese rocked and bankrupted by sex abuse scandal, forced to downsize and sell off property to pay for settlements, only unapologetically entrenches itself further in the root problem.”