TORONTO, July 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Vatican consultant and frequent English-language spokesman for the Vatican Fr. Thomas Rosica was a no-show at a special Mass for an LGBT group in Toronto on the weekend.
All Inclusive Ministries, which meets at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, had announced on its Facebook and website that Rosica, “one of the most influential personalities in the Catholic world,” would be saying its monthly Mass July 28.
But the Basilian priest and executive director of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation was nowhere to be seen that evening.
Instead, Our Lady of Lourdes associate pastor Doug McCarthy said Mass for the LGBT group in a church in which the rainbow flag was conspicuously absent.
LifeSiteNews reported last week that Joseph Sciambra, who has written a book about his deliverance from the homosexual life and return to the Catholic faith, raised alarm that Rosica was addressing a “dissident pro-gay ministry.”
Toronto Catholic Witness also reported on Rosica’s scheduled address.
According to one attendee at the LGBT Mass, the parish decided to “postpone” Fr Rosica’s visit for fear the LifeSiteNews report about the event would lead to protest.
A sole witness was outside the church before Mass with a sign: “Sacrilegious Holy Communion kills souls kills bodies. Will you re-crucify Him today?” and reading from a prepared text, which ended with the St. Michael’s prayer.
The attendee said that although Rosica was not celebrating the Mass, he had invited AIM's core group to dine with him later that evening.
Fr Rosica did not return calls from LifeSiteNews to confirm either why he was a no-show, or what his dinner plans were that evening.
LifeSiteNews contacted Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, as well as associate pastor McCarthy and pastor, Fr. John Sullivan, for comment, but did not hear back.
Sciambra has been highly critical of Catholic leadership in the United States for facilitating acceptance of homosexuality in the Church, whether knowingly or not.
He finds it significant that Fr. Gilles Mongeau, who founded AIM in 2012 with the backing of the archdiocese, traces the group’s roots back to Dignity, a dissident American group lobbying the Catholic Church to accept homosexuality.
In a March 2017 lecture, Mongeau said AIM’s “antecedents” were Dignity, the Soho Gay Mass in London, England, and the Chicago-based Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach or AGLO, Sciambra wrote on his blog.
Mongeau, who has not been officially involved with AIM for three years, told LifeSiteNews in 2014 AIM was formed to provide pastoral care for individuals with same-sex attraction in keeping with Church teaching.
Our Lady of Lourdes had previously hosted the local chapter of Dignity, and Mongeau said in 2014 AIM was in a process of “evolv[ing]” towards fully reflecting Church teaching.
Sciambra quoted AIM’s 2016 Facebook posts that suggest the group embraces dissenting views, including this:
There are those whose theological project will always be to prove that gay love is something other than love. That proof can never be had. Gay love is love, and if Jesus was correct that the law is summed up in love, then homosexuality is hardly unbiblical. And if the end of natural law is to love rightly and fiercely, homosexuality is hardly immoral or unethical.
Jose Sanchez, outreach and promotion for AIM, wrote a blog in 2015 AIM titled LGBT & Christians: The Problem With “Loving The Sinner,” in which he advised people not to tell Catholics with same-sex attraction the following:“I love you, but you know that acting upon your same-sex attraction is a sin, right?”, “I love you but the Bible says same-sex acts are wrong”, “I love you but God has a better plan for you…”