“LGBT Ministry” workshops and liturgical dancers

L.A. Religious Education Congress

Thousands gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena for an opening event at REC in 2016. (Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles)

The following comes from a Feb. 6 story by One Peter 5.

The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (REC) takes place this March 21 through 24 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The REC, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is hailed as the largest annual convention of Catholics in the country, drawing nearly 40,000 Catholic educators and students each year.

This year’s Congress will feature Cardinal Roger Mahony giving a workshop to junior high and high school students regarding “Volatile Immigration Issues.” His appearance comes despite the fact that he was stripped by Archbishop Gomez of all “administrative or public duties” in 2013, following revelations of his cover-up of homosexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. 

Also speaking at the 2019 Congress will be Fr. James Martin on “LGBT Spirituality.” Martin has drawn criticism for his wholehearted endorsement of the Manhattan-based gay ministry, Out at St. Paul, whose activities include: outings to local gay bars, “Pride Mass,” social media postings celebrating St. John of the Cross’s “gay soul,” drag shows, and “Queer Lady of Guadalupe.”

Last year’s conference featured five workshops on “LGBT Ministry” including one titled “Transgender in Our Schools: One Bread, One Body,” whose presenters included a transgender panelist, offering discussions about gender identity and transgenderism, including proper use of gender pronouns and acronyms and more awareness for Catholic schools to adjust their uniform policies to accommodate children wishing to “transition.” 

The Masses at past conferences were held in the large convention center surrounding a wooden table altar with no visible tabernacle. They featured large jazz ensembles, rock bands, modern anthems of Haugen and Schutte, and liturgical dancers twirling wooden bowls of incense around the altar.

The REC has been no stranger to controversy in years past, and 2019 looks as though it will not be any different.


  1. Eric Bergerud says

    Mahoney is back. Doesn’t Gomez have any authority? Do the American bishops really want Mahoney out in public now? Can’t Dolan talk to Martin? This behavior is being covered by the atmosphere from the top. Francis has already declared the abuse crisis to be “human” and not Church based – so everyone is off the hook. In that world, what difference do some pagan dancers make?

    • Yes– who cares?? That is the bad attitude of a great many top Catholic clerics in leadership, since the post- Vatican II era began! Who cares?? “Religious freedom for all!” That’s the “Good News!” You decide what you want, what you believe! Everyone do as they please, according to (poorly-formed) “individual conscience!” Now, everyone will be happy! Besides— “objective truth and morality” don’t exist! So– why don’t they invite “Catholic” Rep. Nancy Pelosi to give a big “Catholic” talk to the kids, on “LGBT freedoms in the Church,” and “feminism, contraception, and pro-choice, for all?”

  2. The dance show blew my mind. Great Broadway entertainment. Thanks, Vatican II

  3. Catherine Williams says

    It is profoundly wrong to call this a “religious” conference.

    II looks more like a Democratic Party rally.

    Imagine being a Catholic teacher in a Catholic school and being subjected to this scandal.

    And who is paying for all this????? The fewer and fewer Faithful in the pews.

  4. Your Fellow Catholic says

    On the complaint that there are no tabernacles. Well, that’s because tabernacles are permanent fixtures meant for the reservation of the Sacrament for the sick and homebound. The Rec isn’t a permenant Church, so therefore, no tabernacle. Why is this even a controversy?

    Wooden bowls of incense. Beyond the fire hazard and those who start sneezing at incense, what’s the problem with that? Would it make you feel better if they lined the wooden incense bowls with gold foil?

  5. Robert Lockwood says

    These situations only confirm the predictions of several Saints-the problem is it only is going to get worse.

  6. My daughter is a liturgical dancer. She absolutely loves being a part of the Mass in this way. She prays to and praises God with her talent!

    • Sorry– The Mass is NO PLACE for exhibition of dance talents! Everyone needs to learn to respectfully keep their individual emotional religious feelings to oneself, at Mass– and worship respectfully, alongside all other Catholics!!

      • Liturgical dance doesn’t belong at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Our Blessed Mother, the women and St. John the beloved apostle weren’t dancing at the foot of the Cross!
        Dance your heart out in other places but not at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    • The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is an reenactment of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. There was no dancing at Calvary. Cardinal Arinze and many others have said that there should be no dancing in the sanctuary, but people continue to disobey and make it all about themselves, instead of Christ. Even King David kept his processional dancing OUTSIDE the Temple and the Holy of Holies. Nothing seems to be sacred any more.

      • There was no incense at calvary either. No water sprinkled on the crowds. No Gregorian chant.

        • and Christ had not resurrected either. And the Church did not exist yet either. It did not exist until Pentecost either. The Holy Spirit had not descended on the Apostles either. Nevertheless, there is no evidence of the Virgin Mary ever incensing an altar or doing liturgical dance at the crucifixion, and she is the one Christian women should follow.

          So what is your point?????

          • Point is that just because there was no dancing at calvary doesn’t mean there can’t be dance at Mass. Not everything that happens at Mass happenned at Calvary, and vice versa. We don’t celebrate Mass outside typically but Calvary was outside.

    • Where does your daughter dance during Mass? It is really not permitted here in the US. Outside of Mass, before or after, I have seen it done.

  7. The dynamic duo of Mahony and Martin are scheduled to speak at the Religious Indoctrination Conference. Archbishop Gomez, where are you hiding?

    • Xavier — I couldn’t have said it better. Gomez is going over to Rome to talk about “minors” in the sex abuse scandal and closing his eyes to the predation of our seminarians and young people. Who is wearing the blinders here??

  8. YFC– how about a truly inspiring, deeply reverent, authentic Catholic Mass, at a religious education conference? The best that is possible?? With children and teens participating in a very reverent, authentically Catholic manner, with also children’s and teen choirs singing authentic, holy, beautiful Catholic liturgical music, for the Mass?? How about at least one or two devout, talented Catholic teens singing one or two beautiful solos (“Ave Maria,” “Panis Angelicus,” etc.) to inspire worshipers, at Communion?? How abut Boys’ Choirs singing inspirational Catholic liturgical music, at the Mass? How about inspiring priestly VOCATIONS???????

    • Your Fellow Catholic says

      I thnk they did all of that, anonymous. OK I can’t say exactly whether there were solos of those particular songs, but they did all of that. in an inspiring, reverent and authentically Catholic Mass. The music WAS holy and beautiful. There WERE talented singers. Just because you don’t like the style of the Mass doesn’t mean that the people and music aren’t devout or talented or beautiful.

      • YFC– Catholics always complain, because the annual REC is very heretical, immoral, and diabolic– not truly, authentically Catholic! It should not even exist! A very poor source for Catholic parish religious educators and their students!

  9. An authentic Catholic religious education conference would help catechists to further deepen their teaching skills. It also would include helpful ways to strengthen Catholic family life. Plus, ways to help Catholic youngsters to lead a good moral life, close to Christ– and to choose a good future spouse, and establish a good Catholic future home and family. And of course– ways to help cultivate priestly and religious vocations, as well as vocations to become a nun. Also — how about presentations on child and teen saints? I recently read about a Catholic Midwestern high school, that started a successful spiritual direction program– another great idea!

  10. I recently read a wonderful Catholic news story, all about a highly successful spiritual direction program, given by priests at St. Mary’s Ryken Catholic High School, in Leonardtown, Maryland. (I had previously thought the location to be in the Midwest!) Anyway– many priestly vocations– and some vocations to the convent— are now resulting from this program! And Catholic parents at home are being affected also, deciding to strengthen their Catholic home life, with spiritual direction, too! Many wonderful results are occurring, from this program! How about starting programs like this one, in California??

  11. It looks like those guys are always trying to make contact with children. Is there anyone who can get them to leave the children alone? Do the police care? Do the courts care? Do we have to take matters into our own hands?

  12. YFC– I think what people are complaining about– is that the REC is not authentically Catholic! It is heretical, immoral and diabolic– extremely destructive to Catholic Faith and Morals! Highly destructive for Catholic parish religious educators, and their students!

    • Your Fellow Catholic says

      “people” don’t get to define what is authentically Catholic, especially when they opine about things they have never attended.

      • Nonsense, this is so typical of the left. No standards, No judgments, No Tradition. Just anything goes, because its all equal..Sort of like comparing the modern art dreck, to the Sistine Chapel. Be Judgmental

  13. The liturgical dancers twirling incense was done before Mass began and it was not in a church. So it is technically OK.
    Here is the document from the Vatican on Dance in the Liturgy:

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