LA Religious Education Conference draws protesters

Roughly three dozen participants join March 23 demonstration adjacent to the Anaheim Convention Center

Protesters praying the rosary at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (LA REC), March 2019. (Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews)

A group of faithful Catholics demonstrated against the undermining of Church teaching on sexuality at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (LA REC) on Saturday, praying the rosary and invoking the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima. 

The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) organized the protest adjacent to the Anaheim Convention Center, where the LA REC was held from March 21-24.

“In spite of the need for clarification and reinforcement of traditional doctrine, the REC has long been known for promoting the opposite,” Michael Whitcraft, Southern Californian representative for TFP, said. “Sadly, this year’s congress promises to repeat the trend.”

Repeat speakers on the 2019 REC roster who have previously presented problematic ideas include pro-homosexual Jesuit priest James Martin, editor-at large for America magazine and Vatican Communications consultant; Father Chris Ponnet, Director of the archdiocese’s Office of Catholic HIV/AIDS Ministry and the archbishop’s Spiritual Director for Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons (CMLGP); Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice, former longtime chair CMLGP chair; and Fr. Bryan Massingale, a Fordham University Theology professor and priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. 

Each has made dissenting statements in the area of Church teaching on human sexuality, and/or Church authority.

Additionally controversial this year was the scheduled appearance of retired L.A. Cardinal Roger Mahony, despite his controversial history of cover-up with sex abuse cases and his having been pulled from public duties in his archdiocese several years ago by his successor, Archbishop José Gómez.

While the REC is presented by the L.A. archdiocese, it takes place in nearby Anaheim, which is located in the Diocese of Orange.

LifeSiteNews delivered two petitions to the archdiocese’s office in Los Angeles Friday morning, opposing Mahony’s appearance. LifeSite’s petition contained more than 5,800 names; an accompanying petition from the Ruth Institute, had more than 4,300.

Full story at LifeSiteNews.

Comments

  1. Good for this excellent group of protesters! I signed several petitions — along with thousands of others!– against Mahoney. Have also signed petitions against Fr. James Martin, S.J.– shamefully, a Papal favorite. We desperately need new and good Church leadership!

  2. Clinton R. says

    It is telling the Religious Education Congress does not have “Catholic” in its name. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Faith and everything to do with modernism, heresy and outright apostasy. No wonder Father John Zuhlsdorf refers to it as the “Three Days of Darkness.”

  3. If the REC is so bad, why does the Bishop of Orange permit it in that Diocese? Aren’t there venues in LA which could work? Why permit Cdl Mahoney to appear? Otherwise his ‘ban’ is meaningless.

  4. Father Chris Ponnet, Director of the archdiocese’s Office of Catholic HIV/AIDS Ministry and the archbishop’s Spiritual Director for Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons (CMLGP)

    Why does the archbishop have a Spiritual Director for “Lesbian and Gay persons”? Talk about profiling…

  5. “A group of faithful Catholics,” in the opening sentence indicates that those who attend the REC are not faithful. A bit judgemental wouldn’t you agree? There are some speakers with whom everyone disagrees, and some that should just not be there in the first place. But, to say that the program, in its entirety, has nothing to do with the true faith is a stretch, at least. Some would suspect that if Fr. Z rants against something its likely not all bad. We can agree that there should be no speakers who don’t’ support the teachings of the Church, but we need to know what those teachings are, not what we think they are. As for modernism, the Church has modernized. Some don’t like the fact that we are not overwhelmed any more with lace,…

    • Danijela Brekalo says

      Yes, this congress is NOT faithful to the teachings of the Church, and that is a well know fact. This congress has a well documented history of representing the teachings contrary to true faith, and anyone who participates in this type of mockery of the true faith is not a faithful Catholic. No matter how you try to “modernize” the teachings of the church by watering them down by injecting relativism and secularism, it is not going to work.

    • Clinton R. says

      I am glad there was a group of faithful Catholics praying the Rosary in response to the yearly debacle known as the Religious Education Congress. Perusing the REC’s schedule of topics, it is difficult to find anything remotely Catholic.
      No presentations on St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas, nothing on Scholasticism, nothing on the Latin Mass, nothing on the Church Fathers, but yet there were presentations on dancing and other ways to toy with the Mass (liturgy). The REC featured plenty of LGBT presentations (ie Fr. James Martin) that promoted acceptance of homosexuality and not living in compliance with Christ and the teachings of His Church. The closing ‘liturgy’ is perennially a source of scandal, resembling a Roman bacchanal…

      • Clinton R. says

        …. rather than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
        Bob One, the Church has modernized? St. Pope Pius X condemned modernism in his encyclical Pascendi. What does overwhelmed with lace mean? Should not the clergy offer Christ their best and most beautiful when celebrating Holy Mass?

      • Clinton, my comment ran over the allowed words. The pre-VII church is sometimes described as full of lace, bells, and smells, referring to the old fashioned chasibles, lots of bells and lots of incense.

        • Clinton R. says

          Hi Bob One, yes I have heard of the term ‘smells and bells’ vis a vis the Church pre Vatican II. Isn’t it sad that so many parishes no longer have the beauty and reverence that was common decades ago?

  6. The music at the closing liturgy was horribly inappropriate. It gets worse each year. A big show, not a Mass.

    So many things need to be changed. Gutted maybe. Then start from scratch and rebuild to something faithful and admirable.

  7. Linda L Hughes says

    I think copies of any protest petitions which are sent to the LA archdiocese should be sent to the Orange Diocese as well since it takes place there.

  8. What’s curious is that although last year, two years and three years ago there was lots of negative coverage of the LA REC in the Catholic press, this year there was hardly any mention of it nor reviews of controversial speakers’ workshops. Almost nothing from Churchmilitant, Lifesite, 1P5, CreativeMinority, etc. I take that to mean faithful Catholics have largely realized the LA REC is a waste of time and not even worth negative coverage anymore because Archbishop Gomez isn’t going to change anything so why waste your breath? Every faithful Catholic knows to stay away. Don’t cast pears before swine, as Jesus said.

  9. Kenneth Fischer used to be the sole protester at this awful event, God bless him. Glad more and more faithful Catholics are exposing the heresies and heretics that Archbishop Gomez promotes in his diocese. Shameful.

  10. These protesters, if not attending, mean nothing to the organizers. It like Vegans giving a bad restaurant review of a steak house.

    • Danijela Brekalo says

      These protesters may “mean nothing to the organizers” although I don’t think organizers are happy to see them there. But these faithful Catholic praying Rosary in the face of this sacrilege surely mean something to Our Lord who is certainly in their midst, because where two or three are praying together in His name, He is there with them. Do not underestimate the power of the Holy Rosary.

      • Fr Khouri says

        Anything associated with TFP in my mind needs to be avoided. It is a fanatical groups of odd ball zealots. If you’re going to pray with people at LA Rec avoid these folks with their banners, loud words and mideval outfits. They are not a religious order of a secular institute and are more a propaganda machine that promotes their own “truth”.
        Pray the rosary at LA Rec but with people who do not use the Church to promote confused and false teaching. Lord God save us from the fanatics on both end of the spectrum.

        • Danijela Brekalo says

          Dear Father, you need to educate yourself about what TFP stands for. If, in your mind they are fanatical, they you probably think many of the Saints were fanatical. TFP has great banners, their “loud words” are necessary in our loud world, and their “mideval outfits” are distinguished uniforms that set them apart as soldiers of Christ. Do you also dislike papal guard for their “medival outfits”?
          TFP (Tradition, Family, Property) stands up for the values of faith,family and property. These are basic values that are building blocks of every civilized society.. These values are under relentless attack in our society today, and TFP is courageously defending them. They should be applauded and supported. Labeling them fanatics is not…

  11. I guess I have been banned from this site … the Cal -Cath thought police refused to post my comments

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