When words must be defined

San Diego Diocesan spokesman who discussed Always Our Children appears ill-informed about the document

A Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in San Diego celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Always Our Children letter on same-sex attraction. (Nancy Lewis photography)


The following Letter to the Editor was published in the November 23, edition of The Wanderer.

The October 19 Wanderer article by Dexter Duggan covering the San Diego Diocese’ 20th Anniversary of “Always our Children” (AOC), clearly pointed out the pro-homosexual culture in San Diego.  What was worse, however, is the abysmal ignorance of the Diocesan spokesman who discussed AOC. I assume that the spokesman, Kevin Eckery, is just ill-informed and poorly educated in the Faith, and not deliberately mis-stating facts about this wretched document.

“Always Our Children”, was composed by a cadre of homosexualist advocates who pushed it through the system at the USCCB where it was published by a committee of bishops without a consensus of the bishops at large.  Upon its release in October of 1997, there was a storm of criticism from faithful Catholics. For example, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz pointed out that AOC’s “bad features…sometimes cross the border from poor advice to evil advice”; and Fr. Kenneth Baker of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review described it as “a disgrace,…a thinly veiled advocacy for the homosexual lifestyle”.      

Praised by the homosexualist culture, a second edition was released in December of 1997. However, much to the dismay of the pro-homosexuals, the document was revised in early 1998. While some of the more egregious statements were changed, and some just “wimped down’, AOC remained – to this day – a Catholic-tinged advocacy of homosexuality. 

There was little dissemination of what were called “modifications” of the 1997 document. The one undated copy I have is just printed on one-third of a piece of brown paper. In all these years I have seen these modifications nowhere else. Several years later I obtained a copy of the AOC booklet from an AIDS event at a Catholic Church. It was the 1997 edition – no modifications – so those who read the document had the “disgraced” version.

I would have thought that Kevin Eckery as chancellor for communications and public affairs, as he is described in the Wanderer, would have been aware of the original document and its modifications, but he states he didn’t “know of any callback or revisions that might have taken place…”. Eckery referred Duggan to the USCCB website and explained that it “says quite clearly that to be homosexual is not a choice for most people and to be homosexual, therefore, is not a sin because it wasn’t a conscious choice”. 

This is not correct. Perhaps Eckery prefers to think this, but here is a situation where words must be defined. Does Eckery mean that to practice homosexuality is not a sin, or does he mean that to be homosexually inclined is not a sin? Unfortunately, AOC itself shows deceptive language by referring to heterosexual AND homosexual orientation. There is no such thing as “sexual orientation”. This term was created by the gay (homosexual) lobby. We are all created heterosexual. Homosexuality is a disorientation. While there may be other factors involved which could have an influence on one’s having a homosexual inclination, an individual still has free-will to reject committing the sin. God did not create anyone with no ability to reject sin. 

But correcting Mr. Eckery’s statement via a review of AOC is not possible because of the perversity of the wording in the document. Once the reader accepts “homosexual orientation” with no clear understanding of the facts, the battle can’t be won. Note that the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not use the “orientation” concept.   

Another inherent problem with the AOC modifications is that they state that the section discussing “homosexual orientation” is followed by the statement from the Catholic Catechism, paragraph 2558, “This inclination, which is objectively disordered constitutes for most [persons with the homosexual inclination] a trial. In reality, this paragraph does NOT FOLLOW the “homosexual orientation” section but is buried in “Notes”, below the “Bibliography of Church Teaching”. What happened here? The term “objectively disordered” has been vehemently rejected by gay activists, especially Catholics. It is no surprise that the Catechism’s strong statement is relegated to “Notes”, at least in the AOC version currently on-line on the NCCB website. It might be revealing to see where the Catechism statement appears in the actual AOC revision of 1998.

A final point:  How many Wanderer readers have the revised Catechism of the Catholic Church?  I did a study recently and was appalled to see that many Internet references to homosexuality still quoted the 1994 text before it was revised in 1997.

Everyone needs to realize that homosexuality is objectively disordered and that active homosexuality – sodomy –  is a deadly sin.

Laurette Elsberry

To see modifications to the first and second editions of Always Our Children, please click here.


  1. “It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to” promote “Always Our Children.”

  2. Michael McDermott says:

    Acute Communicable Disease Control

    Hepatitis A Outbreak
    In September, LA County declared a hepatitis A outbreak affecting homeless people and illicit drug users. In addition, there has been an increase in hepatitis A cases among men who have sex with men (MSM).
    Hepatitis A is secreted into feces and transmitted by the fecal-oral route such as ingesting food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, touching a contaminated surface or objects, or having sexual contact with an infected partner.

  3. Faithful and True says:

    Kevin Eckery speaks as the official “voice” of Bishop McElroy. Should we not conclude that Eckery has Bishop McElroy’s blessing and is thus doing a great job per the vision of the bishop? Our point is: look to the bishop to answer the question of how the Chancellor of Communications can be SO IGNORANT of Catholic teaching on homosexual disorder and be hired in the first place UNLESS he is right in line with the bishop’s opinion on the topic. Wolves in sheep’s clothing…

  4. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    It is utterly clear to virually every licensed therapist, most theologians, and just about everyone else that homosexuality – the homosexual orientation – is NOT a choice, just as heterosexuality is not a choice. Because it is not a choice, it is therefore not a sin. It is how one acts (whether homosexual or heterosexual or bisexual) that determines whether sin is present.

    • YFC its a choice no matter what the leftist liars say…. but the real problem is that you want the rest of to accept it as normal, when it never will be.

    • Shut the front door. What in the world are you talking about ? To compair what was Gods plan with man and women to what is disgusting is beyond me.

  5. St. Christopher says:

    “Your Fellow Catholic:” You are ignorant of the what “objectively disordered” means. First, your commentary on the, say, “psychiatric industry” fail to note that the declassification of homosexuality as a mental illness is clearly a victory of political pressures on the Am. Psychological Ass’n. Even so, men such as Dr. Nicholas Cummings have said that homosexuals can change their practical orientation (he also said that the APA has become a playground for liberal homosexual advocates, as well).

    Second, the Catholic Catechism is grounded on application of Natural Law. Christ meant sex to be a product of a man-woman marriage, when the two would become one flesh, and procreate. Homosexuals cannot licitly have sex, cannot…

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      St. Chris, you haven’t disputed my central claim that sexual orientation is not “chosen”. You also forget that whatever might have happenned in the original declassification of homosexuality, it was never changed back, and that it has also been declassified in almost every country in the world, not just by the APA. Lastly, the Catechism of the Catholic Church doesn’t say that homosexuality is chosen. No where.

      • Perhaps YFC because the Catechism is recognizes the natural law, so there is no need to state it. Keep trying YFC but you will keep failing

  6. St. Christopher says:

    (Part Deux) ” . . . procreate, and cannot escape being outside the acceptable boundaries of Natural Law. This means that their “inclinations” for each other are “disordered.” You cannot conflate the political and theological: homosexuality, as well as homosexual sex itself, is unacceptable to God’s natural order.

    But, of course, you knew that, as all homosexual activists know that. You just hate the truth, as your political brethren hate the truth. The Catechism is accurate, as stated (and it could even be strengthened in this regard). Pray to see the truth on this.

  7. Laurette Elsberry says:

    YFC, rubbish, and you know it. There are a number of disorientations: homosexuality, bi-sexuality, pederasty, bestiality, transgenderism, sexual fetishes. Acting on any of these disorientations is gravely sinful. To even have these inclinations is intrinsically disordered.

  8. Michael McDermott says:

    Amazon’s ubiquitous Spyware ‘Alexa’ is revealing a heavily Anti-Christian programming in its answers to simple questions
    l http://www.projectrepublictoday.com/2017/11/24/watch-steven-crowder-asks-amazons-alexa-political-social-questions-answers-like-liberal/

    Here are a few of the questions and answers:
    Q: Okay Alexa, who is the Lord Jesus Christ?
    ALEXA: Jesus Christ is a fictional character.

    Q: Alexa, how many genders are there?
    ALEXA: The two main categories of the gender spectrum, male and female, are called the gender binary, but there are many other categories that exist. Because gender identity is complex and personal, there is no definite way to say how many genders there are.

    Q: Alexa, who is the prophet…

  9. The Watchman says:

    The word of Almighty God is very clear and strongly condemns homosexual sex in both the Old and New Testament of the Holy Bible. To be more specific it calls the act an abomination in the Old Testament. Jesus Christ King of Kings Lord of Lords True God and True Man is coming back soon like a thief in the night. Repent and Convert! Pray Pray Pray!

  10. Michael McDermott says:

    A relevant analysis:
    “Saving a Church
    All of us are aware of the closings of Catholic churches around the country. There are four main reasons why this tragedy has occurred…
    A third major cause of church closings is poor catechetics…

    And, of course, the homosexual scandal within the church has done enormous damage

    Despite the overwhelming number of moral priests and bishops, the media have created a narrative that child abuse is still rampant. Either through genuine shock or as an excuse to avoid Catholic discipline, many people simply leave their church and stay home or join a Protestant denomination.

    All of this is very dispiriting, and it’s hard not to despair…

  11. Everyone has the right to their opinion. I am curious as to whether Ms. Elsbury actually read “Always Our Children.” It seems as if she is echoing things she read somewhere else but she gives no source. AOC is not advocacy for homosexuality; it is a document for families with a problem. The Catholic Church has always taught that the sexual gift is reserved to a married man and woman. It is difficult to navigate in a Catholic family where family members ignore or refuse Catholic morality. There are decisions to be made and there is a lot of emotion involved. Every family member is affected and needs to respond not just to the gay family member but to other family members and their decisions and emotions about the gay person. When…

    • Laurette Elsberry says:

      Anonymous, of course I have read Always Our Children. I also clearly pointed out the source. It is right on the USCCB site. I also provided the modifications made to it so that people could see the changes. The changes made the document only slightly less egregious. It is still pro-homosexual propaganda and should be thoroughly refuted.

      • I meant your source for statements such as that there is no such thing as sexual orientation or that we are all created heterosexual.

  12. I wish they would write an “Always Our Parents” or an “Always Our Siblings” and include all the problems in families, like alcoholism, drug addiction, abuse, narcissism, co-habitation, birth control use, abortion, voting pro-choice, etc…
    Actually I think people want a “ditch em” document. Like 1 Corinthians 5:11.

  13. St. Christopher says:

    And, :YFC,” you have not spoken to my (and the Church’s) key point that a homosexual “inclination” (however initiated) is inconsistent with God’s Natural Law and is, thereby, “disordered.” Further, you did not read the many, many articles by leading APA members that note that (1) homosexual inclination is “curable,” and (2) the chief characteristic of the homosexual issue is now a political one.

    Even if, arguendo, a man is born with homosexual desires, he cannot act on them. The Church clearly forbids this, concluding that homosexuals “are called to chastity.” (Catechism, Sec. 2359). Just because you want to, doesn’t mean that you can. Always a mortal sin.

  14. Michael McDermott says:

    The same could be said of Academentia:
    “Feminism site Medusa Magazine shuts down after founder admits it was – joke designed to mock feminists
    shut down because “there is no point in operating a caricature website of Feminism anymore when real life Feminists are now more insane than any caricature we could ever dream up” – no longer possible to satirize the Feminist left.”
    purpose was to “create a website to satirize the far left and the so-called ‘Social Justice Warriors’ who infect it.” Medusa’s creator encouraged fans simply to start reading actual feminist content, as the messages are typically…

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COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.