The American Family Association of Michigan is asking Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron to ban the use of Marygrove College's Sacred Heart chapel by the homosexual activist group Dignity USA. Dignity USA opposes the Church's teachings on marriage and sexuality, yet retired Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton is celebrating a Mass to mark the group's 39th anniversary on Sunday, May 5 at 6:00 p.m. The AFA-Michigan says that doing so violates a Vatican directive banning the use of facilities at Catholic colleges by such groups.
In a letter, sent by AFA-Michigan President Gary Glenn, the organization urged Archbishop Vigneron to enforce the Vatican directive, specifically by instructing Marygrove College President Dr. David J. Fike not to allow use of the school's Sacred Heart Chapel by the Detroit chapter of Dignity USA, which describes itself as a "national lay movement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics."
Reads the letter:
On behalf of the many faithful Catholics who support the work of the American Family Association of Michigan, we respectfully request that the diocese -- in keeping with Church directives on the appropriate use of its facilities --disallow any future use of Church or Catholic college buildings by an organization committed to attacking and undermining Catholic doctrine on the subject of marriage and homosexual behavior.
The letter goes on to reference the directive from Pope John Paul II's 1986 "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons." Section 17 says that support for such organizations, and the use of Catholic facilities by them, can be both misleading and scandalous. Says the document:
All support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely. Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous.
AFA-Michigan is urging its supporters to join a prayer vigil and protest outside the chapel at 5:00 p.m. Sunday unless the Dignity Mass is cancelled in advance.
The prayer rally is being organized by Real Estate for Life’s executive director David Theisen in support of Archbishop Allen Vigneron. The rally is taking place from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 5 on the public sidewalk near Marygrove College, located at 8425 McNichols Road W. in Detroit.
Theisen said that based upon similar events and the calls and emails he’s received, he expects between 100-200 people to attend.
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