"We call on faithful Catholics to come join us in protesting the Los Angeles Archdiocese's upcoming dissent-fest, the Religious Education Congress (REC)," said Kenneth M. Fisher, chairman of Concerned Roman Catholics of America (CRCOA). "We need to warn thousands of Catholics that they'll hear speakers who spread doubts about Church teachings on abortion, homosexuality, contraception, women's ordination and the Pope's authority." Catholics such as Fisher have criticized some of the liturgies associated with the Congress, which is sponsored by Cardinal Roger Mahony, the former archbishop of Los Angeles. In previous years, some of the Masses for the Congress have featured whirling liturgical dancers, and other innovations that are rejected by traditional Catholics.
"Why," he asked, "does L.A.'s new, reputedly orthodox Archbishop José Gomez bring back the same dangerous speakers whom his predecessor Cardinal Roger Mahony brought in year after year? Jesus commanded us not to doubt but to have faith (Mt 14:31, 21:21). The Bible warns against people who sow doubts in Christians' minds (I Tim 4:1; II Tim 4:3, 4)."
Fisher announced that on the morning of March 24, his group will protest the annual REC, which according to him is the world's largest training event for Catholic schoolteachers. It is scheduled to be held March 22-25 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Fisher and his group will distribute leaflets outside the Center's main exhibit hall.
"The REC will have speakers with long track records of dissent," Fisher noted. "They'll tell Catholic educators what to teach. Then the teachers will infect countless innocent Catholic children with their errors." Fisher said CRCOA members will hand out flyers to "expose speakers who dissent from the Church's teachings."
According to CRCOA, the 185 REC speakers include:
* A priest who's said he's "not anti-choice," has publicly discussed his genitals, and has criticized the idea that truth is superior to dissent;
* A priest who says the Church needs "public models" of "healthy gay priests for Catholics to reflect on," to counter "the stereotype of the gay priest as child abuser."
* A professor who subtly undermines Church teachings on papal authority, sodomy, contraception and women's ordination;
* A nun who's taught that "ordinary genital self-touch can be very important" for children;
* A laicized priest who wants not only women priests but also women bishops.
Archbishop José Horacio Gómez is a native of Mexico who is priest of The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, which is affiliated with the worldwide Catholic movement known as Opus Dei - which is generally considered to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Opus Dei is not known for innovations as to liturgy. Archbishop Gómez served as Archbishop of San Antonio, Texas, until 2010 and was an auxiliary bishop in Denver, Colorado, until 2004.