A “Catholic” Retreat “Celebrating Leather Sexuality” in the Diocese of Sacramento? Cancelled!

Thank God for Courageous Bishops.

My bishop is His Excellency Jaime Soto, Diocese of Sacramento. I was alarmed to find an article on another blog regarding a “Homosexualist and leather retreat” to be held in the Diocese of Sacramento at Christ the King Passionist Center in Citrus Heights. The retreat is co-sponsored by the Dignity/Defenders SF, and scheduled to run from August 30 – September 2.

The retreat is described as follows:

The first two days of the retreat we will be with those attending from the Dignity chapter, followed by a third day that will emphasize integrating leather and spirituality. The retreat will be lead by a Catholic priest who works with Dignity.

According to the article:

The Defenders describe themselves as “a Catholic leather club,” and the About Us section of their webpage says “The Defenders/SF is a club for individuals who value and wish to celebrate both their Leather sexuality and their Christian spirituality.” The webpage of Dignity USA says “The Defenders believe that the leather experience can, when integrated and spiritually informed, actually produce a richer spirituality for us, and for the Church.”

I called the Bishop’s office, and inquired if this was true. The Bishop cancelled the retreat. It is not being held on Church property. I assume they’ve relocated to another venue.

Thank God for Bishop Soto. Pray for him.

[Please continue to vote for me for Beer Camp!]

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20 thoughts on “A “Catholic” Retreat “Celebrating Leather Sexuality” in the Diocese of Sacramento? Cancelled!

  1. Reblogged this on Catholic4Life and commented:
    Disgusting! Why would it be considered to be held in a “Catholic Church”, in the first place!!! I am Catholic but I grow more and more disgusted of what is happening in the Catholic Church on a daily basis. This incident is a prime example of the “GREAT APOSTASY,” in the Catholic Church today!

    • Get serious-“Great Apostasy” is 7th Day Adventist hateful agitprop against the Church invented by a lunatic failed “prophetess” named Ellen White who started having “visions” after being hit in the head by a ROCK(NOT St.Peter)

      Christ’s Church-the CATHOLIC CHURCH can never be prevailed upon by the Gates of Hell.Christ said it,and I believe it

      I doubt VERY much that you are indeed a professing Catholic.

      The Church is a Divine SINLESS Institution but it’s members are ALL sinners.Some are idiot heterodox Homolobbyists as well.

      The Bishop CANCELLED it.Give your head a shake.

  2. I called the Bishop’s office as well and was also pleased to learned it was cancelled. And I was told that it was moved to a non-Catholic Church affiliated venue.

    However I am not sure whether the Catholic priest who was supposed to give that retreat will still be giving it in that “non-Catholic” venue.

    • Even if Fr. Thomas Bonacci were to lead the retreat at a venue not owned by or affiliated with the Church, I don’t think Bishop Soto could do anything. Fr. Bonacci appears to reside in the Diocese of Oakland and works on something called the “Interfaith Peace Project”. I cannot tell whether he is affiliated with any parish, and I do not know if he must obey the Bishop of Oakland or not. My understanding is that Fr. Bonacci would need permission from Bishop Soto to say mass in the Diocese of Sacramento, however.

      • You don’t think Bishop Soto could do anything! He could and should do quite a lot. He could inform his people about what actually happened, explaining how this event was allowed to be scheduled at the most prominent retreat center in his diocese. Was he blindsided or was he complicit in the abomination? I think that is a quite reasonable question given the fact that Father Bonacci and his organization are not allowed to use any Church owned property in the diocese of Oakland.

        And Bishop Soto could do something else. He could be honest with his people. He could tell his people whether or not this event was cancelled outright, or simply transferred to another (secret) location within the diocese. Numerous people, including me, have called the Sacramento Diocese and the retreat center involved, and have received only vague answers like “it is not being held here”. Questions like “is it being held somewhere else” are stonewalled. That is not anywhere near satisfactory. That sort of duplicity is losing him the respect of his people in Sacramento. He needs to level with them and soon.

        Anything else he could (needs to) do? Yes. Bishop Soto is very concerned about a bill going through the ultra liberal California State Legislature right now, known as AB 131. I’ll let you do your own research on it. You will find that it scraps the statute of limitations for private (but not public) organizations and exposes the Church to no end of lawsuits involving hair-raising sums of money, relating to clerical child abuse. It could well bankrupt some California dioceses. It is a blatantly unfair bill and the bishops are right to oppose it. But, by allowing, either overtly or in nod and wink fashion, this ‘retreat’ to take place in his diocese, Bishop Soto has alienated the people who most strongly supported him in his battle against AB 131. He needs to repair that damage and soon – very soon!

        There is much more he could do. However, if he just does what I cited above, he will have undone much of the damage he allowed to happen. I say “allowed” because, in fairness, I don’t think he meant it to happen. Rather, I think he was used (no abused) by smart politicians and smart dissident priests in co hoots with said smart politicians.

      • Declining to advertise the location of an unsanctioned event taking place without the approval of the Bishop doesn’t seem like complicity to me at all.

        I will clarify my comment: obviously the Bishop can do *something*, but not the same things he could do were he dealing with one of his own diocesan priests. I think Fr. Bonacci is Oakland’s problem.

  3. What bothers me the most is that it was scheduled, in the first place!!! Is the shepherd (Bishop) really watching his flock or just reacting when the wolf gets caught red-handed?

    • You’re imputing a lot of knowledge to the Bishop. It was scheduled at a diocesan retreat center in Citrus Heights. Who knows what Dignity/Defenders told the center when it made arrangements to use the facility? Pretty sure that the Bishop is a little busy with actual shepherding to be scrutinizing the event calendars at every Church venue.

      The issue was brought to light. The Bishop responded (appropriately). The event did not occur on Church property or with the sanction of the Bishop. Not sure what you’re complaining about.

      • “You are imputing a lot of knowledge to the bishop”. Well the bishop is on the board of trustees of Christ the King retreat center. Shouldn’t he know? But let’s assume (though it should not have happened) he was busy with all sorts of other things and the Dignity/Defenders (DD) blindsided him. In that case he needs to come clean and explain to his people what happened and what he is going to do to make sure it never happens again.

        And then there is the cover up. I and innumerable others called the diocese and the retreat house and were told something like “It is not being held here”. No further info was forthcoming. Questions like “Is it being held somewhere else” were answered with diplomatic responses like “our information is that it is not being held here”. And you think that is an appropriate response! Sorry, that is an insult. Bishop Soto needs to start treating his people like adults. He did not respond appropriately. Now do you know what we are complaining about?

      • I don’t think the members of the Retreat’s board scrutinize the retreat calendar. I repeat: you don’t know what was said or disclosed by Dignity/Defenders when they made the arrangements. Your inference is unsupported by any concrete facts about what the bishop knew and when.

        Finally, neither the Bishop nor the people in his office are obligated to furnish information about a non-sanctioned non-diocesan event. You presume to have a right to know everything the Bishop or his office knows, which you don’t.

  4. Jesus taught us to care for one another…even those who are the outcasts of society….lepers, tax collectors, pharisees, and prostitutes in his day. Should not Fr. Bonacci do the same? The people who signed up for the retreat are searching for God….just as anyone else is who signs up for a retreat….. It is too bad they were denied the opportunity to find the God they are searching for.

    • Susan, you write: “The people who signed up for the retreat are searching for God…“

      But look at how the Defenders describe themselves: “The Defenders believe that the leather experience can, when integrated and spiritually informed, actually produce a richer spirituality for us, and for the Church.”

      That is an amazing, impossible statement for a Catholic to make. They are not coming as seekers, as sinners, but rather see themselves as having an answer that the Church needs. That’s backwards.

  5. Sad that the Reverend Soto, Bishop of Sacramento, cancelled the event. Breaking communication is not how to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Many gay Catholics lead seriously conflicted lives and need the ministry of the Church. Retreats are for people to get in touch and to allow God into our lives. God often speaks to us like Isaiah describes as a whisper.

    God created some people to be gay. I would suggest that the readers of this blog, read more about Father Mychal Judge, OFM, who died on September 11, 2001 while giving the last rites to the dying in New York City. Father Judge was gay. Being gay is not evil but it does give a different perspective on the way these individuals view life. That is why this cancelled retreat was to try an integrate their spirituality with their gay nature.

    Today the Gay person is the social leper, the woman caught in adultery. Good Samaritan in our time would be the Gay person who came upon the mugged and injured man without medical insurance on the road to Jericho.

    Excluding ourselves from our gay neighbors and calling them an abomination when they merely want to gather to pray and celebrate the Eucharist is really the very sad and evil. I urge those who have said the harsh things about their neighbors who wanted to go out of town an pray to reconsider.

    By the way about 6% of the children in Catholic schools are gay. This trait appears about the same as left handedness and seems present in children from or before birth. So please be very careful when expressing yourself about gay people. Children will remember what you said when they discover who they are. I have a gay son so I have met many gay people. Some you would never expect. Your words can make lasting damage to a tender child.

    • Charles, the issue isn’t about exclusion or name calling; rather, it is with the fact that Dignity and Defenders are schismatic, unsanctioned “Catholic” groups that advocate for acceptance and affirmation of homosexual activity. The retreat wasn’t cancelled because it sought to serve the true spiritual needs of people with SSA, but because it was specifically advertised as an event that would promote homosexual activity as good and not sinful, which is contrary to the teachings of the Church — and Jesus Himself — that state that sex outside of marriage is a sin.

      There are a number of excellent ministries and apostolates within the Church for SSA — Courage and Encourage are two that immediately come to mind. There are also countless historical and current examples of holy and courageous people with SSA in the Church, but that holiness carries with it the burden to live a life of chastity and faithfulness, like Fr. Judge who took a vow to live a celibate life as a priest.

      You state that the “Gay person is the social leper, the woman caught in adultery.” You may be correct, but when Jesus encountered the woman in adultery, He did not say, “Your sins are forgiven, go and feel free to continue what you were doing before.” Instead He said, “Go and sin no more.” This is the very aspect missing in the mission of Dignity and Defenders. Promoting homosexual activity as a means of integrating spirituality and sexuality is the exact opposite of the example you have given.

      The starting point for any person dealing with a particular sinful inclination is to speak the Truth that unifies all of us: God is love, and each of us is a specially created and loved child of God, who Jesus came to save. “Love one another,” He said, “As I have loved you.”

      Words that destroy are not the words that are true, but the words that are not spoken in love.

      I will pray for you and your son. I ask you to please pray for me with the same intention.

  6. Pingback: Sane bishop located in California of all places | BlazingCatFur

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