Matt C. Abbott
Monsignor defends 'gay chorus'
By Matt C. Abbott
March 29, 2009

At least some of my readers might recall the relatively recent controversy of a parish in the Archdiocese of Miami, St. Patrick Miami Beach, that hosted a performance of the Miami Gay Men's Chorus (click here for the story) and allows the group to rehearse at the parish.

I received an e-mail from a source detailing a recent "development" in the controversy.

An alumna of the parish's school met with Monsignor John Vaughan, pastor of St. Patrick Miami Beach, on March 25. The following is a slightly edited e-mail that was sent by the alumna to Monsignor Vaughan after the meeting took place:

    'Dear Msgr. Vaughan,

    'Thank you for meeting with me on March 25 to discuss the weekly use of the parish hall by the Miami Gay Men's Chorus. You stated to me that it was not my decision and I agreed. You also stated that I was no one and my opinion was of no importance to you and I also agreed. Although you told me that you were not interested to know the Pope's opinion from me, I hope you will agree that the Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons specifically condemns the use of Church buildings by homosexual groups.

    'On page 13 of the Letter, it states: 'All support should be withdrawn from any organizations which seek to undermine the teaching of the church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely.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 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, 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.'

    'Furthermore, on page 11 of the Letter, it states: 'No authentic pastoral program will include organizations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral. A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin.'

    'I also showed you pictures of the Miami Gay Men's Chorus appearing shirtless and wearing leather belts around their chests and arms while pressing their crotches together performing the 'Masochist Tango' and you stated that there was nothing wrong with such a performance on stage. I respectfully disagree. You further commented that I discriminate against people. While I again disagree, I must admit that it is a comment I have heard before from those that condone homosexual activity. And recognized as such, on page 7 of the Letter: 'One tactic used is to protest that any and all criticism of or reservation about homosexual people, their activity and lifestyle, are simply diverse forms of unjust discrimination.'

    'I will continue to keep you and St. Patrick's, my alma mater, in my prayers. God bless you.'

I'd like to mention a new Web site for Catholic news: Steve Kellmeyer's Check it out.

I'd also like to mention another such site, Check it out as well.

The aforementioned two sites join a few other notable Catholic news outlets:,,,,, and, of course, a number of popular Catholic blogs and forums.

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if they're marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


Receive future articles by Matt C. Abbott: Click here

More by this author