Sunday 4th October 2015

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Fr. Robert Nugent Dies… He Championed Homosexualism In U.S. Church

January 9, 2014 Featured Today No Comments


Fr. Robert Nugent, SDS, an influential priest who did more to bring about widespread acceptance of the homosexual agenda in the U.S. Church and broader society, as co-founder of New Ways Ministry in 1977, with Sr. Jeannine Gramick, SSND, died January 1 at a hospice in Milwaukee. He was 76. Fr. Nugent had been suffering from cancer.
For more than 25 years, Nugent and Gramick campaigned across the country, in dioceses and numerous Catholic venues, including seminaries, convents, universities, colleges, chanceries and pastoral centers, conferences and congresses, in an effort to change the beliefs and attitudes of Catholics toward homosexual behavior and relationships.
A key component of this agenda was language manipulation, and convincing Catholics that “homophobia” was the great sin in society and especially in the Catholic Church. “Homophobia” needed to be extirpated with the greatest vigor and dedication, according to Nugent.
A major milestone in Fr. Nugent’s career as a change agent and social revolutionary was his role in helping to produce the U.S. bishops’ 1997 “pastoral letter” Always Our Children, along with the assistance of other known dissidents. This was at a time when Nugent was embroiled in a decades-long investigation by the Holy See over his dissident militancy on behalf of the homosexualist agenda.
Earlier that year, in March, New Ways Ministry celebrated its 20th anniversary with a conference in Pittsburgh, at which then-Bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester spoke and presided at the liturgy. Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton called the failure of homosexual priests to “come out” a “loss” to the Church.
That Catholic attitudes toward homosexuality have shifted in 30 years from disapproval to acceptance to support, as documented by numerous polls and surveys — as well as by state legislatures — is a testimony to Nugent’s success in subverting the Church teaching in the minds of Catholic leaders and laity, and through them reaching the wider society.
As Fr. Enrique Rueda explained in his 1982 study, The Homosexual Network, New Ways Ministry (NWM), “is the dream of the homosexual movement come true . . . situated at the doors of the nation’s capital . . . with easy access to the highest concentration of seminaries and religious houses in the United States. The group specializes in publishing pro-homosexual literature with a Catholic flavor, lobbying for pro-homosexual legislation, holding educational and religious meetings for homosexuals and their sympathizers, and generally promoting the movement’s ideology.
“One of the group’s most important activities is serving as a center for a very extensive network of homosexual and pro-homosexual activists within the Church. . . .
“NWM,” Rueda continued, “describes itself as ‘an organization founded in 1977 to serve as a bridge between gay and non-gay groups…which has provided educational programs, resources, and consultation services for a wide variety of dioceses, seminaries, colleges, religious orders, universities, peace and justice groups, and has published documents from Holland and England.’ The pro-homosexual character of this organization is apparent to anyone reading its materials.”
“It is impossible,” Rueda wrote, “to examine the homosexual movement within the Roman Catholic Church without taking NWM into consideration, but the status of the organization within the Church is far from clear. In June 1979” — two years after NWM was founded by Nugent and Gramick — “R. Adam DeBaugh reported that Fr. Nugent’s faculties to exercise the ministry had been suspended and that he was under canonical discipline on account of his outspokenness within the homosexual movement. . . .
“Fr. Nugent does not have faculties in the Archdiocese of Washington, where he resides and where New Ways Ministry is located. Church authorities in Washington have circulated a letter clarifying that, in spite of its name and purported religious affiliation, New Ways Ministry has no official status as a Church organization.”
Those facts notwithstanding, and despite a 1981 letter from Washington’s Archbishop James Hickey to all his fellow U.S. bishops that New Ways Ministry’s position on homosexuality was unacceptable for Catholics, Nugent and Gramick and New Ways Ministry had the loyal, open support of at least 19 bishops, and conducted their seminars and other programs in over 100 U.S. dioceses with apparent episcopal approval.

A Lifetime Of Activism

The future Salvatorian priest was born on July 31, 1937 and educated in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He was ordained for that archdiocese on May 22, 1965. But within five years he was without a parish assignment. John Cardinal Krol gave Nugent the boot after Nugent testified in favor of a city council “gay rights” bill, and Nugent decided to join the Society of the Divine Savior (SDS), professing his vows in June 1977.
Even before he professed his vows, Nugent was present at the founding of the Quixote Center, a hard-left, pro-Marxist, pro-homosexual, pro-abortion Catholic organization founded by Jesuit William R. Callahan, Dolores “Dolly” Pomerleau, and Eileen Olsen. A year later, the Quixote Center gave birth to New Ways Ministry, which, in turn, gave birth to the Catholic Coalition for Gay and Civil Rights, which was supported by 150 organizations, including 606 Catholic priests, 747 Catholic nuns, and 50 Catholic religious orders.
Such was Nugent’s reputation for pro-homosexual activism that within years of founding New Ways Ministry, his “apostolate” was banned from the Archdioceses of Washington, Chicago, Boston, Newark, and New York. In 1983, at the prompting of Archbishop (later Cardinal) Hickey of Washington, the Holy See initiated its first investigation of Gramick and Nugent, under the auspices of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life.
After a nearly five-year investigation, the congregation established a new, three-member commission, at the prompting of the apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pio Laghi, led by Bishop (later Cardinal) Adam Maida of Green Bay, to investigate New Ways.
From 1988 to 1994, as the Maida commission investigated New Ways Ministry publications and carried on an extensive dialogue with Nugent and Gramick, the pair continued publishing and carrying on an extensive series of “homosexual road shows” in dioceses across the country, in defiance of an order from the Holy See that the pair cease all public speaking engagements, well documented at the time in the pages of The Wanderer.
In October 1994, the Maida commission released its report, praising the duo for their “courage and zeal,” but criticizing them for presenting doctrinally deficient or erroneous positions. In January 1994, Nugent and Gramick submitted letters from 19 U.S. bishops to the commission stating their support and objecting to their “inquisition.”
In 1996, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life decided to turn the case over to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Benedict XVI, to examine doctrinal issues involved.
Finally, in May 1999, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) released a “notification” regarding Gramick and Nugent, issued with the approval of Pope John Paul II.
The notification detailed the history of New Ways Ministry and its conflicts with Archbishop Hickey, and the defiance of Gramick and Nugent.
“From the beginning, in presenting the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, Fr. Nugent and Sr. Gramick have continually called central elements of that teaching into question. For this reason, in 1984, James Cardinal Hickey, the Archbishop of Washington, following the failure of a number of attempts at clarification, informed them that they could no longer undertake their activities in that Archdiocese.
“At the same time, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life ordered them to separate themselves totally and completely from New Ways Ministry, adding that they were not to exercise any apostolate without faithfully presenting the Church’s teaching regarding the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts.
“Despite this action by the Holy See, Fr. Nugent and Sr. Gramick continued their involvement in activities organized by New Ways Ministry, though removing themselves from leadership positions. They also continued to maintain and promote ambiguous positions on homosexuality and explicitly criticized documents of the Church’s Magisterium on this issue.
“Because of their statements and activities, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life received numerous complaints and urgent requests for clarification from Bishops and others in the United States of America. It was clear that the activities of Sr. Gramick and Fr. Nugent were causing difficulties in not a few Dioceses and that they were continuing to present the teaching of the Church as one possible option among others and as open to fundamental change. . . .
“Given the failure of the repeated attempts of the Church’s legitimate authorities to resolve the problems presented by the writings and pastoral activities of the two authors, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is obliged to declare for the good of the Catholic faithful that the positions advanced by Sr. Jeannine Gramick and Fr. Robert Nugent regarding the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts and the objective disorder of the homosexual inclination are doctrinally unacceptable because they do not faithfully convey the clear and constant teaching of the Catholic Church in this area.”
Despite the notification’s emphatic statement that Gramick and Nugent “are permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons and are ineligible, for an undetermined period, for any office in their respective religious institutes,” the pair continued their public tours across the country, speaking against the CDF’s ban on their activities.
On May 24, 2000, Nugent formally accepted the Holy See’s request that he refrain from all “pastoral initiatives” regarding homosexuals. Gramick did not; and to avoid censure from her religious superiors in the School Sisters of Notre Dame, she joined the Denver-based Sisters of Loretto.

In Perspective

Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry, eulogized Fr. Nugent in a statement released after his death.
“When few priests would do more than whisper about homosexuality, Fr. Nugent was meeting with lesbian and gay people and encouraging them to claim their rightful place in the Catholic Church. During a time of intense homophobia in both Church and society, he exhibited uncommon courage and foresight in welcoming and affirming the goodness of God’s lesbian and gay children.”
“It is impossible to overestimate the impact and value of Fr. Nugent’s lesbian and gay ministry,” DeBernardo added. “He educated a generation of pastoral leaders who began to put into practice the inclusive ideals that he taught. A tireless researcher and writer, he produced a number of important works on pastoral care that helped to shape the movement in Catholicism of gay-friendly parishes.”
On the other hand, the career of Fr. Nugent exemplifies the radical moral corruption in the U.S. Church over a decades-long period, when rebellion against the Holy See and the Magisterium was a ticket to worldly success.
Pray for his soul.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Catholic Hospitals Sued For Refusing Emergency Care To Pregnant Women

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday announced that it is suing Trinity Health Corporation, which operates 80 hospitals nationwide, for refusing to provide pregnant women suffering from life-threatening emergency complications with abortions. Trinity Health hospitals have “repeatedly and systematically…Continue Reading

Too Scared to Pray? ISIL Cancels Prayers for Fear of Russian Airstrikes

The Islamic State terror group cancelled Friday prayers in the Syrian city of Raqqa and emptied mosques there out of fear of further Russian airstrikes, according to activists and city residents. According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,…Continue Reading

Putin defends Russia’s ban on youth-focused gay propaganda: ‘I believe we should leave kids in peace’

MOSCOW, September 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In 2013, Russia passed an amendment to the country’s Child Protection Law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” which also safeguards children from being adopted by homosexuals. Western governments, led by the…Continue Reading

EXPOSED: The billionaire Planned Parenthood donor who wants his donations kept very, very secret

Sept. 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Three weeks after I left my job at the clinic, Planned Parenthood took me to court. I am always asked, “Why would they take you to court? Did they have something to hide?” Well, yes.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Brought Back Into Roman Curia By Pope Francis

Raymond Cardinal Burke has been re-appointed to Congregation for the Causes of Saints from which he had been removed in December of 2013.

The Secret Meeting of the Papal Trip

Washington, D.C. One meeting during Pope Francis’ whirlwind trip to America has remained secret. Until now. It was, arguably, the most significant meeting, symbolically, of the entire trip. It should, therefore, be brought to the attention of the public, both…Continue Reading

Angry Pope Blasts Mayor of Rome as a ‘Pretend Catholic’

Pope Francis raised eyebrows in Italy on Tuesday by slapping down the left-leaning mayor of Rome as someone who “pretends to be Catholic”. The unforgiving assessment of Ignazio Marino — a man the Italian media love to hate — further…Continue Reading

Bishop Fellay Petitions Pope Francis

A petition to Pope Francis: uphold marriage! The Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X has just published a petition to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, asking him to publicly defend the institution of holy matrimony. Bishop Fellay…Continue Reading

Pope Assigns Some Homework to Catholic School Children

Tells Immigrant Families That Everyone Has a Right to Dream New York City, September 25, 2015 ( Kathleen Naab Pope Francis was visibly relaxed and joyful as he met with students, their families, immigrants and others in New York this…Continue Reading

Loved Ones of 9/11 Victims Say Faith Is What Gets Them Through

At Ground Zero for Pope’s Visit, Mourners Take Solace in Francis’ Presence New York City, September 25, 2015 ( Deborah Castellano Lubov When your heart is broken, how do you cope? According to many who lost their loved ones when…Continue Reading

Cardinal Danneels Admits to Being Part of ‘Mafia’ Club Opposed to Benedict XVI

Further serious concerns are being raised about Cardinal Godfried Danneels, one of the papal delegates chosen to attend the upcoming Ordinary Synod on the Family, after the archbishop emeritus of Brussels confessed this week to being part of a radical “mafia” reformist…Continue Reading

Pope declares Junipero Serra a Saint

(Vatican Radio) Celebrating his first Mass in the United States on Wednesday, Pope Francis declared a new saint of the United States. Fr. Junipero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan priest known for starting nine missions in the 18th century in what…Continue Reading


Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope’s Angelus Address

“The Synod Fathers, coming from every part of the world and gathered around the Successor of Peter, for three weeks, will reflect on the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in society, for careful spiritual and pastoral discernment.” Vatican City, October 04, 2015 ( Staff Reporter Below is a ZENIT-translation of Pope Francis’ Angelus Address today at noon in St. Peter’s Square, following his having presided over Mass for the Opening…Continue Reading

Pray For The Intersession Of Saint John Paul ll For A Successful Outcome To The Synod . . .


With the start of The Synod of the Family, it is appropriate to invoke the intercession of now St. John Paul ll for a successful outcome. It was John Paul ll who at the conclusion of the Synod on the Family in 1980 reaffirmed the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family, despite the many dissidents and the heretical thinkers of the day. The following prayer was written by Pope John Paul ll prior to…Continue Reading

Fr Lombardi reacts to revelations by gay prelate

(Vatican Radio) The director of the Holy See press office Father Federico Lombardi on Saturday reacted to revelations by a high-ranking Vatican official that he is in a gay relationship. 43 year old Polish Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa has been living in Rome for 17 years and has worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2003. He also serves as assistant secretary of the International Theological Commission and teaches theology at two…Continue Reading

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri explains how the Synod on the Family will unfold


Vatican City, 2 October 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, gave a presentation of the phases and methods of the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world”, which will commence on Sunday 4 October. “Tomorrow evening, in St. Peter’s Square, in the presence of…Continue Reading

Why Isn’t Kim Davis A Hero To The Left?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK I have been waiting for weeks now for the keepers of the flame in the liberal establishment to express some begrudging admiration for Kim Davis’ decision to go to jail, rather than violate her conscience by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky. Or at least some ambiguity over what…Continue Reading

What’s In A Motto?

By DONALD DeMARCO Pope St. John Paul II’s 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio is a thorough and thoughtful discussion of the harmony between “faith” and “reason.” It does not break new ground but reaffirms to a modern audience what St. Thomas Aquinas and more recent thinkers such as Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson have carefully…Continue Reading

Non-Catholic Communities As “Means Of Salvation”

By FR. BRIAN W. HARRISON, OS Many dissident traditionalists claim that Vatican Council II’s Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio (UR) is irreconcilable with traditional Catholic doctrine. The passage most commonly singled out in support of this claim is the affirmation in article 3 of the Decree that “the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from…Continue Reading

The Future Is More Of The Past

By DONALD DeMARCO “The outlook on the future is by no means free from anxiety; on the contrary, there are many serious reasons for alarm, on account of numerous and longstanding causes of evil, of both a public and a private nature.” What do we make of this sentence? There is an unmistakable contemporary ring…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 .… “The Homosexual Intimidation Tactic”

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For a guide on how to organize a pro-family group, e-mail him at + + + From the homosexual activist’s point of view, simple censorship is even better than retaliation because it makes…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

An Apologetics Course . . . The Church Of Christ Is Universal, For Everyone

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 22 It is true that Jesus came first for the Jews. Many individuals accepted Him, like the apostles, disciples, and their converts, but as a nation they refused Him. So the apostles spread their mission to the Gentiles — that means, to our ancestors. But even if the Jews had accepted Him, the apostles would…Continue Reading

Mission Of The Catholic Laity: Priest, Prophet, And King

By DON FIER Thus far in our examination of the vocation of the laity in the mission of the Church, it has become manifestly clear that theirs is a role that is distinctive and indispensable. Characterized especially by their secular nature, it pertains in a unique way to the lay faithful “to illuminate and order all temporal things with which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Recently we got a new pastor who has resumed the holding of hands during the Our Father that our previous pastor had eliminated. Has this now become part of the liturgy? And what is the purpose of the holding hands to begin with? Also, what do you think of “Polka Masses”? — C.G., Wisconsin. A. No, holding hands during…Continue Reading

Wisdom Is Worth More Than Gold

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Wisdom 7:7-11 Heb. 4:12-13 Mark 10:17-30 In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that no creature is concealed from God, but that everything is naked and exposed to Him to whom we must render an account. We know from the Gospels that our Lord, on several…Continue Reading

Pope’s Address To Families In Cuba… The Family Is A School Of Humanity

(Below is a Vatican translation of the address Pope Francis gave the morning of September 22 in his meeting with families. The Holy Father largely followed his prepared text, but ZENIT has transcribed and translated the various remarks he added off-the-cuff. Those are found in brackets. (The Holy Father’s theme was “families are not a problem, they are first and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thomas of Hereford

By CAROLE BRESLIN During the High Middle Ages the power of kings began to disintegrate, as shown by the Magna Charta, which was established in 1215. Although neither party of the agreement held up to its commitments, the beginning of more democratic rule had arrived. Three years later a noble family gave birth to a man who played a significant…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Simon De Rojas

By CAROLE BRESLIN The subject of this article lived in a time of great saints, great Spanish saints, so it is not surprising that he is little known. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) who wrote the Spiritual Exercises, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) who reformed the Carmelites and wrote The Interior Castle, and St. John of the Cross who wrote…Continue Reading