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RCF Board Member Arrested in Florida

May 31, 1997: At 11 am, James Bendell, a Washington State Trial Attorney and Board Member of Roman Catholic Faithful, was arrested by the Lantana, Florida police and charged with trespass. Jim was arrested at the Cenacle Retreat house where he was praying the rosary and distributing Catholic literature defining the Church's teaching regarding homosexual acts and the treatment of homosexual persons. Also present was Kyran Murphy, a RCF group leader in West Palm Beach, Florida, Kyran's wife, and several other RCF members. Nugent and Gramick were giving a talk at the retreat house.

That same morning a protest was taking place at St. Ignatius Loyola Cathedral on Military Trail and Holly Avenue in Palm Beach Gardens. Kyran Murphy had tried unsuccessfully to convince Bishop Symons that Gramick and Nugent should not be allowed to speak in the diocese. The following is a copy of the statement distributed by Kyran's group.

Why are these people allowed to spread their errors in our diocese?

"Homophobia Workshops" sponsored by "Center for Homophobia Education" based in Hyattsville, MD and NYC have been scheduled in our diocese. Sister Jeannine Gramick, of Dignity fame, and Fr. Robert Nugent, stripped of his faculties to preach and hear confessions in the Washington Archdiocese, are the seminar "facilitators". The purpose of the seminars is to quell "Any unwarranted fear of homosexuality in oneself or others- usually based on ignorance, stereotyping or other psychological factors." All this taught without altering its pro-homosexual disposition and with no apparent effort to impart Church teachings that homosexuality is an "OBJECTIVE DISORDER".

Nugent's and Grammick's jaded past includes:

1978 - Fr. Nugent stripped of his faculties to preach and hear confessions in Washington.
1979 - Gramick and Nugent sponsored a retreat for homosexual religious women causing the Vatican to order the FIRST OF THREE INVESTIGATIONS by their superiors.
1981 - After planning a national conference on homosexuality and the Catholic Church in Washington, DC, the second Vatican ordered investigation commenced. Archbishop, now Cardinal Hickey wrote to the US bishops and religious superiors informing them that New Ways Ministries, co-founded by Nugent and Gramick, had an ambiguous stand on the morality of homosexual activity.
1983 - Cardinal Hickey asks Gramick's and Nugent's superiors to withdraw them from his archdiocese.
1984 - Sacred Congregation for Religious had them withdraw from New Ways Ministry under threat of disciplinary action. They nevertheless continued to offer workshops on homosexual ministry, according to a Catholic News Service report.
1984 - Gramick signed the infamous NY TIMES pro abortion ad.
1985 - Third Vatican request for investigation of their activities.
1992 - US CATHOLIC August issue, Sr. Gramick candidly described her mission as helping US Catholics to approve same sex relationships between gay and lesbian people.
1994 - Cardinal Maida of Detroit, was appointed head of a Vatican committee to probe the "gay ministry" of Gramick and Nugent.

Gramick and Nugent continue their activities to this day. She was quoted to have said in a talk at the University of Tennessee Catholic Center, "If gay people are in a committed relationship, then sexual expression is morally okay."

Gramick and Nugent have been banned in Boston by Cardinal Law, In Newark by Bishop McCarrick and in Washington by Cardinal Hickey----

When Jim was arrested he was taken to the City Police Station and placed in a holding cell. He was later transported to the county jail where he was searched and fingerprinted. After several hours Jim posted bail and was given a court date of July 1.

 Late Breaking Addenda

Christopher Ferrara of the American Catholic
Lawyers Association contacted RCF and
indicated they will handle the case.

American Catholics Lawyers Assoc.
10 Audrey Pl.
P.O. Box 10544
Fairfield, N.J. 07004

The Catholic information Bendell was handing out
in FL was a document of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith entitled
"Letter to Bishops of the Catholic Church on the
Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons."

To contact Bishop Symons of Palm Beach:

The Pastoral Center
P.O. Box 109650
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 33410

The diocesan phone number is 561-775-9500
Fax number is 561-775-9556

The bishop's personal fax number is 561-775-7035

Let Bishop Symons know how you feel about this action
taken against a faithful Catholic!

RCF needs your help. It is time to stand and be counted!


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Last update: 12/05/2004