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
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
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
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
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