The Camel, The Tent, and The Nose


The Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s (GALA) has applied to the Notre Dame Alumni Association (NDAA) for official recognition.

NOTRE DAME, IN – GALA has for some years sought, and has had some success in gaining, a foothold on campus. It achieved one of its most important goals with the university’s recognition of a student LGBT club. Its target now is official approval as an alumni group.

While GALA’s goal of eliminating discrimination against LGBT students is praiseworthy, its celebration of same-sex marriage, promotion of same-sex marriage on campus, and sponsorship of training of students certainly is not. The NDAA should no more approve this organization than it would one with racial discrimination or abortion as a goal and an ambition to influence students and events on campus.

GALA was founded in 1994 and claims some 1,000 members. We begin our description of its hostility to Church doctrine with an instructive letter sent recently by a prominent GALA member to NDAA board members urging approval of the GALA application.

Gregory Bourke (’82) of Louisville was a party to the litigation resulting in the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. In his letter, he lists the positions he has held in his parish as evidence that “it is quite possible to be both openly gay, married, and still an active and fully functioning member of the Catholic Church.” If same-sex marriage is good enough, that is, for the Archbishop of Louisville, the Most Rev. Joseph Kurtz, the president of the USCCB, it ought to be good enough for Notre Dame.

But in fact it was not good enough for the archdiocese. In listing his service as Boy Scout leader, Mr. Bourke did not disclose that he was dismissed from that position in 2012 when he “came out” in his same-sex union. Then, when he reapplied for the position after the Supreme Court decision, he was denied. The Archdiocesan spokesperson explained that parties to same-sex marriage could not “provide a credible witness” to Church teaching on sexuality and marriage.

In addition, Mr. Bourke’s and his “husband’s” design for a Catholic cemetery headstone was rejected because it depicted the Supreme Court with interlocking rings.

This is unsurprising. Archbishop Kurtz has called the Supreme Court same-sex decision a “tragic error.”

Mr. Bourke’s views and actions perfectly mirror those of the organization. The best evidence is perhaps GALA’s choice of persons to be honored at its annual banquet with the Thomas Dooley award, while GALA’s aim to influence campus life is illustrated by its promoting the training of Notre Dame students in campus LGBT activism. We begin with the former.

The Thomas Dooley Awards

  • The first awardee was Virginia Apuzzo, a “former nun and lesbian political activist” who led the organization of the Women’s Caucus of the National Gay Task Force “in the home she shared with her lover Betty Powell.” She was “co-author of the first gay and lesbian civil rights platform” of the Democratic Party. The Task Force supports “change within religious communities” on LGBT issues such as marriage.
  • The next awardee was Brian McNaught, a prominent LGBT same-sex marriage advocate who lived in a “sexually open” relationship with his homosexual partner before they became “officially married.”
  • A few years later came Sister Jeannine Grammick. In 1999, after repeated warnings and investigations, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared that Sister Grammick’s erroneous pronouncements respecting homosexual sex had “caused confusion among the Catholic people and harmed the community of the Church.” She was, accordingly, “permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons” and “ineligible for an undetermined period, for any office” in her order. Undeterred, she has campaigned for same-sex marriage, declaring it “has nothing to do with [Catholic] religion,” that bishops “act like little children” about it, and that she “imagines a future where priests are married to either men or women.”
  • The next year the awardee was John J. McNeill, described by GALA as “a towering figure in the gay rights movement” who was expelled from the Society of Jesus after refusing to obey a Vatican order to cease writing in opposition to Church teaching on homosexual sex. When as a priest he “came out” publicly in 1976 he claimed to be celibate, but in fact he had been living with his gay partner for eleven years. They later “married” in Canada.
  • In 2013, the award went to Bishop Gene Robinson, the Episcopal bishop who divorced his wife to marry his male companion (whom he subsequently divorced). Robinson has been a leading advocate of the compatibility of same-sex marriage with Christianity. The then Notre Dame student body president, who was present at the award dinner and who was a champion of the LGBT club and supporter of gay marriage, praised Bishop Robinson’s “version of Christianity.”

GALA’s Leadership

  • GALA’s current chair, in his role as Senior Alumni representative of the ND Club of Boston, opened his August 19, 2015 bulletin to the Boston senior alumni with a photo of himself with his male spouse, his married lesbian daughter, and his grandchild and the text:

Hi Folks, The big day finally arrived! On Friday, August 14th, David and I became the proud grandparents of Lucy Caroline Byne. Lucy’s parents are my daughter, Kerri ND ’07 and her wife Rachel ND ’06.

  • Representing GALA at a panel discussion at Notre Dame, a prior chair of GALA opposed the Indiana ban on gay marriage.

Training Notre Dame Students

GALA sends ND students to the leadership program of Camp Pride, “the premier national training ground for LGBT youth activism” on gay agenda issues  including  “marriage equality.” The students are taught “successful campus organizing practices” to advance the  LGBT program.

On-Campus Promotion of Same-Sex Marriage and Assault on the Church

GALArobinsonAs we reported in a prior bulletin, in 2013 GALA was permitted to present in the business school “a film on the life and homosexual love of the gay Episcopal bishop Eugene Robinson.” The presider: Bishop Robinson himself.

Proclaiming “I have God’s voice,” the bishop declared, ‘The church, the synagogue, and the mosque have gotten this all wrong.” After listing the Catholic hierarchy among opponents, he continued, “It is not right what the churches have done to us.” “The church has been wrong before,” he insisted, “and it’s wrong again.” Those who believe in justice should “fight the religious sources.”

Other Activities

  • The GALA Winter 2015 newsletter celebrated the Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision and criticized the Family Synod’s reaffirmation of the Church’s doctrine respecting the immorality of homosexual sex and its opposition to same-sex marriage.
  • GALA supported the Gay Film Festival and now hosts  student dances.


The NDAA declares that its purpose is to “support the University’s mission of faith, learning, and service,” and the University in its Mission Statement states that it is a “Catholic academic community” and that it “encourages a way of living consonant with a Christian community.” The Catholic Church teaches that the “way of living” GALA “encourages” is not “consonant with a Christian community.” Were the NDAA to confer official status on GALA, it would undermine both the University’s and its own declared missions and give scandal to students and the public alike.

We will send this bulletin to NDAA Executive Director Dolly Duffy, to Father Jenkins, to the board of Fellows, and to members of the NDAA board. If you wish to express your views, Ms. Duffy’s email address is For the email address of your representative on the NDAA board, go here.


New Board Officers. We are pleased to announce the election of two new board members, both from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Katherine Kersten, a 1973 Notre Dame graduate and 2003 recipient of Notre Dame’s Family Exemplar Award, earned a Masters Degree from Yale and a law degree from the University of Minnesota. An author, columnist, and radio & TV commentator, she is a Senior Fellow at the Center of the American Experiment. Jonathan Liedl, a 2011 Notre Dame graduate, was awarded earlier this year a Master’s Degree from the University of St. Thomas in their renowned Catholic Studies Program. He is Communications Manager of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, Communications Coordinator for Catholic Rural Life, and a contributor to the National Catholic Register.

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11 Responses to “The Camel, The Tent, and The Nose”

  1. Stephen R Higley Ph.D. September 8, 2016 at 10:48 am

    The Catholic Church needs to accept LGBTQ people and other modern trends or it will be left in the ash bin of history as a hypocritical organization that couldn’t accept change. Good riddance.

    • Why is the provision of weapons that starve unborn children to death at Notre Dame not an issue at Notre Dame
      or in The Catholic Church? The answer is money. Innocent lives have been compromised to avoid government
      mandate fines Sound fiscal policy at today’s Notre Dame, who needs to find another place for the unborn,
      other than in graves.

    • Luis and JoAnne Howard for the Howard Family September 8, 2016 at 6:00 pm


      Mr Higley says, “The Catholic Church needs to accept LGBTQ people and other modern trends or it will be left in the ash bin of history as a hypocritical organization that couldn’t accept change. Good riddance.”

      Mr Higley, you are very wrong about the Catholic Church needing “to accept [GILBERT] people and other modern trends.” (Of course, we use GILBERT to ridicule the alphabet-soup acronym, LGBTQ–but we do have to ask, just for the purpose of needling, where are the 69 other “genders” which you modernists/moral relativists claim there are?) The Magisterium clearly indicates what our Holy Church needs to accept and what it does not need to accept–sincere, honest Catholics accept the Magisterium on this and all other points. If you consider yourself Catholic and do not accept the Magisterium, then you are in trouble and should find a solution, maybe in the Church of What’s Happenin’ Now or the Episcopalian Church.

      First, as to your reference to “modern trends” as applying to homosexuals and other confused folks: Homosexuality and other perversions are not “modern,” and we would have thought that with your erudition you would have known that.

      Second, as to accepting GILBERTS, our Holy Church accepts all people, people in any group. But our Holy Church, with the exception of a few confused bishops and archbishops here in the US and especially in Germany, does not accept their perversions.

      Third, as to your accusation that our Holy Church is “a hypocritical organization,” exactly what do you mean by that? If what you mean is that there are hypocrites in our Holy Church, even at high levels, well, duh, have you read up on the theology of original sin? But those individuals do not make our Holy Church “a hypocritical organization.”

      Fourth, as to our Holy Church not being able to accept change, it has not accepted change, at least doctrinal change, for 2,000 years, WHY SHOULD IT START NOW? Because you just woke up to our Holy Church being against homosexuality and other perversions? That’s not good enough of a reason to start accepting change.

      Fifth, homosexuality and other perversions are not “change,” as we mentioned in our first point.

      It appears that you are a very frustrated and angry man, Mr Higley, and with such great, apparently, credentials.

  2. thank you for your details!

  3. Keep GALA group out of the ND Alumni Association .

    I think if possible that The Sycamore Trust should list the student organizations on campus that are unworthy of ANY votes on Notre Dame Day, AND conversely, list the student organizations that are most friendly to the Church’s doctrines and have a true Catholic identity on campus.

    George Reamer ’63.

    • There is no Catholic identity at Notre Dame while it provides abortion drugs that starve unborn children to death.
      Our Blessed Mother and her son fled campus faster than they fled Nazareth and Herod’s government mandate program.
      Our most innocent have been abandoned by all Notre Dame, and the entire Catholic Church. At least Judas betrayed an adult.

  4. GALA is not the issue. Biden is not the issue. There is only one issue: Notre Dame provides abortion
    drugs that starve unborn children to death. Discussion of these nominal issues should stop until this policy stops.
    Infants are drowning before us, and the Notre Dame community walks away without calling for help.

    At least Judas betrayed an adult. William J. O’Connor

  5. JMJ


    And by the way, I just read an article on National Review Online on a new “study of studies” on the “born this way” nonsense–it debunks any previous “study” which tries to justify homosexuality, “Debunking the “born this way” myth, The whole world understands what God, or evolution if you prefer, intended for the genitals, complementarity, mutuality, but the humanists, the moral relativists pretend that they don’t accept that.

  6. God Desires that we desire to overcome our disordered inclinations so that we are not led into temptation, but become transformed through Salvational Love, God’s Gift of Grace and Mercy.

    Intimate choices may define one’s beliefs on sexual morality, but they do not define personhood. In fact, identifying oneself or someone else according to sexual desire/inclination/orientation, sexually objectifies the human person and demeans our inherent Dignity as beloved sons and daughters.

    The marital act is Life-affirming and Life-sustaining, and can only be consummated between a man and woman, united in marriage as husband and wife. No one should be condoning demeaning sexual acts of any nature including between a man and woman united in marriage as husband and wife.

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