Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, February 11, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

SJB Ravioli Dinner 2016

Home : News : Nation and World
Father Robert Nugent, embroiled in gay-ministry controversies, dies
Salvatorian Father Robert Nugent
Salvatorian Father Robert Nugent
Catholic News Service


MILWAUKEE — Salvatorian Father Robert Nugent, the co-founder of New Ways Ministry and active for 29 years in ministry to gay and lesbian Catholics, died Jan. 1 of complications from cancer. He was 76.

Father Nugent had been diagnosed with lung cancer in September. He had been in hospice care in Milwaukee, where the Salvatorians have provincial headquarters.

New Ways Ministry was subject to repeated investigations and inquiries at the diocesan, religious-order and Vatican levels, including one ordered in 1994 by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1994, then headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later to become Pope Benedict XVI.

As a result of the investigation, Father Nugent and Sister Jeannine Gramick, then a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, were ordered to stop pastoral ministry to gays, saying they advanced "doctrinally unacceptable" positions "regarding the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts and the objective disorder of the homosexual inclination."

After a year of speaking and writing about homosexuality, Father Nugent and Sister Gramick were directed to stop talking about the topic and the Vatican investigation itself. Father Nugent complied, but Sister Gramick ultimately decided to defy the ban and left her order to join the Sisters of Loretto.

Born in Norristown, Pa., in 1937, Father Nugent was ordained in 1965 as a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In 1970, while serving at Stella Maris Parish in Philadelphia, he helped Philadelphia police in stopping two suicide attempts on the Walt Whitman Bridge and became known as the "bridge priest."

In 1971, he left parish ministry to pursue graduate studies at Temple and Villanova universities and work in a skid-row hospice. That year, he saw an article about Sister Gramick's work with gays and lesbians and offered his assistance if she ever needed it.

Father Nugent left the Philadelphia Archdiocese in 1975. His support at a City Council meeting for a Philadelphia gay rights ordinance "didn't sit too well with the archbishop," he said in a 1994 interview with Catholic News Service. He joined the staff of the Quixote Center, a Catholic peace and justice organization being set up in Washington's Maryland suburbs. In 1976, Sister Gramick joined the Quixote Center, and in 1977, they jointly established New Ways Ministry. That same year, Father Nugent formally joined the Salvatorians.

In 1978, the Washington Archdiocese removed Father Nugent's faculties to preach and hear confessions in the archdiocese. In 1979, Father Nugent and Sister Gramick angered archdiocesan authorities by sponsoring a retreat for gay women religious, an action that led to the first Vatican intervention questioning their ministry.

In 1981, their plans for a national symposium on homosexuality and the Catholic Church in Washington led to another conflict with the archdiocese and a second investigation initiated by the Vatican. Then-Archbishop James A. Hickey wrote to all U.S. bishops and religious superiors that New Ways Ministry was "ambiguous" on the issue of homosexual activity.

In 1983, the archbishop asked their superiors to remove them from the archdiocese and from gay ministry. A warning from the Vatican Congregation for Religious followed in 1984, saying they would face disciplinary action if they did not separate themselves from New Ways Ministry. They left but continued to give workshops on gay ministry around the country.

From 1984 to 1987, Father Nugent did chaplaincy and pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J. When his faculties expired there in 1987, the new archbishop refused to renew them. He relocated to Baltimore,

In 1985, their religious superiors did a third study of their ministry at the request of the Vatican and for a third time found their work acceptable and in accord with church teachings.

The Paulist Center Community in Boston gave its 1995 Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice, named after the Paulists' founder, to Sister Gramick and Father Nugent. "This is the first time we have received an award as a team from a mainstream, nongay organization," Father Nugent said at the award ceremony.

By then, they were under investigation by a Vatican-commissioned trio of U.S. church officials. After their report was submitted, the Vatican ordered the priest and sister to Rome in 1996 to supply more information before issuing its 1999 notification.

New Ways Ministry remains a Catholic-oriented organization, but with no official church recognition or sponsorship. It describes itself as "a gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics, and reconciliation within the larger Christian and civil communities."

Among Father Nugent's books are 2012's "Thomas Merton and Therese Lentfoehr: The Story of a Friendship"; 2011's "Silence Speaks: Teilhard de Chardin, Yves Congar, John Courtney Murray and Thomas Merton"; 1983's "A Challenge to Love: Gay and Lesbian Catholics in the Church" and "Building Bridges: "Gay and Lesbian Reality and the Catholic Church," which he wrote in 1992 with Sister Gramick.

Funeral information was pending.





Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
 
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search










Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved