BAD START, HAPPY ENDING
Catalyst November Issue 1999
Father Jeffrey Keefe of the Church of the Assumption (Conventual Franciscan Friars) in Syracuse, New York, runs the chapter of COURAGE in the Syracuse diocese. COURAGE is a church ministry to homosexuals and those with homosexual leanings who need support in adhering to the Church’s teachings on the subject of sexuality; ENCOURAGE is an ancillary service that is provided to family members and friends of men and women with homosexual leanings. Sounds pretty innocent, but there are some who ascribe malicious motives to those involved.
Father Keefe, seeking to get the word out about his ministry, notified the Post Standard and the Herald Journal that he wanted to place an ad about the two support groups in their newspaper; both Syracuse papers are owned by the same company. He was turned down. Reason? One employee told him that the ad was considered “inappropriate,” so when Father Keefe pressed the issue to those at the top, they simply said that they would not run the ad and refused to give him any reason. Then he contacted the Catholic League.
William Donohue called the Syracuse newspapers and said that if the ad wasn’t run, the Catholic League would conduct a public relations campaign against them. They said they would reconsider the ad if it was revised. When the ad was resubmitted, with slight changes, it was accepted.