Matt C. Abbott
October 2, 2007
Seminary mag's 'gay' ads cause stir
By Matt C. Abbott

Readers may recall my coverage of various goings-on in the Miami archdiocese over the past couple of years.

Lo and behold, there is something new to report...

St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary recently sent out two vocation-recruiting catalogs to prospective seminarians. One version which contained only articles and no advertisements targeted straight men. The other version which did contain advertisements, including the one pictured below, with two bare-chested men standing next to each other in a hot tub targeted homosexual men.

I have, in my possession, a copy of the latter. (This is addressed to those who might cast doubt on the authenticity of the "gay-friendly" version, as certain individuals did with regard to the photos in my June 19, 2007 column.)

The catalogs were also sent to Miami pastors, at least one of whom was infuriated by the advertisements included in the "gay-friendly" version. Incidentally, said version has reportedly been "recalled" whatever that may mean.

In addition to the hot tub ad, you'll notice the first paragraph of an ad for a South Florida restaurant, where "you're given the ultimate excuse to party," and where there are "lovers bathed in a captivating sanctuary of controlled unrestraint."

Interestingly, Archbishop John Favalora is now promoting the Courage ministry. (See his letter below, which reportedly was sent out after the catalogs were put into circulation.)

Update as of Oct. 3, 2007

I received the following e-mail from Jim Frankowiak, of the Coastal Public Relations Group:

"I am contacting you on behalf of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary and your column in Renew America regarding advertisements in the seminary's quarterly magazine, Dialogue, that are directed to the gay community.

"I have been associated with the seminary since 2002. I have been part of the editorial staff of the publication since its inception and I have helped proof every edition that has been produced. We had one report from one priest in the Archdiocese of Miami regarding a copy that received with the questionable ad. He made reference to other copies and reports of other priests receiving similar copies but has been unable to provide their names.

"He did provide us with a copy. Dialogue had 13 numbered pages. The pages with the questionable ads were on pages 26 and 27. Our printer subcontracted the production and printing of Dialogue to another printer. That printer had produced other publications containing the ad promoting its product to the gay community. It appears that during the production process at least one copy of Dialogue inadvertently received pages from another publication that contained the ad. The call from the priest in the Miami archdiocese is the only report of this matter that we have received. Given that single incident, the seminary had taken no further action. That is, until we were made aware of your article.

"Why did you not contact the seminary regarding this matter? That seems to be a reasonable journalistic consideration. Yet, you chose to prepare and transmit an article suggesting the seminary is promoting itself and the priesthood to the gay community. Further, Dialogue is not a recruitment publication but a magazine for alumni, friends and benefactors of the seminary."

In a follow-up e-mail, Mr. Frankowiak stated:

"The printer actually replaced two, four page sections of Dialogue with two, four page sections from a magazine called Flavor that is produced for the gay population. We know this to be the case with at least one copy. The seminary was provided with a copy of that copy. There have been no other reports of additional copies to date."

M. Abbott note: My source, "Tom," whom I trust, stands by the original account.

© Matt C. Abbott

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic columnist with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and an Associate in Applied Science degree in Business Management from Triton College in River Grove, Ill. He has worked in the right-to-life movement and is a published writer focused on Catholic and social issues. He can be reached at

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