Since relatively few San Diegans are aware of San Diego News Notes, a newspaper for the X-treme Catholic published by Jim Holman-who's also the publisher and editor of another local publication, the San Diego Reader-CityBeat provides the following public service, a rundown of the highlights in this month's never-a-dull-moment issue of News Notes:
* In his Page 1 story, Robert Kumpel (a Reader writer who in 2002 was accused by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego of allegedly harassing a church worker) reports that an unnamed priest-Kumpel calls him “Father Ecks”-was rather unimpressed with a Feb. 23 presentation by Bishop Robert Brom on the Catholic Church's chronic sexual-abuse unpleasantness.
Kumpel notes that Brom's presentation “made no mention of the continuing problem of homosexuality and chastity among priests.” Then he quotes Father Ecks (a cleverly veiled “Father X”?): “There was no sense of ‘All right, boys, we have to swallow hard and deal with it....'”
* In her Page 1 story, Allyson Smith reveals that she thinks the jack-booted security forces of the University of San Diego are after her. Smith reports how she got into a biblical argument with “gay lecturer” Keith Boykin during Boykin's Feb. 12 talk at USD's Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. Smith challenged Boykin's assertion that the Bible has no stated problem with homosexuality.
After giving a word-for-word rundown of the debate, Smith notes that she “noticed a female security guard standing at the edge of the stage. I recognized her as the same guard who threatened to evict me from a gay parenting panel I attended at the university in November 2001 after I asked one of the homosexual panelists how she could reconcile her lifestyle with the church's clear prohibition of homosexual acts.”
Smith also reported that she phoned USD's security office the next day to find out why she was being watched, and was told that security got a call saying someone was disturbing the lecture. But later, Smith reported, a USD spokesperson assured her that guards are stationed at all “controversial” events.
* In his Page 6 column, “Roamin' Catholic,” Sanford Espedal reviews services at the Church of Saint Luke in Rancho San Diego. Espedal makes note of the architecture: “A round pillar thrusting upward from the center of the floor supports the tabernacle, a tall round house identical in circumference with the pillar, pointed at the tip. The effect, intended or not, is phallic.”
To drive the point home, News Notes uses that last sentence again as a photo caption.
* In its calendar listings on Page 18, News Notes tells readers about a “training/retreat” event in October that promises to help “men serious about overcoming unwanted homosexual desires and embracing heterosexual masculinity.” The training, News Notes says, is done “by men... who have come out of a homosexual background themselves.” They are not professional therapists or counselors, the listing warns. A mere $425 gets participants the training, meals and two nights in “group rooms or cabins.”