The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM), an organization closely affiliated with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry (OYYAM) — indeed, OYYAM director Sean Reynolds has served as a trainer for NFCYM services — is at the center of a controversy concerning some of its leaders’ vocal support for same sex marriage (OY VEY!). Here’s a snippet from a column by Austin Ruse:

Yet in these days of increasing orthodoxy isn’t it at least a little bit surprising that a senior official of a Catholic organization would flaunt his dissent so publicly? Some compare Facebook to a cocktail party, others to an office water cooler. But it is even more public than that. And in this public forum, in front of his boss McCarty who is on Facebook with him, this youth ministry leader felt quite comfortable announcing his dissent from this Catholic teaching that so deeply affects children. Maybe these views are de rigueur at the NFCYM water cooler. Did they all celebrate homosexual marriage after the Prop 8 and DOMA decisions? Do they know the teachings of the Church on homosexual marriage? More importantly, how do they instruct Catholic youth on the subject?

As most archdiocesan observers know, Archbishop Schnurr staked his episcopate on youth ministry shortly after arriving here. Am I suggesting that NFCYM or OYYAM are riddled with dissent? Not necessarily. But as Ruse states, it is telling how freely some of NFCYM’s leadership vocalized its opinions. My impression of both groups is that they are liberal, bureaucratic organizations lacking a clearly recognizable Catholic identity, which creates an opportunity for mischief. (Reynolds once pitched a fit when another archdiocesan office invited a military officer to speak on just war principles.) For a glimpse of OYYAM’s bureaucratic mindset, take a look at the convoluted press release announcing a youth athletics charter in the Catholic Telegraph.

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