Is There Really a Secret ‘Gay Agenda’ at Catholicism’s World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia This Fall?

By The Editors Published on June 1, 2015

Pope Francis will be in Philadelphia this fall to attend the World Meeting of Families (WMOF), the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families. The event promises to be a joyous celebration of the family, but a recent article from the Lepanto Institute warns that this mission might be in danger of being thwarted.

The article claims that Teresa Matozzo, listed on the WMOF website as “WMOF Exhibits and Sponsorship Manager,” is “a homosexual activist in a lesbian relationship” with a history of public statements that directly oppose church teaching on marriage, and that she has a major say in choosing the exhibitors for the WMOF.

The report has many conservative Catholics worried. Assuming the Lepanto Institute has identified the right Teresa Matozzo, which seems to be the case, why would she be given such authority? A reasonable question. However, it’s not clear that Matozzo has any substantial gate-keeping powers. She is employed by a third-party vendor and not by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia or the WMOF. Also, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and WMOF have released a joint statement insisting she has no gate-keeping authority:

Recently, some confusion has arisen regarding who is responsible for determining eligibility for individuals and groups applying to become exhibitors at the World Meeting of Families Congress in September.

The World Meeting of Families — Philadelphia 2015 and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia review all exhibitor requests and are the only ones who approve or reject all exhibitor applications, and not any vendor. Every exhibitor application is reviewed by staff of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and if necessary, a theologian with the World Meeting of Families.

While there is a third party working on the logistics around exhibiting, neither that company nor any of its individual employees is involved in the process of evaluating, approving or denying exhibitor applications.

In a follow-up interview with Catholic News Agency, Archdiocese of Philadelphia director of communications Kenneth Gavin stressed the same point. The Talley Management Group “has been contracted for logistical support and nothing else,” he said. “All exhibits are vetted by our content team which is thoroughly Catholic, and we’ve turned away a variety of potential exhibitors on both right and left that don’t fit the tone of the event. In fact they don’t have any influence on WMOF content.”

This clarification comes as welcome news for orthodox Catholics, and indicates the seriousness with which the Archdiocese and WMOF considered the charge. It’s unclear what can or should be done regarding their relationship with the employee of this third-party vendor, but as the meeting and papal visit approach, we hope event organizers will keep a watchful eye for activists who would like nothing more than to hijack the surrounding media attention in the name of same-sex marriage.

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