Men Of and Under the Cloth

posted by
Filed under: Spin

Rakish ads turn up in seminary magazine
by Lona O’Connor
Palm Beach Post Religion Writer
October 5, 2007

Whether it was a ghastly prank or a nightmarish mistake is not clear, but somehow eight pages of a Catholic seminary magazine were replaced by ads meant for a magazine that caters to the ‘”straight and gay communities.”


An unknown number of copies of Dialogue, published quarterly by St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary west of Boynton Beach, contained the ads. Most of the 6,400 copies appeared to be printed and assembled properly, with the content its subscribers expected to see. The magazine’s subscription list includes priests, graduates and benefactors of the seminary, a training center for the seven Roman Catholic dioceses of Florida.

On the cover of Dialogue’s latest issue are nine graduates, dressed in black suits and white priestly collars. Articles in the issue cover the graduates and other seminarians. The issue also includes an interview with the seminary chef and a recipe for duck a l’orange.

There are ads for financial management firms and Catholic organizations like the Cenacle Spiritual Center in Lantana.

The eight unexpected pages of ads apparently were meant to be included in another magazine, Flavor, which is published in Wilton Manors.

One of the ads shows two bare-chested men chatting in a hot tub. Another ad, for a restaurant, described an ambience of “lovers bathed in a captivating sanctuary of controlled unrestraint.”

Seminary officials discovered the unexpected addition when they received a distressed call from a Miami priest on the magazine’s mailing list, said Jim Frankowiak, a spokesman and writer for Dialogue.

A few misprinted copies – estimates vary between two and 12 – would have been bad enough, but someone sent a copy to a blogger on, the organization of former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes.

In an article headlined, Seminary mag’s ‘gay’ ads cause stir, blogger Matt C. Abbott speculated that Dialogue might be engaging in a two-layered marketing scheme: one for gay men and one for straight men. He erroneously described Dialogue as a “vocation recruiting catalog” for prospective seminarians.

Abbott chose the same Internet posting to include a letter sent last month to priests by Archbishop John C. Favalora, head of the Miami Archdiocese, just before the magazine fracas occurred. The letter read, “I wish to bring to your attention the Courage Ministry … a spiritual support group for those who live with homosexual feelings and/or behaviors. … Membership is completely confidential.”

On Thursday afternoon, after a meeting between seminary officials and the two printers, Minute Man and Printer’s Printer, seminary President Keith Brennan issued a statement in response to Abbott’s blog posting.

“This article has resulted in e-mails of deep concern to the seminary and postings and commentary on other Web sites,” Brennan wrote. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Abbott chose to publish his article without verifying the facts. Frankly, we find it highly irresponsible.” Read the rest of the story here.

Images: Renew America