Five Reasons You Should Reject the LA REC

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Five Reasons You Should Reject the LA REC
Five Reasons You Should Reject the LA REC
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Once again, the time has come for the annual Religious Education Congress of the Los Angeles Archdiocese (REC). As in past years, the event promises to scandalize orthodox Catholics and spread ideas that are toxic to the Faith. This is especially concerning because the event is the biggest of its kind in the country and is organized by the nation’s largest archdiocese.

Thus, it is necessary to alert Catholics to the spiritual dangers present there, clarify the truths of the Faith rejected at the congress and protest forcefully until change is implemented. This is all the more urgent in the face of the confusion rampant in the Church today.

Thus, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) offers five potent reasons to reject the REC and urges Catholics around the country to voice their concerns to Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez.

Reason 1: The Congress Includes Liturgical Abuse and Progressive Forms of Prayer

Prayer is an integral part of the Church. Saint John Damascene defined it as “the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” As such, it fundamentally differs from Buddhist and other esoteric notions of prayer in which one strives to empty his mind and heart in search of nothingness. This is often achieved by repetition of a mantra or a simple phrase. Emptying one’s mind is a far cry from lifting the mind to God. Putting oneself in such a state is dangerous because it opens the soul to bad influences.

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This year’s REC includes a Taizé service that is ecumenical and shockingly in line with the Buddhist notion of prayer. Describing the event, the congress program reads:

“Originating in the French town of the same name, Taizé (pronounced: tay-zay) is a prayerful form of music known for its simple, rich and meditative character. The music often is a basic melody that repeats over and over and is meant to serve as a kind of musical centering prayer.”1

This repetition of a simple melody to engage in “centering prayer” is dangerous. Indeed, it consists in emptying the mind of thought and notions of self to the point of achieving a state in which one believes that he and God are one, participating in the same nature. Tim Staples explained:

“The goals of centering prayer—no intellectual activity…no concepts…no wordsare Buddhist. Far from the traditional Catholic understanding of prayer as a heart-to-heart dialogue or communication of the creature with his Creator, centering prayer is focused inward, with the goal of eliminating all thoughts or even thoughts of thoughts until one reaches a state where the mind is an absolute void and there is no knowledge of self or thought at all…”2

Mr. Staples cites Fr. Keating3, who contends that prayer is a “journey to the true self”—where the person becomes God by emptying the soul of all rational activity, thus making the mind an absolute void.

He continues, quoting the Catechism: “In the battle of prayer, we must face in ourselves and around us erroneous notions of prayer. Some people view prayer…as an effort of concentration to reach a mental void (2726).”4

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Additionally, the REC will certainly contain abuses of the highest form of prayer in existence—the Holy Mass. While details about this year’s congress liturgies are sparse, one can assume that the same abuses that have been present in congress Masses for decades will be prominent once again this year.

This is especially grave considering that the Mass is the unbloody renewal of the sacrifice of Calvary, made present on the altar. Thus, when one attends Mass, in a very real way, he is standing at the foot of the Cross. That is why it has been said that no behavior unsuitable at Calvary should take place during the Holy Sacrifice.

Yet congress Masses every year have been marked by excessive merriment, liturgical dance (which is often sensuous) and acceptance of homosexual sin. In fact, at the closing liturgy of the 2016 congress, two homosexual men and their “son” presented the gifts to Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez.5

These abuses are especially troubling considering the current offensive against the Traditional Mass that has accelerated since the publishing of Traditionis Custodes in July of 2021 and Desiderio Desideravi on July 29, 2022.

Reason 2: Liberation Theology Will Be Taught

Liberation theology is a movement begun in South America in the late sixties and early seventies that strives to fundamentally reshape Catholic theology. Whereas Catholic theology has always been centered on God and His Revelation through scriptures and apostolic tradition, liberation theology sees oppressed man as its main focus and promotes a fluid concept of Revelation that continues throughout history through the struggle of the “marginalized.”6 In this vision, Our Lord is recast as the ultimate revolutionary, sent to overthrow structures of power.

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Consequently, one can see its Communist foundation and understand why it has been aptly dubbed “the Gospel According to Marx.”

In its early days, it capitalized on wealth inequality to promote its leftist agenda. However, when the Iron Curtain fell, and Communism was largely discredited, it lost impetus and succumbed to a period of inactivity which its proponents defined as La Pausa (the pause).

Like Communism, liberation theology needed to identify other “oppressed” peoples to promote a new class struggle, reinvigorate the movement, and push revolution. As Julio Loredo explained:

“According to the old Marxist script, the revolution should be driven mainly by peasants and industrial workers in revolt against employers and the capitalist society. In the Fourth Revolution,7 this proletariat is joined by a new, diverse and sociocultural one consisting of those categories of individuals that feel discriminated against in any field—moral, cultural, psychological, racial, religious, and so on—regardless of their economic or social situation.

“Accordingly, feminists feel discriminated against by the “macho culture”; homosexuals by the natural law and Christian morality; immigrants, by “xenophobia”; drug addicts, by current legislation; prostitutes, by society’s rejection; persons of color, by white so-called racism; young people by the constraints of a society still not completely liberated; nudists by bourgeois prejudices; and so on.”8

Liberation theology followed this metamorphosis of Communism and, thus, has become a matrix from which flows the leftist cultural movements within the Church. These novel forms of liberation theology will be promoted at this year’s REC.

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For example, Fr. Joseph Brown will be giving a workshop on February 17 titled: “The Welcome Table—Shifting the Covenant: “There Are No Strangers,” which is described as being: “rooted in the examples of Black Liberation Theology.”9 This will be a recurring theme for Fr. Brown, who will also lead a workshop on Sunday morning where participants will “discuss how the elements of liberation theology found in Black Sacred Song are gifts that are offered to all Catholics, all Christians.”10

Very tellingly, black liberation theology was popularized by President Barrack Obama’s infamous pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who ascribes fully to its teachings. His radicality was showcased when one of his sermons went viral in which he blamed America for the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

In addition to black liberation theology, adherents of Hispanic (or Latino) liberation will be presenting at this year’s REC. These include Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu, who will be giving a talk titled “Introduction to Latin Theology in the United States,”11 Karen Luna will present a speech about young adults despite the fact that she is a disciple of Latino Liberation Theologians Dr. Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu and Father Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J.12 and Fr. Eduardo Fernandez, who will lecture about the influence of Latin theology on the United States.13

Reason 3: The REC Will Be Rife With Feminist Propaganda

Feminism has long been a hallmark of the REC. Indeed, a few years ago, a group of ten or so women claiming to be ordained Catholic bishops and priests staged a lunchtime demonstration at the event.

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This year’s congress will be no exception. For example, feminist theologian Olga Consuelo Velez Caro will give two presentations. She desires no differences between men and women in the structure of the Church, considers that women voted at the synod for the first time in history last October to be a very small step, and is impatient with how slowly Pope Francis’ reforms are taking place.14

Feminist Julie Rubio will be giving a talk titled: “Can You Be a Catholic and a Feminist?” Maria Del Pillar Silveira will be giving two talks calling for the inclusion of women in Church leadership. Also, the groups Discerning Deacons and Catholic Women Preach will have display tables at this year’s REC.15 Both lobby for the inclusion of women in the clergy.

Reason 4: Several REC Speakers Will Push the Homosexual and Transgender Agenda

The inclusion of speakers who dissent from Church teaching on the intrinsic disorder of same-sex attraction and the grave sinfulness of all homosexual acts have long been prevalent at the REC.

Fr. James Martin will be giving two talks this year, one titled: “Jesus Goes to the Margins.” In it, he will argue that current homosexual and transgender outreaches are founded in the work of Christ.16

However, Fr. Martin has consistently dissented from Church teaching on the family. This dissent includes: saying the Catholics must “reverence” homosexual unions, supporting transgenderism for children, favoring homosexual kissing during Holy Mass, calling dissident nun Sr. Jeannine Gramick a “saint,” welcoming an award from the condemned group New Ways Ministry, tweeting a blasphemous depiction of Our Lady of Guadalupe, writing the book Building a Bridge (which undermines Catholic teaching on homosexual sin) and praising the blasphemous “rainbow rosary.”17

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Dr. Natalia Imperatori-Lee is a proponent of feminist theology and signed a letter protesting against the overthrow of Roe v. Wade that included the following sentence: “We are theologians, scholars, advocates, mothers and daughters who watch in anguish as abortion bans make pregnancies even more dangerous for women.”18 Anguish over the millions of babies slaughtered in abortion is frightfully absent from the letter’s text. Nevertheless, she will give two talks at this year’s REC, one of which will promote the acceptance of homosexuality in the family and community.19

Greg Walton has two transgender children, whose dysphoria and homosexuality he supports, endorses the dissident group New Ways Ministry, promotes heterodox authors Fr. James Martin and Sr. Jeannine Gramick and works with the radical group PFLAG,20 which even supports sexually explicit books in school libraries.21 He will deliver the talk: “Issues Facing LGBTQ+ Families Today.”22

Lastly, Chris de Silva will present a new set of beatitudes catering to homosexuals in the talk: “Beatitudes for Belonging.” The talk description explains: “This session encourages us to think of how and why we welcome those whom faith communities have pushed aside, those seeking to belong fully in Christian community, those alienated by church circles, including LGBTQ Catholics. We ponder these questions while reflecting on a new set of beatitudes that seek justice and point towards mercy.”23

However, Chris de Silva is an open homosexual who claims his disordered sexuality is central to his vocation. He explained: “I never would have imagined that discerning faith through the prism of sexual and genderqueer identity would become a central part of my vocation story. But God did.”24

Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons will also have a display table at this year’s REC.25

Reason 5: Harmful Notions of Synodality Will Be Front and Center at This Year’s REC

At its core, synodality has come to mean a movement aimed at bringing down the two-thousand-year-old hierarchical structure of the Church. According to this vision, authority on matters, even of dogma and morality, would no longer rest in the hands of the clergy alone but would be shared by consultative panels which would include not just lay Catholics but members of other Christian denominations, moral deviants, non-Christians and even atheists.

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This would result in a Church with her authority turned upside down. In fact, Pope Francis has often referred to the change he wishes to effect through synodality as “inverting the pyramid of Church authority.” It would result in a Church that barely resembles the one founded by Christ two thousand years ago.

This shift in authority would open the floodgates for the acceptance of all sorts of aberrations within the Church, including women priests, the normalization of homosexual sin and transgenderism.

The dangers this represents for the Church can hardly be overestimated. They were outlined in a definitive yet accessible way in the recent book The Synodal Process Is a Pandora’s Box: 100 Questions & Answers, which includes a foreword by Raymond Cardinal Burke.26

The errors of synodality will be on full display at this year’s REC. For example, San Diego Cardinal Robert McElroy will be giving a talk in the main arena titled: “Our Synodal Journey.” In it, the Cardinal will discuss the Synodal changes in Church ecclesiology and “what processes of renewal will be needed to undertake the Synodal journey in the Church in the United States?”27

Sr. Teresa Maya is a nun who finds it difficult calling the Church one, holy, catholic and apostolic in the creed.28 She will deliver the lecture “Loving Women in Our Church: Why Women Matter in the Synodal Process.” She will discuss the challenges needed to “understand and value women’s presence, diversity, and needs in our Church.29

Liberation theologian Dr. Emilce Cuda will also touch on synodal themes. She will present two talks, one about immigration and the other titled: “Synodality and The People of God.” The congress program describes the latter, saying: “She will analyze the meaning, practice and concrete efficacy of the concepts of synodality and people as unity among differences as the constitutive part of the Church.”30 The absence of the clergy’s place in Church structures in this description is noteworthy.

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Last, Fr. Figueroa Deck is a liberation theologian who holds an erroneous position on the growing influence of Latino culture in the Catholic Church. In an interview with the National Catholic Reporter, he went so far as to say that Latino Catholics must “…be bolder, to acknowledge the role they have as the principle [sic!] evangelizers…before even the bishops and priests.”31 Clearly, he subscribes to the inversion of Church structures being pushed by synodality.

Yet, Fr. Deck will present a lecture titled: “The Sacraments on The Level of The Synodal Way.” Its description explains: “The radical renovation of the Church which we are living under the dynamic leadership of Pope Francis is centered in the recuperation and promotion of a synodal way of proceeding.”32

Raise Your Voice!

The spiritual danger these errors represent is enormous, especially since they will be spread at the REC, which is the largest event of its kind in America and promoted by the nation’s largest archdiocese. That is why faithful Catholics must raise their voices in protest.

The American TFP urges you to firmly and politely voice your concerns to Archbishop José Gomez. Let His Excellency know that in these confusing times, the faithful need clear teaching that is orthodox and in line with what the Church has taught always and everywhere, not innovative doctrines that approximate the Faith with the insane trends of the twenty-first century.

Archbishop Gomez can be contacted by phone at: (213) 637-7534 or by email at: [email protected].


  1. LA RECongress, Renew, Experience, Celebrate, Be Loved, Los Angeles Archdiocese, 2024,, accessed February 9, 2024, emphasis mine. N.B. This program was published in two different versions. The first contained a description of each speaker and lecture. This program was removed and replaced with a second version. These descriptions were missing in it, but it contained a fuller description of congress events. Both were published at the same link. From here forward, these will be referred to as ver. 1 and ver. 2. The above quote came from ver. 2.
  2. Tim Staples further explains that Fr. Thomas Keating is a Trappist monk who helped found the centering prayer movement in the seventies and provides a textbook definition of monism as “the spiritual journey.” Is ‘Centering Prayer’ Catholic?, Tim Staples, Catholic Answers, January 18, 2018,, accessed February 9, 2024.
  3. Fr. Thomas Keating was a Trappist monk who helped found the centering prayer movement. Cf. Ibid.
  4. Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church: Revised in Accordance with the Official Latin Text Promulgated by Pope John Paul II. United States Catholic Conference, 2000, 2726..
  5. Gay couple and their son help present gifts at the altar to Archbishop Jose Gomez, YouTube, Joseph Sciambra, April 15, 2016,, accessed February 12, 2024.
  6. Cf. Liberation Theology: How Marxism Infiltrated the Catholic Church, Julio Loredo, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, Spring Grove, Penn., 2022, Chapter 3.
  7. The term “Fourth Revolution” is employed here in the sense defined by Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in the book Revolution and Counter-Revolution, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, The American TFP, Spring Grove, Penn., January 1, 2008. Available for purchase at: or for free download at:
  8. Ibid, p. 135.
  9. LA RECongress, Renew, Experience, Celebrate, Be Loved, Los Angeles Archdiocese, 2024, ver. 1, p. 31, accessed on January 5, 2023.
  10. Ibid, p. 36.
  11. Ibid, p. 49.
  12. Ibid. p. 32.
  13. Ibid, p. 50.
  14. Consuelo Velez: “Para Muchos obispos colombianos, Petro es un sapo que hay que tragarse,” José Mauel Vidal interview with Olga Consuelo Velez Caro,, May 21, 2023,, accessed February 9, 2024.
  15. Op cit., LA RECongress, Renew, Experience, Celebrate, Be Loved, ver. 2, p. 99, accessed on February 10, 2024.
  16. Op cit., LA RECongress, Renew, Experience, Celebrate, Be Loved, ver. 1, p. 34, accessed on January 5, 2023.
  17. John Ritchie, “8 Ways Fr. James Martin Is Harming the Catholic Faith,” February 23, 2018, last accessed March 10, 2019,
  18. Open Letter From Catholic Women: Reclaiming Public Debates About Abortion & Reproductive Justice, Faith in Public Life,, accessed February 9, 2024.
  19. Op cit., LA RECongress, Renew, Experience, Celebrate, Be Loved, ver. 1, p. 54, accessed on January 5, 2023.
  20. Making LGBTQ Parish Ministries Work – Part 1, YouTube, Greg Walton, April 10, 2022,, accessed February 10, 2024.
  21. WATCH: Oreo’s Partnership With ‘Militant’ LGBT Org Challenged By Group’s Ad, Shareholder Proposal, Mairead Elordi, The Daily Wire, February 7, 2024,, accessed February 10, 2024.
  22. Op cit., LA RECongress, Renew, Experience, Celebrate, Be Loved, ver. 1, p. 26, accessed on January 5, 2023.
  23. Ibid. p. 27.
  24. LGBTQ Identity and Faith, Chris de Silva, LMU This Week, June 8, 2021,, accessed on February 10, 2024.
  25. Op cit., LA RECongress, Renew, Experience, Celebrate, Be Loved, ver. 2, p. 99, accessed on February 10, 2024.
  26. This book is available for purchase at: or as a free ebook at:
  27. Op cit., LA RECongress, Renew, Experience, Celebrate, Be Loved, ver. 1, p. 25, accessed on January 5, 2023.
  28. Soli Salgado, Global Sister’s Report, “‘Listen to the Heart of Our People,’ Sr. Teresa Maya tells U.S. bishops,” November 14, 2018, last accessed January 31, 2020,
  29. Op cit., LA RECongress, Renew, Experience, Celebrate, Be Loved, ver. 1, p. 25, accessed on January 5, 2023.
  30. Ibid. p. 48, translation by author.
  31. Dan Morris-Young, National Catholic Reporter, “Fr. Figueroa Deck says the Latino Catholic ‘sleeping giant’ is awakening,” March 8, 2018, last accessed January 31, 2020, (Author’s emphasis.)
  32. Op cit., LA RECongress, Renew, Experience, Celebrate, Be Loved, ver. 1, p. 46, accessed on January 5, 2023 (Author’s translation).

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