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Milwaukee Archbishop Denounces Extremist Kenosha Group CUSH – Instructs Rogue Priests, Deacons To Sever Ties

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Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee
(photo: Archdiocese of Milwaukee)

Earlier this month, KCE ran a months-long investigative story about two rogue churches in Kenosha that belong to an extremist group called Congregations United To Serve Humanity (C.U.S.H.) CUSH supports many issues that are at odds with most Christian denominations – especially the Roman Catholic Church. Some examples are pediatric gender mutilation, pornography in schools, LGBT issues, drag queens reading to children, and more. Our article seemed to spark much outrage against the Milwaukee Archdiocese. So much, in fact, that Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki has ordered the rogue churches to sever all ties with the group.

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Father Nathan Reesman
Vicar for Clergy – Milwaukee Archdioceses
(Photo: x.com)

Father Nathan Reesman, Vicar for Clergy for the Milwaukee Archdioceses, sent a letter to Father Roman Stikel (D) and Deacon Ron Lesjak (D) of St Mary’s and Father Carlos Florez (D) and Father Gerry Hessell (D) of St. Mark parishes. The letter was sent with guidance and permission from Listecki. The letter says in part:

“The Archdiocesan Offices continue to receive questions and concerns about support for, and affiliation with, the community organization Congregations United to Serve Humanity (CUSH) based in Kenosha, Wisconsin… I am providing guidance and clarity in response to the questions we have received, as well as directives from Archbishop Jerome Listecki”

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Reesman goes on to say that the money grants given to CUSH ended this year, at the direction of the Archbishop. “These steps were taken because of a clear divergence by CUSH and its leaders from established Catholic teachings on a variety of social and ethical issues. This divergence prevents the Archdiocese from partnering with the organization.”

Finally the letter makes the Archbishop’s directives clear: “For theses reasons none of our parishes, clergy, parish leadership, and staff as official, public representatives of the Catholic Church, can support, or publically be affiliated with CUSH.”

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Father Reesman said the following to KCE Monday evening:

” [The letter] was shared first with the pastors of Saint Mark and Saint Mary’s Parishes before it was made public, and after I had first discussed the issue with them. If there are any ongoing questions from the parishes or their leadership about the contents of this letter, we will handle them on a case by case basis.”

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Lori Hawkins – Executive Director of Congregations United To Serve Humanity and Chairman of Kenosha County Democrat Party
(File photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

KCE reached out to Lori Hawkins, Executive Director of CUSH, chair of the Kenosha Democrats, and failed political candidate. She didn’t wish to comment on her views that pushed away many christians.

Mary, a lifelong Kenosha County resident and Catholic was very excited about the news. “I am thankful KCE exposed the connection between CUSH and the leadership of two Kenosha area Catholic churches. Thankfully, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee responded appropriately and has severed all remaining ties to the organization. CUSH should instead lobby the Church of Satan for support of their efforts because they align much better with their organization.

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Caleb, a lector at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish had the following to say about the news:

“I’m very active in the Catholic community here in Kenosha and it’s deeply disturbing that two parishes are listed as members of an organization that is wildly anti-Catholic in their beliefs and mission. It’s no secret that St. Mark and St. Mary are the more “liberal” of the city’s parishes and, at best, fail to properly address moral issues in our society today. The liturgical abuses, wacky preaching, pro-LGBTQ messaging, and their support of an extremist organization in CUSH, which proliferated pornographic material to minors just this past month at their “Banned Book Drive” in partnership with the infamous host location of Drag Queen Story Hour, Blue House Books, has gone largely unnoticed and unpunished. I’m so pleased that the Archdiocese has ordered them to disassociate with this radical liberal organization in conjunction with depriving CUSH of funding. My heartfelt thanks go out to Abp. Listecki and Fr. Reesman for their faithfulness.” 

Father Roman Stikel (D) of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church
(File photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Deacon Ron Lesjak (D) of St. Mary’s
(website)
St. Mark’s Catholic Priest Carlos Florez (D)
(website)
St Mark’s Church in Kenosha
(website)
Father Gerry Hessell (D) – St. Mark Kenosha, WI
(website)

Author

  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.

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65 Responses

  1. This is hardly surprising with how far off the mark CUSH has gone. As a Catholic who once considered the priesthood, let me try to translate church-speak in the letter.

    Priests, deacons, parish staff and parishes in the Archdiocese are not to publicly affiliate with or support CUSH. This is significant stuff. Not every organization parishes and church officials may affiliate with are 100% in accord with church teachings. There are many legitimate secular and interfaith organizations. Locally, the Shalom Center and ELCA Outreach Centers are examples of this. CUSH, on the other hand, was a radical, activist organization seriously at odds with Catholic teaching, as noted here, and has been a concern for several years.

    This doesn’t mean individual Catholics cannot support CUSH (or other) initiatives that are not inconsistent with Catholic social teaching. For example, if CUSH was collecting food for the Shalom Center or lobbying for better mental health facilities in the community, then there is no prohibition. The edict applies to official, public partnerships with parishes, priests and Catholic church officials. It also is not limited to CUSH but could also include similar “activist” groups depending on how extreme they are.

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    1. Individual Catholics should NEVER support CUSH as it is diametrically opposed to the Faith! You do not understand the letter. Most of what CUSH purports is intrinsically evil! If you are Catholic and you support this, please go to confession as your soul is bleeding out!

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      1. The letter does not prohibit individual Catholics from engaging in activities with CUSH that do not offend church teaching. For example, CUSH is lobbying for better mental health services. That’s actually a good thing and there’s nothing prohibiting Catholics from joining that effort. As the letter clearly states, though, the archdiocese doesn’t want the church or individual parishes or their officials involved. And, yes, I do understand the letter and happen to know the people behind it.

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        1. Okay, so Kush lobbies for mental health services which is ironic considering they also celebrate mental illness, but I digress. The Hells Angels do an annual toy run(s) so nobody better dare mention the income from drug sales and other rackets, correct?

  2. This is a slap.
    Better would be thus slap plus the four ut was directed to to be OUT OF THE CHURCH and away from the platform they have. They are able to continue their efforts as they wish as long as they have the jobs they have and their positions.

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  3. CUSH is a diabolical organization that does more to destroy the lives of children, promote disordered lifestyles such as sodomy and lesbianism and elevate the criminal enterprise of drag queen story hour. Most of those drag queens have criminal records of pedophilia, so what does CUSH do that is good and wholesome? They tear down and try to normalize deranged lifestyles. All Christians should disavow this organization as it is contrary to Christ’s teachings. Mary is right, CUSH is more aligned with the worldwide church of satan than anything else. Anyone associated with them should repent now.

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    1. I suggest that you cite a credible source to back up your claim that most “drag queens” have criminal records involving pedophilia. That would add some credibility to your witless rambling.

      What people like you fail to acknowledge is that it is safer for a child to be with a “drag queen” than with a priest or other church leader.

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      1. I would suggest to you that you look up the names of the drag queens and you will see that most have a criminal record. I did and so can you. It is not difficult to do unless you are illiterate

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        1. How is someone supposed to get the names of the Drag Queens? Do they have a roster or directory? All I know is that every day the media reports on a priest, a youth pastor, or other church leader being perp walked into a courtroom for child molestation. I can’t remember ever learning of a drag queen facing the same charges. I know that there has to be such cases, but they have to be rare.

          The truth is that perverted people who molest children work in all fields and participate in all lifestyles. These perverts work as teachers, cops, doctors, lawyers, “drag queens” and yes, priests.

          Leaders of dim-witted people like you have to create a boogie-man in order to brainwash you into their fascist agenda. Hitler made his followers hate the Jews. The leaders of today’s fascist movement are making you hate and de-humanize the drag queens. You are falling for it

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          1. Try looking up the drag queens’ names on the circuit court websites for the area they live in. Easy. It’s really nice of you to resort to the whole Hitler thing–do you have any original thoughts?

            1. You missed my point. How do you get the names of the drag queens to check their criminal histories? You don’t. So tell me how you are able to do your criminal history checks on CCAP? You can’t. The bottom line is that you are being manipulated by the evil leaders of your movement to hate a small group of people. There is nothing new about this path to fascism. The sad thing is that you are incapable of understanding how and why you are being mislead.

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            2. This would be very interesting to see what is supporting your narrative about Drag Queens being convicted pedophiles. Sure, lots of people have criminal records, it doesn’t take much to realize that. But, just because a person has a criminal record doesn’t make them a pedophile. Just because someone of homosexual or transgender experience doesn’t make them pedophiles. Just because someone has a cleric collar doesn’t make them a pedophile. Just because they are a liberal or a conservative doesn’t mak them a pedophile.

              Get a new thought process. It is old, it is proven incorrect over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Even better yet, if y’all hate Kenosha and the people in it so much, MOVE! Go to a REAL red state not a purple blue state.

      2. by the way, cite your sources that a child is safer with a drag queen than a priest or church leader when teachers have a much higher rate of sexual abuse of children

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      3. A friend of mine, told me, the father (divorced and different house) of her child was showing his 10 year old pornhub.com because he didnt want his son to be gay. The father is a staunch republican. The courts gave the father a minor slap of the hand of reading a couple books and seeing a therapist. Now how in the world does a republican chastise drag queens but then show his 10 year old son pornography?

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      4. Thanks for precisely clarifying your position .
        You have an axe to grind with the Catholic church . Just out of curiosity , are you a drag queen yourself ?

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  4. The last sentence, instructing parishioners to “evaluate their connections… personal, well-formed conscience.” is very telling. They won’t come right out and say to stay away, but they’re hinting at it, which is phenomenal.

    Also, Fr. Nathan Reesman is gay, so there’s really no way for CUSH to come back and cry bigotry or any other leftist-favored buzzword.

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    1. Father Reesman is not gay. I have known him and his family my entire life. He is a solid Catholic priest without any sodomic behaviors.

    2. Agree about the last sentence, but, yea— he’s not gay. He does seem to have some very public thoughts on homosexuality, though. A quick google search showed that…

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  5. Caleb, a lector at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish. Who also still lives with his mom and his father is quite the criminal.

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    1. If it works for him, and it works for his Mom, and he’s not driving his Dad’s getaway car, why does it matter to YOU?

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    2. Good thing you’re hiding behind the anonymous label, otherwise you’d be facing quite the lawsuit. I live with neither of them, you know nothing. 👍

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      1. Definitely gives off beta I’ve never touched a woman vibes. Has no kids but wants everything to do with controlling the schools. Real creeper.

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  6. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee knowingly and willingly approved financial support for CUSH. This is further confirmed by the letter above. The Catholic public has been made aware of this, so now the Archdiocese of Milwaukee deems any affiliation with CUSH inappropriate and has ceased monetary support. There seems to be a pattern present with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. They only seem to act when there is a public outcry. Very sad…and hypocritical.

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    1. The archdiocese and some local churches got involved with CUSH before it became a radical, activist organization antithetical to church teaching. If I was the pastor of one of those parishes I would be happy that the archbishop is getting me off the hook.

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      1. There is a paper trail with all of this. Archdiocese of Milwaukee is well aware of the agenda of CUSH. CUSH has been this way for a long time and does not hide the beliefs they encourage. I like the priests mentioned in the letter and I believe the Archdiocese is to blame.

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        1. Yes, there is. And I was around when CUSH was founded. CUSH’s agenda didn’t get formed for several years. In its early years it wasn’t radical (some complained it wasn’t radical enough) and lobbied for such “controversial” things as better bus service (really). It was only in recent years that it became a thorn in the side.

          1. And, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee supported CUSH during this radical time. It clearly states in the letter, as well. “Until recently, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee had approved financial support…”

  7. I commend fhe archdiocese for the swift action. If only they would be so diligent to properly address the pedo problem in their own ranks.

    1. Right on. And the church has its own gay problem with the number of gay priests, some of whom are quite conservative, too.

  8. Interesting that religion is part of the political battles. The Catholic church is so money hungry that they have to bow to every Trumper nutcase so they can keep their cosy lifestyles.

    Was Jesus a Democrat or a Republican? Neither. And he’d be ashamed of all of you.

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  9. Why does he always call someone a failed political candidate? #1 there is no shame in offering to serve in government and not getting a majority of votes. # 2 he lost his election for President of Somers. He shouldn’t be ashamed of his loss anymore than anyone else. It seems like he is trying to shame people FOR SOMETHING HE ALSO EXPERIENCED

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      1. You missed the point – its sad you just don’t get it. Your articles would be so much better without your petty commentary. You want to be treated as a journalist, stop acting like a blogger…

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    1. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Mark 12:17

      1. You start out with the misconception that every dollar given to a church is somehow being rendered unto God, and this whole situation with cush is a perfect example of that fallacy.

  10. Reduced to its bare essence, the letter says CUSH has gone rogue and the archdiocese doesn’t want its money, parishes or personnel officially connected with it. Individual Catholics are not so restricted.

  11. Honest question why is everyone so up in arms over Drag Queens? They’ve been around forever and didnt seem to bother anyone. RuPaul has been on TV and movies for years as well The Birdcage was a hilarious movie and not to mention to numerous other examples. Are you that insecure that you think they are going to change you or your children? Which btw is probably the furthest thing from their mind. But hey you keep doing you.

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    1. M*rder has been around forever too, and is the subject of many very entertaining movies. Doesn’t make it right, though. Doesn’t mean it should be accepted as “alright” in society.

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      1. So you are comparing Drag Queens to MURDERERS? Really? That is one of the biggest stretches since Kevin put that he is a disciple of Christ and talks the way he does.

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        1. Merely eating the forbidden fruit brought condemnation to mankind. The original sin was simply disobedience.

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