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 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



Q. Are all frequently-asked questions answered in this FAQs section of this website?
    A. They are not even all asked here, let alone answered; but we do welcome any questions, for possible inclusion here. Some (including many regarding sexuality or morality) are addressed in some detail on this website -- but elsewhere on this website; click on sexuality to link to those topics. As you will see stated and explained in detail: We believe that we can express our sexuality in a loving, life-affirming manner that is in keeping with the teachings of Christ.

Q. Are donations to Dignity/LA tax deductible?
    A. Yes. It is a non-profit corporation; and it holds an IRS 501(c)(3) certificate attesting to deductibility of donations, to the extent permitted by law. Each year, a statement is issued to all donors required by the IRS to have proof of donations. Dignity/USA is also a non-profit corporation, and it also has such a certificate.

Q. Does someone have to be a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) person to be eligible to become a member of Dignity?
    A. No. We welcome all family, friends, and allies supportive of the GLBT cause to become Dignity members (or if preferred, just a supporter). To learn more about how to become a member (and about categories of membership and other support), please click here. While donations are accepted from supporters regardless of membership status, one helps add strength to our voice calling for Church reform by joining us, as a member.

Q. Do you have a short explanation of the Dignity stand on the issues of concern to it?
    A. Yes, we sure do. We call it our Statement of Position and Purpose (or the SP&P for short). Click here (or the "SP&P" link in the banner at the top of each page of this website) to read it (y para leerlo en español, click aquí).

Q. I cannot afford the dues to become a member (or to renew my membership); does that mean that I cannot be a member?
    A. No. We urge that all contribute, in accordance with their means, even if the amount is quite small; but no one is ever denied membership or participation for financial inability.

Q. How does the chapter support itself?
    A. Financially, our income is mainly from the following sources: membership dues, Sunday collection baskets, fund raisers, annual pledge drive, special donations from members (or even others), bequests from decedents, and income from investments. There is more information on these subjects on the Support page of this website.

Q. Where are you located?
    A. Dignity Center is in the Highland Park section of Los Angeles, just off the Pasadena Freeway and a few miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. To see a map (with a zoom in/out feature to help you, whether you are nearby or at a distance), click here (or click on the Map link found in the lines below the banner at the top of each page of this website). Also, detailed directions are available from the Directions link that is found on the maps themselves or by clicking on Contact Us (here or in the link lines below the banner at the top of each page of this website).

Q. Why are you not located closer to the center of GLBT activity, like in Silver Lake or West Hollywood?
    A. For many years, we were located in the eastern part of Hollywood, between Silver Lake and West Hollywood. However, when the infamous Ratzinger Letter decreed that Dignity was no longer to be permitted to use Church property, we sought an affordable alternative. As a result, we moved to the Highland Park section of Los Angeles, in the Spring of 1990.

Q. Do you own your own building?
    A. Yes, in 1990 the chapter bought the building that has served as Dignity Center since 1990. We take pride in the fact that the chapter was able to pay off the mortgage on the building in about eight years and even greater pride in the fact that the mortgage was itself a loan from a group of the chapter's own members.

Q. Do you have social activities as well?
    A. Yes, we do indeed. Some are at the Dignity Center, such as the social right after Mass on Sunday, followed by dinner out on the town for all those interested. Others are excursions to -- you name it. Two examples: each summer we generally have an excursion to the Hollywood Bowl for a potluck picnic (followed by the Bowl concert itself) and at least one Summer Party as such.

Q. Does this website have info on other opportunities for activism?
    A. Yes, there is an Activism page for events sponsored by others, but related to the chapter's mission; but access is limited to members.

Q. Who decides upon and organizes social activities?
    A. There is a Social Committee; so some activities are organized by that Committee and its Chairperson. Others, however, are simply a groundswell of interest by members who undertake to propose (and organize) an excursion (or other event) under chapter auspices. One example of the latter is the Oscar Party night at Dignity Center, each year for several years now.

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Q. Who presides at the celebration of Mass?
    A. A priest.

Q. Are they really priests?
     A. Yes. All those who preside regularly at our Masses were ordained in and by the institutional Church -- though not all are still active as priests in the institutional Church. On occasion, we do have a presider who was ordained in another church; but all are priests ordained in churches recognized by the institutional Church as having bishops validly consecrated in the apostolic tradition.

Q. Have any of your presiders ever been involved in the clerical sexual abuse scandal?
    A. No. Dignity has a national policy that prevents such priests from serving as a presider at any of our services.

Q. Do you now have (or ever had) any association with a North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) or any group favoring sex with minors?
    A. No, never. In its Statement of Position And Purpose (SP&P), and otherwise also, Dignity is firmly committed to the principles "that all sexuality should be exercised in an ethical and unselfish manner." Sex with any underaged or otherwise vulnerable persons or taking advantage of any position of trust to procure sexual activity would be in clear violation of those principles.

Q. Does a person have to be (or want to be) a Roman Catholic in order to be a member?
    A. No; but we do have a course of initiation very similar to that of the institutional Church for persons interested in learning more.

Q. Is the chapter a part of the institutional Church?
    A. No. The chapter's By-Laws provide that the "chapter is an independent, self-governing corporation..." that "...is a lay organization, not an ecclesiastical organization; and it is not subject to ecclesiastical regulation."

Q. Are all members Catholics?
    A. Not all are Roman Catholics. However, it would be safe to assume that all are Catholics in the sense that the Nicene Creed (used in the Mass) uses the term "catholic .. church," meaning a "universal" or "all-inclusive" church. All of mainstream Christianity adheres to the Nicene Creed as adopted by one of the very earliest ecumenical councils (i.e. Council of Nicaea (convened first in Nicaea, Greece, early in the 4th Century)).

Q. Is the chapter the only place where GLBTs who are Catholic can meet as a faith community?
    A. Some faith communities are more welcoming to a GLBT who seeks to associate with that faith community than others would be. Some Roman Catholic parishes, and other Christian churches as well, fall into this category. Indeed, some Dignity members retain an association with a parish, as well as take an active part in Dignity itself; but since parishes are a part of the institutional Church, some restrictions are likely to be encountered in even the most welcoming parish. We include on this website, however, information on some of the faith communities considered (by some) to have earned the honor of being considered welcoming faith communities in the greater Los Angeles area. Click here for general information on this subject and to reach a link to a listing of some faith communities in the greater Los Angeles area that are believed to fall into that category.

Q. Do you have funds to assist those who are suffering from HIV/AIDS?
    A. Yes. At one time, the chapter's AIDS Fund assisted both needy individual applicants and institutions seeking monies with which they could assist such individuals. At this time, however, assistance is provided primarily to institutions, with occasional exceptions for individuals in special circumstances, primarily needy members of the chapter. See the Support page of this website for more info on this subject.

Q. Is this website protected by copyright or subject to conditions of use?
    A. Yes. Click here for more information on the subject.

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