In response to claims that a “homosexual activist” is acting as “gatekeeper” to exhibitors at the upcoming World Meeting of Families, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has said that nothing could be farther from the truth.
“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 Archdiocese of Philadelphia Director of Communications, Kenneth Gavin said in a statement provided to CNA May 31.
“That confusion was a result of erroneous and ill-informed blog posts,” he said, explaining that the archdiocese and the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) are “the only ones who approve or reject all exhibitor applications, and not any vendor.”
While the help of a third party management company, Talley Management Group, Inc., has been enlisted for the upcoming event, it is not responsible for reviewing or approving exhibitor requests, as stated in the WMOF exhibitor terms and conditions.
“They’ve been contracted for logistical support and nothing else. 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,” Gavin said.
“In fact they don’t have any influence on WMOF content,” he stressed.
The Philadelphia Archdiocese’s statement comes in light of a recent blog post from Michael Hichborn claiming that a “homosexual activist” is the “gatekeeper” to the WMOF exhibition floor and marketplace area.
Hichborn took issue with posts from the personal Facebook page of a Talley Management Group employee, Teresa Matozzo who is listed as the WMOF Exhibits and Sponsorship Manager.
He found posts dating as far back as 2010 in which Matozzo expressed the desire to marry her lesbian partner and uploaded a picture of herself holding a rainbow colored flag at a “gay pride” event.
He encouraged his readers to contact the World Meeting of Families directly, but did not provide comments from either the World Meeting of Families or the Archdiocese of Philadelphia himself.
In the terms and conditions page for prospective exhibitors, it states that the show manager is working under the advisement of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the World Meeting of Families.
“In keeping with the Catholic mission of this event, all materials and products being promoted, distributed or sold at the World Meeting of Families must be in conformity with the Magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church,” the terms and conditions state.