Guest Bloggers

A Catholic Priest walked into Target today

Today’s blog post below comes from Fr. John Lankeit, Rector of The Cathedral of Saints Simon and Jude in Phoenix, Arizona. With permission from said priest, this is being re-published on my blog. It originally was posted on a social media website.

I have been meaning to write on this subject, because like Fr. Lankeit, I use to shop at Target for many things, most especially my toiletries and little things for my home. But ever since Target felt the need to segregate the majority of Americans with this policy to allow transgender persons into the women’s bathroom, my conscience told me that I could no longer shop there for my household needs. It’s really disappointing too since I have been a Target Card Member since 1997.

When is this madness going to end? What’s it going to take for these companies as well as the culture to understand that they are destroying the dignity of the human person with such decisions and actions? This latest decision serves about 1% of the general population (entire LBQT is about 3%). With numbers like that, there is a good chance you will never see a transgender person in a Target bathroom, however, what you will see is pedophiles using this policy as a way to enter bathrooms. If you think I am not telling you the truth, look it up…it’s already happening right now!

With this being said, let’s take a look at what happened when A Catholic Priest walked into Target today…

Though I have already signed and FULLY support the American Family Association (AFA) boycott of Target for putting kids (especially little girls) at risk of sexual predators in Target bathrooms, I also took an additional step suggested by an article I read recently on the Target policy.

The article suggested going into your local Target store, asking for the manager and respectfully expressing one’s deep concern and disappointment in the corporate policy. As a Catholic priest and a pastor of a parish with thousands of parishioners and with a TV Mass that reaches many thousands more, I wanted the manager to know that I was not coming in as an isolated individual but on behalf of many Catholics who aren’t going to sit on the sidelines for this one.

So, I met with Joseph, the on-duty store manager, introduced myself and handed him my business card (“God card”). I told him that as an individual, I regularly shopped at this particular store for everything from socks (black of course!) to toiletries to the best orange cranberry nut muffins on the planet. I then explained I have a parish with thousands of parishioners, many of whom, if they take their relationship with Jesus seriously, intend to find alternatives to Target. I “targeted” the corporate policy (instead of saying “you”–as in “you, Joseph”) that puts little girls in danger because any man can, under the “guise” of this policy, hide behind the euphemism “gender” and go into a girls bathroom with impunity.

To put a finer point on the whole conversation I said, “If any organization has learned the hard way the importance of protecting children, it’s the Catholic Church. So you can imagine, this troubling policy hits very close to home for me.”

I think, if anything got his attention, it was that comment because it showed a willingness on my “organization’s” part to face reality when grave evil entered into the picture and children were deeply hurt and damaged.

I did not do this today because I have a lot of hope that it will change Target’s policy–that’s what the online petition aims at. I did it because planting the seeds of Truth is not optional for a Catholic–and this conversation with Joseph may have opened HIS mind and heart enough to make him rethink his personal “policy” on the consequences of looking the other way in the face of very evil and immoral activities in our culture…which always, ultimately, damage children the most.

If you really care about this issue, please go in and talk to the manager and your local Target store– respectfully and without any “vibe” that makes them feel attacked, personally.

It’s not about changing corporate policy as much as changing the heart of the person in front of you. I think Jesus would consider this approach to be…”on Target”!

Fr. John LankeitFr. John Lankeit is the Rector of The Cathedral of Saints Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, Arizona. He has been a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Phoenix since June 3, 2006. He has served as the Rector of the Cathedral since June 1, 2010. Fr. Lankeit is a dynamic speaker and homilist. His homilies can be heard here.

5 replies »

  1. Such a great article! We’ve also signed the boycott and with a family of five (and six on the way) we did much of our weekly shopping there. Fr. Lankeit had great points. Thanks for sharing, Tom!

  2. Thank you, dear Father for standing up for was is right. God bless you for that. I pray that all priests will have your conviction to stand up when something is terribly wrong. I have boycotted Target months ago because of this same issue. Thank you also for your “election homily”! God bless you.


  3. Pedofiles don’t need special permission to enter a bathroom. And as a parent why wouldn’t you supervise your child? My kids are old enough to go by themselves and drive and I still go to the public restroom with them for that reason. Not only men but women can be sexual predators as well. Heard of lesbians? If you watch your child and you are by their side no petition has to be signed to ruin other people’s lives. That’s not how sexual predators work unless they are really desperate and they are very smart and they are aware of the fact that they can be exposed. Sexual predators work for years in hiding and gain trust of people as teachers, priests, nuns, nurses and neighbors even family members not strangers

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