A few weeks ago a reader asked us to highlight Fr.
Bryan Hehir’s upcoming speaking engagements, so we thought we’d let you know about one coming up on April 30. The controversial speakers and program Fr. Hehir has chosen to once again surround himself with bring to mind the old “I Love Lucy” TV series and a line Ricky Ricardo used to often say to his wife Lucy. In short, Bryan, “You got some ‘splainin to do!”
The event is the 3rd and final “Living Eucharistic Conference” sponsored by the Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida April 30-May 1. A simple Google search on “J Bryan Hehir” or “Father J Bryan Hehir” brings up two blog notices by Bishop Lynch, bishop of St. Petersburg about the event. (In case they dont come up on your browser, click here to see the search results the team at BryanHehirExposed got). After you read the blog notices and more about the keynote speakers and Bishop Lynchs leadership of the diocese I think you might just want to take some action to stop this atrocity. This post is just Part 1 about the proponent of “gay priests” speaking at the conference who suggests we should all watch Brokeback mountain and read gay novels. Read on…
Blog Notices: Bishop Lynch blogs in a column he calls “For His Friends.” In his first blog notice about this event, or June 14, 2009 he says,”We are honored to have Father J. Bryan Hehir, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Boston and former head of the USCCB Committee on International and Domestic Justice and Peace and the English former Dominican Master General, Father Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. among us for the pursuit of this theme [Become whom you receive].” Vicar General, eh? Is this a typo or a Freudian slip? Does he know something we don’t know? Or is he stating the obvious which has never been explictly declared. Fr. Richard Erickson is the soft-spoken Vicar General of the Boston Archdiocese in title, but in the shadow archdiocese many know exists in Boston based on the scope of influence and operational freedom Cardinal Sean O’Malley has given Fr Hehir, in reality Fr Hehir often seems to be functioning as the vicar general or as a shadow archbishop. In case the blog changed as a result of this post, heres an archived version of the page.
Keynote Speaker Fr. Timothy Radcliffe: A simple Google search on “Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.” you can do in your own office or living room brings up the following results. Of ten Google search results,2 were videos and 8 were articles. 3 of the 8 article links have “gay priest” in the listing like this:
Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.(gay priests)(Catholic Church …
Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP(gay priests)(Catholic Church)(Editorial) – THE TRUTH WILL MAKE YOU FREE (JOHN 8:23) Father Timothy Radcliffe is a …
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-144351519.html – Cached – Similar
Catholic Insight : Editorials : Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.
Dec 3, 2006 … The editor questions the validity of Fr. Timothy Radcliffe’s arguments against the Vatican.
Do ya think anyone in Boston or in St. Petersburg might have checked this out? I’m no Einstein, but something smells funny when about half of the Google results either say “gay priest” or theres questioning Fr. Timothy’s arguments against the Vatican.
Fr. Timothy 1500-word article “Can gays be priests?” (he concludes that they can) appeared in The Tablet on November 26, 2005. It was written in response to the Vatican’s document “Persons with homosexual tendencies and the priesthood.” Here’s one excerpt from Radcliffe’s article.
A vocation is a call from God. Having worked with bishops and priests all over the world, I have no doubt that God does call homosexuals to the priesthood, and they are among the most dedicated and impressive priests I have met. And we may presume that God will continue to call both homosexuals and heterosexuals to the priesthood because the Church needs the gift of both.
Radcliffe’s arguments are deconstructed by Fr. Alphonse de Valk, C.S.B. in the April 2006 issue of Catholic Insight. You really need to read the whole Catholic Insight article to get the full drift. Here are a few excerpts:
He pushes the Church’s specific concerns about homosexuality aside by saying it has no more to do with homosexuality than with heterosexuality, because in both cases the priest must reach affective maturity. That is what matters, not “orientation.”
…he pre-empts concerns about homosexuality by referring to possible problems of those who do not have homosexual inclinations.
…he warns against the danger at the seminary of “racialism, misogyny, homophobia,” as if to say it is those who oppose the homosexual culture who must be watched.
The article has done a disservice to the Church…he does so by attempting to deconstruct the Vatican warnings, and by whose authority? His own. He knows that God calls homosexuals to the priesthood. He has traveled around the world!
In unjustly deriding the Vatican warnings, Fr. Radcliffe has given succour to other detractors. For example, the nineteen Quebec priest dissenters of February 27, 2006 (described elsewhere, see “Vatican document and dissent,” pp. 15-17 and http://catholicinsight.com/online/controversy/article_661.shtml) quote him and his article as their intellectual authority in denouncing “Rome” and its instructions.
Here’s a link from Call to Action Arizona to Fr. Timothy’s article, “Can priests be gay?” If dissidents like what this priest wrote, then it seems logical for a senior official from the Archdiocese of Boston to want to keynote a conference where he is speaking, no?
That’s not all about Fr. Timothy. Here’s what the non-Roman collar-wearing Fr. Timothy said when he spoke at the 2006 Los Angeles Religious Education Conference:
We begin by standing beside gay people as they hear the voice of the Lord that summons them to life and happiness. We accompany them as they wrestle with discovering what this means and how they must walk. And this means letting our imaginations be stretched open to watching Brokeback Mountain, reading gay novels, having gay friends, making that leap of the heart and the mind, delighting in their being, listening with them as they listen to the Lord.
He also noted “the violence of the language used by Pope Benedict when he was the cardinal prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith” and “the violent language of conservative Catholics against so-called liberals.”
An update from New Oxford Review refers to a November 2005 piece in Lifesite News that quoted Radcliffe as saying:
Any deep-rooted prejudice against others, such as homophobia or misogyny, would be grounds for rejecting a candidate for the priesthood, but not their sexual orientation.”
It’s also reported that Radcliffe has celebrated Mass on more than one occasion for the openly dissenting homosexual group “Roman Catholic Caucus of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement” (now operating under the name “Soho Masses Pastoral Council”) who hold Masses in an Anglican church in Soho, London, twice monthly. (Here’s an excerpt from his sermon given at one Mass for London’s gay Catholic community at St Anne’s Church in Soho:
We are celebrating that you, Charlie, are in full communion not just with your Catholic friends, not just with nice people like ourselves. You are becoming one with all sorts of people with whom you may profoundly disagree, and who may appear to reject your sexual orientation and much that you may hold dear
Were going to just let this all sink in for a little bit. Would anyone from the Archdiocese of Boston like to respond with you’re perspectives on why Cabinet Secretary and senior advisor is keynoting a conference along with this speaker. Also why should a person like Fr. Hehir whose judgement allows them to accept an invitation to keynote along with Fr. Radcliffe be in a leadership role in the Catholic Church?
Anyone as upset as we here at BryanHehirExposed should drop a dime to the papal nuncio Archbishop Sambi in Washington, DC (202)333-7121 and to Cardinal O’Malley 617-782-2544. See our April 14 post for more detailed contact information
We’ll return in a subsequent post (Part 2) with more information about the other speaker and Bishop Lynch.