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Posts Tagged ‘diocese of st petersburg’

As you all probably know by now, at a June 15 meeting
of the U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops  President Cardinal Francis George condemned Catholic Health Association President Sr. Carol Keehan for her role in helping pass President Obama’s abortion-funding national healthcare legislation. The USCCB called the CHA’s actions a “wound to Catholic unity.” At about the same time, the CHA was meeting for their annual conference (June 13-15), where President Obama offered his praise via video to Sr. Keehan and the CHA for their role in passing the legislation.  Who was at the CHA’s conference to praise Sr. Keehan in-person right after Obama’s video, give her air-cover, and reinforce that fissure or “wound”? Naturally, Fr. Bryan Hehir. What is the Archdiocese of Boston doing about his ongoing comments that bring division and scandal to the Church?  As usual, nothing.  You can listen to some of Hehir’s comments via the YouTube clip linked to below.

Here are excerpts of the article by Catholic News Agency, “Cardinal George: Sr. Keehan chose Obama over Catholic bishops“:

The bill which was passed is fundamentally flawed. The Executive Order is meaningless. Sr. Carol is mistaken in thinking that this is pro-life legislation.
The cardinal also expressed disappointment with CHA “and other so-called Catholic groups” because, “in the end, they have weakened the moral voice of the bishops in the U.S.”
the USCCB and CHA’s positions on Obama’s health care are not just “two equally valid conclusions inspired in the same Catholic teaching,”
“As Bishops, we disagree that the divergence between the Catholic Conference and Catholic organizations, including the Catholic Health Association, represents merely a difference of analysis or strategy. Rather, for whatever good will was intended, it represented a fundamental disagreement, not just with our staff as some maintain, but with the Bishops themselves.
As such it has resulted in confusion and a wound to Catholic unity.

The problem is a serious one. What did Fr. Bryan Hehir say about all this? First, he praised Sister Carol’s “experienced, hands-on care for the poor and ministry to all, and her intelligent and courageous leadership of this organization,” which was followed by thunderous applause. But the worst came later when he said there were “multiple voices” in the debate, the CHA, the U.S. bishops, and others. Amidst those multiple voices, he said “there was foundation for the different judgments made on the bill in the Catholic moral tradition.”

What?!! So, Fr. Hehir is saying that the U.S. bishops have no more authority to speak on this important issue than other “voices,” like the woman dubbed the “million dollar sister” for her eye-popping near seven-figure salary leading the $16M CHA. Reader LastCatholicinBoston commented:

Duh, Catholics through history have been proven to be right and wrong. What Hehir always leaves out is that the Church and Magisterium are never wrong.  They are the authority.

A reader attending the conference sent us her audio recording  of Hehir’s talk at the conference, and here are short selected clips:

Fr. Hehir’s undermining of the bishops and obfuscating the real concerns is obvious when you look carefully at the Catholic News article about his talk, reprinted in The Pilot. Thanks to blog readers Chantel and LastCatholicinBoston for their insights and comments of rebuttal, which we have expanded on below.

Time to move forward after differences on health reform, priest says

By Catholic News Service (posted June 16 in Rochester Catholic Courier)

DENVER (CNS) — Differences within the Catholic community during the health reform debate were not about the objectives to be accomplished but about the “degree of assurance” provided by the bill on those objectives, Father J. Bryan Hehir told the annual convention of the Catholic Health Association June 13.
That’s massively downplaying and sanitizing what happened, as it became clear toward the later part of the debate, and certainly with the final bill, that there wasn’t really any assurance on federal funding of abortion and conscience protection

“It is time to face the future, not replay the past continually,” said Father Hehir, secretary for health and social services for the Archdiocese of Boston, in a keynote talk on the opening day of the June 13-15 convention in Denver.
How? Hehir gave no answers.  Not once did Hehir give a specific suggestion on how to move forward, especially toward the goals of defending life and conscience protections.

“Understanding that debate — its process and its product — is a necessary task, but far more urgent is the need to answer the question of moving forward from where we are to where we need to go to provide health care which is morally grounded, legally protected and provided with compassion and competence,” he said.
Sounds nice in principle, but no specific suggestions were given. (And Fr. Hehir, how exactly can you have morally grounded legislation that funds abortion?)

Father Hehir, said the debate was complicated by “a disturbing characteristic of the American political process — polarization that is both intellectual and political.”
Yes, the debate over killing the unborn is polarizing. We’re sorry that you find it “disturbing” that Catholics are standing up to protect life. Maybe you should not have oversight over the Archdiocese’s Pro-Life Office or Catholic healthcare in Boston if you have a problem with this.

But he said the end result of the debate “has the proportions and the potential” of such legislative landmarks as the Social Security Act of the 1930s, the civil rights reforms of the 1960s and welfare reform in the 1990s.
Sure does, and it’s scary….

As the debate began, there was widespread agreement in the Catholic community about four objectives to be accomplished by the legislation, Father Hehir said. Those objectives were basic health care for all; no federal funding of abortion; expanded access to health care for immigrants; and conscience clause protections for religiously based health care, he said.
With passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March, “the four objectives are partially met,” Father Hehir said. “It will take continuing work on each (objective) to meet the potential of a just health care system protective of human life and human dignity from life’s inception along the spectrum to its natural end.”
How do you “partially meet” a goal of not killing the unborn? Either it’s met and the unborn are protected, or it’s not met and the unborn are aborted with federal funds. (When Obama signed the legislation on March 24, Lifesitenews reported: “The executive order claims “it is necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services,” but adds it is to “ensure that exchange plan funds are segregated by insurance companies in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.”That’s merely a restatement of the Nelson language in the Senate bill that allows some taxpayers to be forced to pay for abortions as long as an accounting scheme is used to cover up the funding.”)

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops insisted, however, that the final bill and the executive order did not adequately guarantee conscience rights or guard against expanded federal abortion funding.

Father Hehir said debate over the “meaning, status and significance” of the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life, “became one of the primary fault lines in the secular and Catholic debates” about the health reform bill. “The final judgment on this bill is not about Catholics inside and outside the permissible range of Catholic moral teachings.”

LCIB: Apparently Fr. Hehir is an authority speaking when he makes declarative statements about the essence of the bill. Perhaps he should speak to Fr. Frank Pavone about the permissible range of Catholic moral teaching on abortion.

Father Hehir quoted the late Jesuit Father John Courtney Murray in distinguishing between mistakes and errors. Father Murray said mistakes are “deficiencies of intelligence,” while errors are based on a “deficiency of good will…His point was not to assume mistakes are errors. His conclusion was that the Christian community is not in error, no matter how many mistakes are made.”
What the heck does that mean? If multiple voices are babbling with radically different conclusions, somebody has to be wrong, and in the Catholic Church, there is an authoritative voice.  Are the U.S. Bishops and the CHA just both equally right? Is there somehow a Bryan Hehir version of the Magisterium?
LCIB: What Murray described and I suspect Hehir knows is what is known as Hanlon’s Razor…and I summarize – never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.  Or, the Christian Community (as defined by Hehir) never acts maliciously (as an enemy of the Church) they are only prone to mistakes. Hehir’s conclusion on Murray’s conclusion is a complete bluff.
What Hehir is saying is that the Christian Community (as defined by him) is never motivated by malice. That is, the wolf in sheep’s clothing does not exist.  We know differently.

Do check out Fr. Z’s blog post, “Who Speaks for the Catholic Church in the U.S.” for more insights into the controversy.

If the history this blog has exposed on Fr. Hehir isn’t enough to get him silenced, one would think his public disagreement with the U.S. Conference of Bishops (where he worked for 15 years) and his endorsement for the CHA and the abortion-funding Obamacare legislation would do it. But not here in Boston under Cardinal O’Malley.

ps. Guess who presided over the opening Mass at the CHA conference?  Bishop Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can read our posts about Bishop Lynch and his recent Eucharistic Conference where Bryan Hehir spoke here and here.

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At long last, here’s the final installment on Fr. Bryan
Hehir’s next speaking gig on April 30 in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida.  In Part 1 we talked about Fr. Hehir keynoting along with another speaker who advocates for gay priests and gay culture, and in Part 2 we talked about him also sharing the podium with a priest who changed the liturgy and communion rite in his diocese in ways that had been previously rejected by the Vatican and USCCB and were outside of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). Now we’ll finally look at Bishop Robert Lynch’s leadership of the Diocese of St. Petersburg where the talk and conference are taking place.

First a little background on Bishop Robert Lynch.  He worked at the National Council of Catholic Bishops starting in the early 1970’s and was associate and general secretary of the NCCB from 1984 until 1995.  So, he and Fr. Hehir go way back. There is much that seems wrong happening under his leadership: ending Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, taking no action to prevent the starvation death of Terri Schiavo in 2005, allowing Schiavo’s former husband to have a Catholic wedding after the premeditated murder of his wife, sexual harassment accusations from a male employee (known for his “muscular physique”) settled for $100K and steering $30 million in no-bid church construction contracts to another “muscular triathlete.”  So given all that in addition to what we reported in Parts 1 and 2, of course one might just ask the question, does it make  sense for a senior archdiocesan official like Fr. Hehir to implicitly endorse all of the above by speaking at his conference?  Here are the details:

1. St. Petersburg  Diocese ends Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration: Ignoring all of Pope John Paul II’s repeated pleas for the promotion of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, the Diocese of St. Petersburg issued new guidelines which on September 1, 2000 ended the practice of perpetual exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in parishes, and only allows worship of the Eucharist reserved in tabernacles.

For parishes that wish to inaugurate adoration of the Blessed Sacrament the Bishop says they should “reflect on… their commitment of time and money to social services.” Among other reflections, they should ask, “Does the eucharistic bread look like bread?”

2. Bishop Lynch took no action to help save the life of Terri Schiavo in 2005 and instead issued bizarre statements undermining efforts to save her.   A must-read is this article from LifeSite News

The Florida Catholic Bishops’ conference has stated plainly that Terri’s means of receiving food and water does not constitute ‘extraordinary’ means of preserving her life, and is a simple requirement of ordinary care. ..Bishop Lynch’s comments are bizarre and shocking given the fact that Michael Schiavo has abandoned his wife and has taken up an adulterous liaison with another woman with whom he has sired two children and has campaigned to end Terri’s life by starving her to death.

Bishop Lynch moves from the bizarre and shocking to the outrageous when he implies that this lack of “peace,” is the fault of her parents for being determined to save her life. ..Lynch goes on to say that the decision to starve Terri to death is one that will be made by ‘a family’ which, incomprehensibly, he identifies as Michael Schiavo alone.

Inexplicable also is the apparent unconcern of the Bishop for saving Terri’s life, an indifference that will outrage Catholics since he also took no action when Michael refused to allow Terri visits from a priest and to receive the sacraments.

According to a report in LifeSite news published after Terri’s death,  Fr. Gerard Murphy of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida actually helped Judge Greer make the decision to dehydrate and starve Terri to death. Turns out that Fr. Murphy testified on behalf of Michael Schiavo, and Bishop Lynch supported Father Murphy’s seriously flawed position. Heres more:

The Catholic Media Coalition called Bishop Lynch’s behavior “baffling.”

COMMENTARY – Catholic Bishops Send Conflicting Message On Respecting Life

A Revolutionary to the Core

Bobby Schindler Reveals Shocking Support by Catholic Clergy for Sister’s Euthanasia Killing

Cardinal (Renato) Martino issued a stirring appeal from Rome shortly before Terri’s death when he said,

Whoever stands idly by without trying to prevent the death of Terri Schindler-Schiavo becomes an accomplice to murder.

Bishop Lynch did nothing.

Fr. Hehir, just curious, did you ever drop a dime to your pal Bishop Lynch when poor Terri was being starved to death and ask him to use the full influence of his episcopal position to speak out in favor of saving her life?

3.  To add insult to injury, Bishop Lynch allowed a Catholic wedding for Michael Schiavo and the mother of his two children after Michael had Terri starved to death. This is in opposition to Canon 1090 which states , “One who, with a view to entering marriage with a certain person, brings about the death of one’s own spouse or of the other person’s spouse, invalidly attempts that marriage.”  See:

Neither Shalt Thou Kill Thy Spouse

Schiavo-Centonze Marriage At Risk

Then there’s the matter of the St. Petersburg Diocese’s law firm (Divito and Higham) having contributed the maximum amount possible to the reelection campaign of Judge George Greer, the judge at the core of the Schiavo case who supported efforts of Michael Schiavo and his attorney, euthanasia advocate George Felos to end Terri’s life. They made this contribution at about the same time that the late Pope John Paul II issued his statement disallowing death by starvation and dehydration. How can a diocese be pro-life when the Bishop’s own general counsel is giving money to support a judge who agreed to starve an innocent person to death?

4. The story of Bishop Lynch wouldn’t be complete without a few more tawdry incidents. For example, theres the allegation of sexual harrassment against him from a male staff member and friend that was settled for $100,000

William Urbanski, diocese spokesman and former Lynch aide, filed a complaint with the diocese alleging that Lynch had made sexual advances towards him.

He initially appreciated Bishop Lynch’s lavish gifts–stereos, cameras, upscale clothes. But he began to feel increasingly uncomfortable when Bishop Lynch would touch and massage him.  He said that Lynch forced him to share a hotel room when they traveled on business together, pressured him to photograph his muscular physique in a speedo bathing suit, and that Lynch had grabbed his thigh as the two drove in a car. He also claimed that on one trip, Lynch had come out of the shower nude to show Urbanski how much weight he had lost. Lynch admitted he may have may have crossed the line between friendship and work and described the matter as a misunderstanding: “I did not intend anything. We were close friends.”  A diocesan investigation, led by three close Lynch aides, found no evidence to back Urbanski’s allegations of advances. Mr. Urbanski said investigators never interviewed him.

Nonetheless, the diocese paid $100K as severance under the condition that Urbanski not sue.  Is anyone else wondering why a diocese would fork over $100,000 from donations to support the Church if the allegations has zero substance?  Here’s some additional reading on that tawdry situation:

The story of Bishop Robert Lynch (a “must read”)

Church paid $100K to Lynch aide

Despite Anger, Urbanski not shunning religion

Oh by the way, then we also have Bishop Lynch steering $30 million in no-bid construction contracts to another friend, David Herman, who like Urbanski, is a muscular triathlete. Lynch and Herman had vacationed together to places including Hawaii, Israel, and Rome.  The St. Petersburg Times reports:

Lynch had given every construction contract over which he exercised sole control to a friend, David S. Herman, without seeking competitive bids or interviewing other established contractors in the area.  According to diocesan figures, Herman Construction Services was awarded contracts totaling $30.3-million since 1996, when Lynch became bishop.

Contractor for diocese jobs calls Lynch ‘good friend’

Diocese projects go to Bishop’s friend

So to summarize, we have a Cabinet secretary of the Archdiocese of Boston going to keynote at a Eucharistic Conference in Florida along with a priest who advocates for gay priests and the gay culture (including gay movies and books) and along with another priest who ordered his diocese to adopt new rules for the sacrament of Communion that had been previously rejected by the Vatican and U.S. bishops.  And he’s speaking in a diocese where the bishop banned perpetual Eucharistic adoration, slammed pro-lifers for objecting to the most rabid pro-abortion president in history being honored at Notre Dame, was described by a Vatican official as an accomplice to the premeditated murder of an innocent disabled woman, settled a case of sexual harassment against one male employee for $100,000 and steered $30 million in no-bid contracts to another male friend.  This blogger commented, “Would Bishop Lynch chase the money lenders out of the temple or would he have ATMs installed?”

Any readers in the Diocese of St. Petersburg or elsewhere, I urge you to contact the papal nuncio and Congregation of Bishops and ask to have this trainwreck of a conference with its scandal-mired speakers cancelled.  (Contact info is here). And if the judgment of a Cabinet secretary like Fr. Bryan Hehir after 44 years in the priesthood is that this conference is where he wants to speak and hang out with his friends, this is yet another reason why his opinions should be ignored.

Should the conference proceed intact, they will no doubt have a lovely time together April 30-May 1.

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Today we review more of the story on Fr. Bryan
Hehir’s next speaking gig coming up April 30 at the Diocese of St. Petersburg’s “Living Eucharist” conference in Florida. For new readers, here’s Part 1, where we shared how one keynote speaker alongside Boston Archdiocesan Secretary for Social Services, Fr. Bryan Hehir, is the non-collar-wearing Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. who advocates publicly for gay priests and tells his audiences they should be reading gay novels and watching gay movies like Brokeback Mountain. Hehir as a senior archdiocesan cabinet official and most influential advisor to Cardinal Sean O’Malley apparently feels just fine sharing the main podium with Fr. Timothy. So here we look at the other keynoter Fr.  J. Glenn Murray and then next at Bishop Lynch’s leadership of the Diocese of St. Petersburg where the talk is taking place.

Fr. J Glenn Murray, SJ.  Fr. Murray is a Jesuit liturgist and here’s his bio.   “J Glenn” specializes in African-American worship, and like everyone else “J Bryan” hangs out with, seems to have had his share of ‘swings at the bat’ to undermine the Church.

He was Director for the Office of Worship in the Diocese of Cleveland from 1995 to 2007.  That’s the same diocese where the bishop (Bishop Pilla) resigned in the wake of an embezzlement scandal, where the rainbow flag/colors have adorned their Gay & Lesbian Family Ministry website and where they supported dissident organizations like Future Church with office space in a rectory basement through 2006.  But I digress… Fr. Murray himself created a stir in 2003 by issuing new directives in the Cleveland diocese for how Catholics were to receive communion. An article in the August 24, 2003 Cleveland Plain Dealer that extensively quoted Fr. Murray said, “American Catholics are about to experience major changes in the Communion rite as dioceses begin implementing updated General Instruction of the Roman Missal.”   The only problem is that Fr. Murray’s changes were NOT actually what the GIRM called for. Among his changes were:

  • the congregation using the “orans” posture during the Lord’s prayer (this means hands raised as only the priest does)
  • embracing fellow worshippers during the exchange of the sign of peace
  • “ undoing a lifetime of tradition by not kneeling in prayer after Communion.  Instead, in a sign of the communal nature of the sacrament, worshippers will stand and sing until each person has received Communion.”

Fr. Murray acknowledged the changes would “unsettle many Catholics” but said, “”I think it’s a vast improvement.”

Adoremus summarizes the situation and response. Here are a few excerpts:

These changes were advocated by some liturgists  a few years ago — a revision that was eventually rejected by the Holy See….[and] never approved by the bishops. And they were neither included in the new General Instruction of the Roman Missal for the universal Church, nor in the ‘American adaptations’ of the GIRM.

Cardinal Arinze, then head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, even was asked to weigh-in, and he said:

Earlier, similar responses from the Vatican made it clear that changing customary kneeling to standing was not intended; indeed was ‘laudably retained’.

Adoremus concluded:

The liturgy office in the Cleveland diocese (and several others) is mandating changes that are neither specified nor mandated in the norms for the universal Church or for the US Church. Far from promoting unity, the effect of mandating these deviations from the customary practice in the Catholic Church in the United States is literally divisive — dividing one diocese from another, one parish from another, one Catholic from another.

Besides having no basis whatsoever to change the Cleveland liturgy, he is also a fan of liturgical dance. In this 2004 report, Fr. Murray was seen “accompanied by scantily clad liturgical dancers in black skimpy costumes dancing with their smoking bowls of incense during a children’s grade school Mass.”  He was at the same Religious Ed conference in Los Angeles where Fr. Tim Radcliffe talked about gay novels and movies. Fr. Murray led a “Black Culture” liturgy:

Beginning with a bongo drum sequence and featuring black Gospel singers dressed in native African costumes, the event featured Jesuit Father J. Glenn Murray…He concluded his homily by leading a hand-clapping rendition of “Can’t Nobody Do Ya Like Jesus,” and dancing all around the stage, with Cardinal Mahony, from his presider’s chair, clapping along with the crowd.

Murray left Cleveland in 2007 after Bishop Richard Lennon arrived in 2006 and started cleaning house. But Murray is nothing compared to Bishop Lynch, who we get to in Part 3. In the meantime, first-time site visitors should check out Part 1, about the other keynote speaker on the podium, Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. who advocates for gay priests, celebrates Mass for openly dissenting homosexual groups, and tells his audiences to let their imaginations be “stretched open” by watching Brokeback Mountain and reading gay novels. If you’re outraged by all this, drop a dime to the Papal Nuncio in Washington, DC:

Most Reverend Pietro Sambi
Apostolic Nunciature
3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008-3610
Phone:  (202)333-7121
Fax: (202) 337-4036
Respectfully ask for this “Living Eucharist” conference to be cancelled and that the Apolostical Nuncio have removed from their positions any archdiocesan officials (eg. Fr. Bryan Hehir) whose judgement is such that they think its acceptable to keynote a conference with this group of speakers.

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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

There’s also:

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.
catholicinsight.com/online/editorials/article_662.shtml
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.

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