Picture this: A young priest on fire with his faith and love of the Church does what he wishes more priests had done when he was growing up: Take a stand. But may God have mercy on the priest who takes a stand on a topic that's too hot to handle.
Homosexuality is a very divisive topic within the Catholic Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, however, is quite clear:
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
There is nothing new about this teaching, as it calls homosexuals, as it does all unmarried Catholics, to live a life of chastity.
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
Like abortion, the Church opposes homosexuality because it violates natural law. Lest any gay person take offense, keep in mind that overeating, drug abuse, compulsive gambling and other high-risk behaviors also violate natural law. And the number of men and women who suffer with these other aforementioned problems of human desire is not negligible. So why is it then, that when we refuse to enable these other behaviors and urge those enslaved by them to get help that we are called compassionate, but if we do the same for homosexuals, we are called bigots?
Which brings us back to the young priest who takes a stand, in this case, Fr. Michael Rodriguez of the Diocese of El Paso.
For the last few weeks, a series of ads called The Truth About Homosexuality, penned by Fr. Rodriguez and paid for by an anonymous married couple have been published in El Paso's papers. In a culture that is downright anemic in defending morality, Rodriguez has had the courage to speak the convictions of his faith: "All Catholics have a moral obligation before God to oppose any government attempt to legalize same-sex unions."
And he's right. All Catholic DO share this obligation. Social justice sometimes means taking an unpopular position. The problem for Fr. Rodriguez is that his diocese is less-than-willing to take that stand with him.
Fr. Anthony Celino, Vicar General of El Paso has publicly stated, "These paid advertisements are the personal views and opinions of Father Michael Rodriguez."
Now before reading further, it might benefit us to actually read Father Rodriguez' ads. You can read them at these links:
It's important that we read the ads first because it is all-too-apparent that Fr. Rodriguez writes in an articulate, sensitive and respectful tone and that the texts he wrote quote generously from the documents of the Church and the bishops.
So why is the Vicar General of the Diocese insisting that the ads only reflect the "personal views" of Fr. Rodriguez?
If he means that the Diocese did not authorize the ads, why did he not say so in those words? If he means that the Diocese disavows the ads and their content, we have a problem. If the Diocese cannot stand behind the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the teaching of the U.S. Bishops Conference, something is very, very wrong.
Another priest, Monsignor Frances Smith, said "I do not agree with that lifestyle, but I will help anyone who needs it."
So does that mean that remaining silent about grave violations of natural law and mortal sins that, according to scripture, "Cry out to God for vengeance" is a way of helping homosexuals?
Has silence about homosexuality curbed the spread of AIDS?
Has silence about homosexuality stopped the sexual abuse of minors by priests with homosexual desires?
Which, brings us, ultimately, to the question that this begs: Are so many priests silent about homosexuality because they are, themselves homosexual?
In 2002 Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska spoke up at the U.S. Bishops' gathering and said that the bishops should study the actual causes of the scandal, and was met with silence. Eventually, the bishops had to commission such a study, and the study found that a vast majority of the priest-abusers committed their crimes upon adolescent males, a finding that the politically-correct leaders of the USCCB were quick to attempt to spin as irrelevant.
It's a terrible thing to ask such a question, a question that has hideous implications. But the abandonment of this priest begs the question: Are there powerful priests in the Diocese of El Paso who are themselves homosexual? And, if so, how high up does this go?
Just as we cannot afford a laity that "picks-and-chooses" which teachings to accept, we cannot afford leaders who "pick and choose" which teachings they will support.
Please pray for Fr. Rodriguez and the leadership of his diocese.
The state of Texas ran a muck with homosexual priests & bishops for the past 35 yrs it's been like a safe haven! Wake up people!! PC correct laity are just as responsible. They paid no attention, & God help any one who tried to bring it to their attention! If it was a priest, he was sent for "Psychological Counseling". If a layperson, we were ignored to death.ReplyDelete
Our kids lost their faith, as the clergy & liturgies became more & more Feminine & bizarre. God help a "masculine, orthodox priest", they've been walking on egg shells around here for a long time. You think Notre Dame was bad? Take a trip to the Univ. of Dallas, known to locals as "the Lavender Campus", & with good reason! A priest here, many years ago, Consecrated a Loaf of French Bread!! When an orthodox conferee saw this, he was up all night long, on his hands & knees, trying to make sure he consumed every crumb!! The others laughed at him. I would urge every priest who has been enduring "silent martyrdom, make your voice heard! I pick & choose the teachings of Jesus Christ, The Pope, & the magisterium. Why do you think Pope Benedict XVI told these young priests to go to the internet, go anywhere the can, to preach the True Gospel? Pope Paul VI said "The smoke of Satan is in the Church". We have a RIGHT to Orthodox Doctrine!! And it will step on a lot of peoples toes. Tough! 2 RC Colleges have COVERED UP EVERY STATUE & CRUCIFIX AT OBAMA's request, while he gave a "Commencement" address. Yet I saw him take off his shoes before going into a Mosque.What will it take to wake you up!!!!
PS--There's a sort of "Grass Roots" page on Face Book called "US Catholic Bishops, Come Home to the Catholic Church!" You will be able to read & check out, for yourselves, the truth of the situation in our Church, both here, Canada, & Mexico. Say a prayer to the Holy Spirit before you read it, you'll definitely need the support.ReplyDelete
As a Catholic man I have prayed for Jesus Christ's blessing in meeting and marrying a Catholic woman. I will pray in support of Father Michael Rodriguez of San Juan Bautista Church in El Paso Texas. God bless his bravery. Timothy L. S.ReplyDelete
I agree with you, Kathleen! Let us pray for and encourage our priests to speak the truth. As a certain Catholic apologist says: We need to LIVE THE TRUTH, SPEAK THE TRUTH, AND SUFFER FOR THE TRUTH!ReplyDelete
God Bless you, Fr. Rodriguez!
God bless this priest and Mary help him.ReplyDelete
It seems Michael Voris may have a point after all. Over to you, Mark Shea.ReplyDelete
3 Hail Marys for Fr. Rodriquez! We need more holy priests such as him!!ReplyDelete
God Bless Fr. Michael Rodriguez for his courage, and fidelity! He is in my prayers.ReplyDelete
You, Fr. Rodriguez, are displaying for all of us what Saints are made of. You are in our prayers. And thank you for your example.ReplyDelete
I am an El Paso resident and I can state for a fact that there are many homosexual priests in the El Paso diocese and that they surround the Bishop and do have much influence. In fact they are the ones who run and control the diocese. Homosexual and very liberal.ReplyDelete
Thank you Father Michael Rodriguez for your courage and strength to stand up for the TRUE CATHOLIC FAITH in the midst of all this sin in the world. I will pray to St. Michael the Archangel for your continued protection. May God Bless you and may Our Lady surround you. As Pope John Paul II always said, "BE NOT AFRAID"!ReplyDelete
Is this some kind of right wing radical nonchristian fundamentalist site I've landed on? Just wondering because it sure doesen't seem very christian in nature.You put me in mind of the rabble who sat beside the guillitine during the french revolution cackling and cheering as the heads fell in the basketReplyDelete
An interesting attempt at comparison, considering that the only "head" in danger of "falling in the basket" right now seems to be Fr. Rodriguez'. I don't think you'll find too many people cheering about this situation, either the lack of support for Fr. Rodriguez, the secular media's attempt to paint him as "outside the mainstream of Church thinking" or the utter lack of courage (so far) displayed by the Diocese of El Paso.ReplyDelete
Thank you Father Rodriquez!!!ReplyDelete
Regarding Kathleen's comment. I do not have the statistics but I don't thin the Diocese ran amuck with homosexual priests. I believe it ran amuck with heterosexual pedophiles. This is hartbreaking for all. The people of God need to repent this sinful ignorance about the sexual abuse of so many innocent children. May God forgive us all. I agree that the The smoke of Satan is in the Church" (The church is all the people of God". I find it offensive that Roman Catholic Colleges COVERED UP EVERY STATUE & CRUCIFIX AT OBAMA's request, while he gave a "Commencement" address. We have the freedom of Religion and should not cover up our Crucifix. The cross and ressurection is the core of our faith.
New York City
Edna Benson: You no longer live in El Paso, so in essence you obtained your information from the liberal newspaper "el paso times".Delete
Father Michael did not disobey Bishop Ochoa. Bishop Ochoa DOES NOT LIKE FATHER RODRIGUEZ FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
#1 Father's Rodriguez's fidelity to the Latin Mass. #2 Father teaches the "true teaching of Holy Mother Church" #3 Bishop Ochoa is A LIBERAL.
In regards to "Tom Browns proposal", you are misinformed. People voted to keep tax payers dollars from going to homosexual unions, the wording was "Traditional FAmily Values" which means Father, Mother, children, not Steve & Joe who live a risky lifestyle and who will adopt 2 kids (or more) and then tax payers would have to foot their bill for insurance - for all of their members of their family. Because of their "high risk lifestyle" their insurance premiums will be higher than most people.
Most of us can barely afford our own health insurance much less someone else's. We can barely pay our property taxes, our taxes would increase under this law.
In regards to excluding firefighters, policemen, retirees, etc., this is just a "ploy" the mayor used to "overturn our votes". The people took it to the polls and we voted under our constituitional right and the majority won. This liberal dictator of the mayor, along with his two cronies, Byrd and Ortega, thought they knew what was best us.
Mayor Cook is not a man with values or is he a devout Catholic, he is a liberal who promotes a sinful life which is homosexuality. I would not worry about Tom Brown's ministries, worry about your Catholic Church which is rotting at its core with all this liberal agenda and liberation theology, which is what Tepeyac teaches (Tepeyac is from the Diocese of El Paso where all catechism, eucaristic ministers and even priests attend).
And regards to using "scripture" to "beat their brothers & sisters" this is what Bishop Ochoa and all these homosexual priests in El Paso should be doing, not only to their congregation but also using it to "beat themselves" so that they can teach the TRUE TEACHINGS OF HOLY MOTHER CHURCH and not all this liberalism which is exuding out of the walls of our catholic parishes in el paso and all over the world.
And yes prayer is our only hope, and this includes you to get your head out of the sand and start looking at the reality of what is going on around you and all of us.
No one is angry, confused or fearful. We are fighters of the true catholic faith, we are not afraid and most important we are not confused, which is why you will continue to see us fight for the True Catholic Faith, PRIOR TO VATICAN II.
I find it terribly disturbing when fellow Orthodox Catholics begin lashing out at the Bishops and the Hierarchy. The letters to the Editor regarding Father Rodriquez are so full of sweeping generalizations and emotional conclusions.ReplyDelete
I really can’t speak to the issue of Father Rodriquez’s transfer since that is between him and his bishop, but I find it horribly offensive to see other Catholic’s lashing out at Bishop Ochoa. I believe Fr. Rodriquez’s intentions may have been noble and honorable, however, I personally believe he was misguided in disobeying his bishop.
The voters of El Paso were apparently caught off guard by the vague and misleading wording of Tom Brown’s proposal. The vote for (Traditional Family Values) had an underlining goal of denying city employees (who were not in Traditional Relationships) Health insurance and other benefits. The Tom Brown Ministries Church seemed (although Tom Brown denies it) to be targeting Gays, Lesbians and not legally married couples. In fact citizens who thought they were voting for “Traditional Family Values” were inadvertently voting to take away the benefits of retired Firefighters, Police Officers and children who were being cared for by grandparents or family caretakers and who were in Traditional relationships. To the Mayor and his Council this was a breach of ethics. The ordinance may not have intended to hurt citizens living in traditional relationships, but legally it had devastating consequences for them. It was the unfair consequence that led the Mayor Cook and some of his Council to overturn the Ordinance. (Overturning a city ordinance is a common and legal practice in the United States of America. It is within a Mayor’s legal and democratic rights to do so).
This issue is not really about the Mayor of El Paso, Bishop Ochoa or Fr. Rodriquez. The issue is about us Catholic uniting to live in the truth. We Catholics cannot condone sin but the question is this? Have we been fed half-truths? The devil has clever ways of getting good people out of the way. Are the tactics of Tom Brown Ministries in line with the will of God? Brothers and Sisters who do you wish to honor and trust, Bishop Ochoa, or Tom Brown, the Minister who ran for City Council and lost, Tom Brown who named his Church after himself, Tom Brown who personally profits from his ministry Tom Brown and his underhanded scheme to have the Mayor of El Paso (a man of values and a devout and practicing Catholic) recalled, Tom Brown and his underhanded methods of confusing a City, Tom Brown who threatens and attempts to recall members of the City Council for voting their conscience.
Unlike Tom Brown, our Bishops do not quote scripture to beat their brothers and sisters down. Holy Mother, the Church leads us to understand God’s word without self-interpretation but rather with the help of the One, Holy and Catholic and Apostolic Church. I think that all this negative reaction is understandable but where is it coming from? I believe it just comes out of our anger, confusion, and fear? Prayer is our only hope. It will serve us better than calling our Bishops’ names or assigning them labels.
Formerly from El Paso