Alrighty! Thanksgiving is over and my Christmas shopping is all done. Now I can focus on doing some more penance during Advent. Readers have been asking me to address Bishop McElroy of San Diego, and there’s no penance like trying to read McElroy’s inane statements. Since the Diocese of San Diego (or at least those focused on eternity) is now waiting for someone to save them, I figured it would be a good topic for this time of year.
The latest faux pas by Bishop McElroy can be read in its entirety here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/san-diego-bishop-praises-pro-gay-parish-for-being-welcoming
SAN DIEGO, California, December 6, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The director of the young adult ministry at a parish San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy recently praised for its “welcoming” attitude toward “LGBT worshippers” is an openly gay man who works for an organization that supports same-sex “marriage” and women’s ordination.
Let me just start by saying, any Catholic interviewing Bishop McElroy should ask him two questions: 1) Do you believe that the Church will one day ordain women? 2) Do you believe that the Church should accept “gay marriage?” Pin him down and don’t let him wriggle out of it. You could also throw in, “Do you think “gay sex” is equal to the marital embrace?” if he tries to divert with the usual “Who am I to judge?” tell him you’re not asking him to judge but to give an opinion.
The San Diego Union Tribune reported that McElroy cited St. John the Evangelist in Hillcrest as an example of a parish where “LGBT worshippers ‘feel particularly welcome.'”
What does “welcome” mean, Bishop McElroy? What Catholic doesn’t want people to feel welcome? If, however, welcome means that we don’t encourage all to live a chaste life with the end goal of everlasting life with Christ, how loving is that?
Let’s remember that we are the Church Oscar Wilde turned to at the end of his life. We are a Church full of sinners. Welcoming the sinner is kind of what we do. We don’t, however, embrace sin. It’s not loving to do so. I’m afraid this has been lost on some. We are the epitome of welcoming and integration of people into the Faith.
“That’s a very good thing,” he said. McElroy was commenting on the Diocese of San Diego’s recent synod on the family, after which he encouraged priests to give Holy Communion to the divorced and “remarried” and embrace “LGBT families.”
Please, Bishop McElroy! Can we cut the ambiguity now and actually define what in the heck you are talking about? This touchy-feely word play is done. I don’t know a priest out there who doesn’t welcome sinners to his parish. What I do know are priests who welcome SIN to their parishes. Let’s just cut to it. Is this what you are suggesting, Bishop McElroy??? Do your flock a favor and answer the dang questions!
While you’re at it, please, let’s look at the permanency of Catholic marriage. I could be wrong, but last time I checked, the parish priest was not the arbiter of a valid/invalid marriage. Honestly, heaven help us if priests with no canonical training, who are not on the marriage tribunal, and likely were poorly formed, start deciding who is or is not married.
Canon Law states http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0017/_P3U.HTM :
Can. 1060 Marriage enjoys the favour of law. Consequently, in doubt the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.
Yet now bishops like McElroy are suggesting we simply have a pow-wow with a priest and decide for ourselves? Think about it, people. Why in the heck would we ever need a marriage tribunal??? Think that can’t possibly be what Bishop McElroy is saying? Well, these three bulletins have articles about the “synod” that all follow the same talking points:
Colin Donovan, STL, (that’s a Canon Law guy) spells out their errors nicely here https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/annulment.htm:
Internal Forum. Sometimes it is suggested to individuals or couples that they can resolve marital issues concerning a first marriage in the “internal forum.” This means essentially in the confessional or in the privacy of their conscience. Someone who is divorced and remarried will be told that they do not have to seek a Decree of Nullity to validate the present marriage, rather being convinced in their own conscience that their first marriage was invalid they can return to the sacraments. This is not, however, the case. Marriage is not a private affair but a social institution, one safeguarded by the Church according to the will of Christ. The Holy See has ruled out the internal forum solution as a valid way of resolving marital validity questions. Such issues must be submitted to the Church’s canonical processes (a marriage tribunal).
In short, “internal forum” and “integration” don’t mean what YOU decide, Bishop McElroy. For those of you wondering what it is and how it applies to the “divorced and remarried” scenario, this was a good synopsis. https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/Article/TabId/535/ArtMID/13567/ArticleID/19679/Understanding-Francis-and-the-internal-forum.aspx
St. John the Evangelist advertises on its Twitter page: “In worship and in sacrament, our Catholic parish is called to extend God’s kingdom to young and old, gay and straight, single, married or divorced.” Its rainbow Twitter profile photo reads, “All Are Welcome.”
On November 18, the parish Facebook page advertised a “Modern Mass…where all people find a place at the table!” Its advertisement for the Mass featured a cross imposed on the rainbow flag, a universal symbol of homosexual activism.
What the heck is a “Modern Mass?!” Last time I checked we had an Ordinary Form and an Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Sorry, my homosexual Catholic brethren looking to push an agenda rather than fight against temptation, the Mass ain’t your personal football. I don’t say this in hate, but you are the proverbial princess in the family. For some reason you think the Sacraments must dance around you and pay you homage. Get a clue and get a little humility! There is, indeed, an eternity heading your way, so you really might want to attend Mass to worship God rather than to have everyone else worship your lifestyle choices.
St. John the Evangelist bulletins list Aaron Bianco as the young adult ministry leader.
Bianco’s LinkedIn page lists him as a “Pastoral Associate” with Call to Action, a dissenting anti-Catholic group that opposes the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, marriage, and the nature of the priesthood. In 2006, members of Call to Action were excommunicated over their dissenting advocacy.
Call to Action’s website features a “prayer for all loving marriages” that reads, in part:
We thank You for all the different types of marriages in our world:
Pause! There is only one type of marriage: a valid one. All others are just deformed representations of God’s plan for married love.
young couples beginning a life together,
as well as couples celebrating decades of love,
re-married couples and those who found each other later in life,
couples whose marriages are recognized by our state and our Church,
and same-sex couples who are denied that recognition
but who continue to bravely model love and commitment in the face of discrimination…”
Help us support marriage and family in all of its diversity
and guide us as we speak out against oppression in our Church.
Lead us toward the day when all loving unions will be seen as sacred
and all couples will have the support and recognition of their faith communities.
The call to the priesthood should be celebrated regardless of gender,” Call to Action’s website says on its “Women and Girls Equality” page. “We work in many different ways to restore the full participation of women in the liturgy, pastoral life and leadership of their communities…We support the ordination of women with local actions, national media advocacy and with our partners in the movement. Many of our members attend liturgies led by womenpriests.
According to Call to Action, Bianco began as a Program Outreach Associate in 2015. In one blog post for the organization, he describes attending a Dignity USA conference on behalf of Call to Action. Dignity USA is a pro-gay group that rejects the Catholic Church’s teaching on human sexuality.”
What a load of hooey! I’m going to just assume Bianco agrees with Call to Action. That alone disqualifies him from any position of authority in a Catholic Church. Ministry leaders are supposed to conform their will to the will of the Church, not the other way around.
It appears that McElroy is well aware of Bianco’s gay advocacy. In 2015, the Wall Street Journal wrote that after he became bishop, McElroy told Bianco that he could continue running cathedral parish education programs even though he is openly gay:
Shortly after his installation as the sixth bishop of San Diego this spring, Robert McElroy was approached by a church employee in the city’s downtown cathedral.
Aaron Bianco, a 41-year-old openly gay man who had helped run Catholic education programs for seven years, said that before the bishop’s appointment, a parishioner who knew of Mr. Bianco’s sexual orientation had complained to the diocese, a traditionally conservative one that once denied the owner of a gay nightclub a Catholic funeral.
Fearful of losing his job, Mr. Bianco removed his name from the weekly parish newsletter and brought someone in to help him teach.
But the new bishop assured Mr. Bianco that he wouldn’t lose his job because he is gay. Bishop McElroy “let me know that [being gay] should not hinder me from participating fully in the life of the church,” said Mr. Bianco, who has since taken another position outside the church.
So I’m just going to directly ask Bishop McElroy, do you think that people who are actively engaging in the homosexual lifestyle (sodomy and masturbation), or advocating for the active homosexual lifestyle, should present themselves for Communion? I mean, again, stop with the ambiguity. Call a spade a spade and say what you mean and stop the ridiculous game.
The Wall Street Journal article also noted that in 2010, McElroy became an auxiliary bishop in San Francisco, where he celebrated Mass at “a largely gay parish in the city’s Castro district.”
The Diocese of San Diego did not immediately respond to LifeSiteNews’s inquiries on whether the “welcoming” nature of St. John’s is in line with Catholic teaching on homosexual feelings and actions (not people) being intrinsically disordered, or whether the diocese finds it appropriate for St. John’s to advertise the rainbow flag on its social media pages.
The simple fact is that Bishop McElroy must continue on the ambiguous track, because he knows answering the question would be showing his cards, and he would lose the game he’s playing. He knows it and so do we.