San Jose Pastor Visits Most Holy Redeemer for Advice
In the August 24 article “Fr. Reese Comes to San Francisco: What Most Holy Redeemer Has come to Mean,” California Catholic Daily discussed the consequences of “tolerating” an openly homosexualist parish. The article noted that when in San Francisco, dissenters such as Bishop Kevin Dowling, Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese, or Bishop Thomas Gumbleton make a beeline for Most Holy Redeemer. It has become San Francisco’s counter-cathedral, famous worldwide. The article also pointed out that such visits are not harmless. They certify the presence of a separate center of teaching authority in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, a counter-cathedral--at least when the subject is homosexuality. This is obvious to everyone who is not willfully blind; right now there is a student at Notre Dame University writing a paper on the “theology” of Most Holy Redeemer Church--as if a genuine Catholic parish could have its own theology! Allowing such a separate teaching authority to exist is proving to be a monumental failure of responsibility by the Archdicese of San Francisco, and predictable consequences have followed.
The current (November 18) issue of “Metro Active San Jose” has a long article called “Gay Catholics Come Out” by Ms. Jessica Fromm. The subheadline is “Secretly, San Jose is the most gay-friendly diocese in the nation. And now, one parish wants the world to know.”
The article profiled St. Julie Billiart Parish in San Jose and its pastor, Fr. Jon Pedigo. Ms. Fromm spends the first 3000 words or so discussing the situation in San Jose. It’s a familiar litany: the difficulty homosexualist Catholics have in accepting Church teaching on the reality of marriage and the intrinsic immorality of homosexual acts, how conflicted they are between their personal experience and the teaching of the Church (who isn't?) etc. etc. She interviews a familiar cast of characters: the former Jesuit priest James B. Nickoloff, who is same-sex “married” in the state of Massachusetts and is now a fellow at the (Jesuit) Santa Clara University; the Oakland Diocese’s Fr. Jim Schnexayder, co-founder of the Catholic Association for Lesbian & Gay Ministry; Mr. Bill Welch, former President of Dignity San Jose.
More importantly, Ms. Fromm relates what Fr. Pedigo did when he realized that many same-sex attracted Catholics were attending his parish:
“Pedigo said that as he started to notice the growing LGBT Catholic community that was coming to St. Julie's, he decided to consult the established gay Catholic community at the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco's Castro District.” Instead of seeking advice from his bishop, Fr. Pedigo chose to consult MHR. That’s our point: MHR has become a de facto teaching authority--that’s why Fr. Pedigo consulted them, that’s why the Notre Dame student is writing a paper on their “theology." The Church hierarchy may deny that MHR has any actual authority, but Fr. Pedigo and others think they do, and are basing their actions on MHR‘s example.
Ms. Fromm continued, quoting Fr. Pedigo: "I said, 'Look, I'm a server in San Jose, and I have all these gay and lesbian people coming for baptism and wanting their babies to be baptized and raising their kids and their families Catholic. And we've got kids in the youth group who are sexual.' I asked, 'What do you guys do about this? What have you done?'"
What has Most Holy Redeemer done? It’s the church that from 2000-2008 hosted nearly-annual events by s/m groups in their parish hall; it's the church that allowed the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to receive the Blessed Sacrament; it’s the church that currently has at least six openly “same-sex married” parishioners serving at Mass as lectors, Eucharistic ministers, and acolytes; it’s the church whose Eucharistic minister/transgender activist “Lisa Rae” Dummer escorted the Young Adult Group to the 2007 Transgender Cotillion; it’s the church whose pastoral council member Matt Dorsey earlier this year condemned Archbishop Niederauer in the pages of the homosexualist Bay Area Reporter for his support of Proposition 8 and convinced the producers of San Francisco’s gay pride parade to award the Archbishop the “pink brick.”
According to Ms. Fromm, Fr. Pedigo has proved to be a good student: “From that time (when he consulted MHR) forward, Pedigo has freely acknowledged and supported the gay and lesbian Catholics who flock to St. Julie's. He publicly opposed Prop. 8, going so far as to post video interviews with gay Catholic families on his blog….”
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney