Wednesday, October 3, 2012

NY Times Interviews Homosexual "Experts" on Cordileone Appointment

The appointment of Salvatore Cordileone as ninth Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco continues to send shock waves far and wide. On Saturday, September 29, the New York Times ran a story called San Francisco’s New Archbishop Worries Gay Catholics by Norimitsu Onishi. The story began:

“At Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in the Castro, this city’s largest gay district, about 20 of the faithful gathered for 8 a.m. Mass recently, clustering in the middle pews. Led by a visiting priest from nearby Oakland, the parishioners joined in celebrating the 30th anniversary of a gay couple….But the appointment of a new leader of the archdiocese here — Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, 56, a rising conservative who led the fight against same-sex marriage in California — has many gay and lesbian Roman Catholics worried about the fate of these sanctuaries.”

The author then went to a few “experts,” for reactions to the Cordileone appointment. Three of the four, all from San Francisco, were homosexual activist. The fourth was Brian Brown, from the National Organization for Marriage. While Brown is a fine man, just why he was selected is a mystery. Two of the others are familiar names. While their field of expertise may be murky, their opposition to the teaching of the Church on homosexuality is crystal clear.

They included Donal Godfrey, SJ, the former Executive Director of Campus Ministry at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco and the Reverend Vincent Pizzuto, who is a Professor of Religious Studies at USF. Both men have admitted their homosexuality. The presence of the two in the article underscores the close ties between MHR and USF.

Godfrey’s current status is as an Associate Director of University Ministry at USF. He had been Executive Director, but that ended right about the time California Catholic Daily revealed that a long-time friend of Godfrey’s, Patrick Mulcahey, whom he had interviewed extensively for his book “Gays and Grays: The Story of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church,” had been teaching workshops in the “Master/slave” lifestyle and actually kept another man as a “slave.” On the very first page of Gays and Grays, Godfrey acknowledged: "Three others gave special support. They are Patrick Mulcahey, Dr. Patti Jung, and Robert Garrett . Patrick Mulcahey is a friend, three time Emmy-winning writer, and parishioner at Most Holy Redeemer." In fact, Mulcahey had served as vice-president of the church’s pastoral council, and as a Eucharistic Minister.

The section of the Times article wherein Godfrey was interviewed attempted to create a wedge between previous bishops and Cordileone on the issue of homosexuality:

 “The bishop’s record on marriage stands in contrast, experts said, to those of predecessors who have tried to accommodate gay residents of San Francisco.”

  Two paragraphs later Mr. Onishi quoted his “expert” Fr. Godfrey: “None of them (meaning Quinn, Levada, Niederauer) would have challenged the actual teaching of the church. But at the same time, each of them had a different relationship with the parish and the gay community.”

That is selective memory, and ignores the powerful role played by Archbishop George Niederauer in support of Proposition 8. In fact, Niederauer’s support for marriage so incensed another MHR parish council member, Matt Dorsey, that he prevailed on the organizers of San Francisco’s “Gay Pride Parade” to bestow the satirical 2009 “Pink Brick” award to the Archbishop.

“’It’s very difficult to know why a particular appointment is made of a certain bishop to a certain diocese by the Vatican,’ said Vincent Pizzuto, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit school. ‘But in this instance, it’s very difficult not to see this as a signaling of an attempt to rein in the diocese, particularly on hot-button issues like homosexuality and same-gender marriage.’”

The identification of Pizzuto as a “professor” by the Times author is true as far as it goes. It ignores the significance of Pizzuto’s status as a priest of the Celtic Christian Church. That church, in which Pizzuto was ordained in 2006, was formed in opposition to the Catholic Church. Simply put, Pizzuto left the Catholic Church because he thought the Celtic Christian Church was better. Despite that, USF, a Catholic university, employs Pizzuto as both the Director of the Catholic Studies and Social Thought Minor and the Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. On December 12, 2001 Pizzuto was a guest on a KALW radio show called “Far from Rome: On Being Gay and Catholic in the Bay Area.” He said “the Bible, as we understand it really does not address current issues…what we need to change is not so much the scriptures, which of course we cannot change, but the interpretation that has been given to them. And that’s going to take a lot of theologically and biblically interpretive work to move us forward.” If Pizzuto is right in contending that the appointment of Cordileone signals “an attempt to rein in the diocese,”  then removing an anti-Catholic Chairman of the Theology Department from a Catholic University is a good place to start.

A third “expert” quoted was Paul Riofski, whom the article describes a co-founder of DignitySF, a group founded to oppose Church teaching on homosexuality. Mr. Riofski was quoted

“We’re concerned because currently there are fairly healthy environments available for people to integrate their identity and their faith, including many welcoming parishes and other church organizations.”

The Times neglected to mention that Riofski is also listed as serving on the liturgy committee at another of the city’s rogue parishes, St. John of God. St. John of God is such a “healthy environment” that the parish marched in the 2011 “gay pride parade.” And, as California Catholic Daily reported, on June 23, 2012 Riofski’s then-fellow member of the SJOG liturgy committee, Maria Eitz, was ordained a deacon of the Roman Catholic Woman Priests. By that action she automatically excommunicated herself from the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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