Monday, October 13, 2008

Priest Removed After Sermon Against Proposition 8

Father Geoffrey Farrow who told congregants he felt obligated to break "a numbing silence" about Roman Church prejudice against homosexuals and urge a vote against Proposition 8 (and about whom I did a post about a little over a week ago) has been removed from his post St. Paul Newman Center in Fresno, California. I have the deepest respect for Fr. Farrow who sent me a kind note. Sometimes doing what is right requires going against an entrenched bureaucracy like the Catholic Church hierarchy which has shown itself to be morally bankrupt in its handling of the world wide sex abuse scandal. The Pope and similar mean spirited, shriveled old men cling to a outdated concept of "natural law" which is based on 13th century knowledge and scientific understanding. Time and time again history has shown the Roman Catholic Church to be on the wrong side of social and scientific issues and only centuries later does the Church give a mealy mouthed excuse for its past wrong headed, if not evil conduct. I hope in time Fr. Farrow finds a rewarding alternate career where he does not take orders form self-righteous, self-satisfied hypocrites. Here are some highlights from the Los Angeles Times concerning this sad state of affairs with Fr. Farrow:
A week ago, Father Geoffrey Farrow stood before his Roman Catholic parishioners in Fresno and delivered a sermon that placed him squarely at odds with his church over gay marriage.With Proposition 8 on the November ballot, and his own bishop urging Central Valley priests to support its definition of traditional marriage, Farrow told congregants he felt obligated to break "a numbing silence" about church prejudice against homosexuals. "How is marriage protected by intimidating gay and lesbian people into loveless and lonely lives?" he asked parishioners of the St. Paul Newman Center. "I am morally compelled to vote no on Proposition 8."
On Thursday, Fresno Bishop John T. Steinbock removed Farrow, 50, as pastor of the St. Paul Newman Center, which primarily serves students and faculty at Cal State Fresno."Your statement contradicted the teaching of the Catholic Church and has brought scandal to your parish community as well as the whole Church," Steinbock wrote in a disciplinary letter that also admonished Farrow against "using the Internet as a means of continuing your conflict with the Church's teaching." The priest also was stripped of his salary and benefits, and ordered to stay away from all church communities he had served.
Katherine Allison, 46, hurried out of the church at the end of the 11 a.m. Mass with her 14-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter. She said she didn't want to stay to hear the bishop's letter.Allison said her entire family liked Father Geoff, as he was known. He taught a Bible history class Tuesday nights and seemed to be passionate about his work, she said. "There is nothing to apologize for," she said. "God tells us to speak the truth, and that's what he did."
Farrow said he knew his comments would generate an uproar. He started to pack up his office the night before his address. He cleared his belongings from the church rectory within hours of greeting parishioners after church services. He left town so quickly that he was unable to find one of his two cats.He drove to Los Angeles, where he is staying with friends. Farrow sent Steinbock a letter last week saying that he would resume his pastoral duties unless he heard otherwise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe the Pope and his supporters are gay themselves and don't want to take responsibility for their actions in the handling of the troubled priests. I am gay but you don't continue to subject young people to priests who can't control their sexual issues. Very sad situation.