Another priest announces he is “gay” this time it is Father Rich Danyluk of St. Joseph’s Basilica church in Alameda. This happened back in September though I couldn’t find any coverage of the original event in the news or by bloggers.
The topic of his homily that early fall day, as dictated by Catholic hierarchy, was accepting, not rejecting.
So the priest told a story. It went something like this.
About two years ago his aunt was dying. As a priest and as her nephew, he arrived at her deathbed.
He sat next to her and she started to cry, finally telling the priest, her nephew, she was gay.
"I’m so afraid I’m going to hell," the priest remembered her saying.
"That’s not how God works," he replied.
Perhaps parishioners weren’t surprised by the priest’s story that day.
Homosexuality within the Catholic Church had been in the news lately. The Vatican was scheduled to release a letter within weeks stating its position on whether gay men should enter the seminary and become priests.
The pope’s position on homosexuality, however, had been defined within church teachings for some time.The condition is an anomaly, according to the Vatican. Furthermore, gay men and women are objectively disordered and homosexual acts are considered a serious depravity.
The priest continued with his homily.
He grasped a large book in his hands, raising the ornate Gospel over his head.
"This good news is for everybody or it is for nobody," he told his congregation.
The Gospel has to be for his aunt, too. For all lesbians and gays, the priest said with conviction.
How did he know?
The answer was simple.
"I’m one of you," Father Rich Danyluk said.
Once again of course it is all the hierarchy’s fault that your "objectively disordered" condition is not accepted. Beautiful words "This good news is for everybody or it is for nobody", but the Good News is that we can be saved despite our sinfulness, not because of it. To proclaim release to the captives – release from the stranglehold of sin.
At three separate Masses that September Sunday, Father Rich shared his sexual orientation with those who came to worship.
At the evening Mass, the small sentence fell on the congregation. There wasn’t the same hesitation as in the earlier Masses. Instead, the basilica erupted in applause, and pew by pew the parishioners stood.
Their priest was homosexual and they greeted the news with a standing ovation.
Instead of prayer – applause. Though this isn’t the first time he has received a standing ovation. Six years earlier he announced during Mass in a different church that he had been arrested for drunk driving and announced that he was an alcoholic. Though I guess at least the parishioners in this area are consistent in giving standing ovations to disordered conditions. Though I doubt that it would ever cross their minds to do the same thing during the consecration. Not that I would want them to, it at least would be somewhat fitting. Though I wonder if any priest in that area announced that he struggled with same-sex attraction and asked the parishioners to pray for him to help him fight these disordered temptations would also receive a standing ovation?
For Father Rich, the daily barrage of articles debating whether gay men could be priests got to be too much.
"One can only take so much of hearing how disordered you are," Father Rich said in an interview with the Herald several weeks after the September Mass in which he shared his secret. "I wasn’t baptized a disordered child of God. I was baptized like everyone else."
Once again "the document™" strikes – this case even before it was published. Though I can sympathize – nobody likes their sinful condition called out. Though this is exactly the problem with so many priests with same-sex attraction is that wrap themselves in a "gay identity." This is why the dissent concerning the document only proves its need. One of the reasons I became Catholic was that my sins were actually called sins by the Church. It is very easy to identify your sins or sinful inclinations with your very person instead of something that needed to be repented of and shed.
Sister Sandra Schneiders was at the 7 p.m. Mass in which Father Rich said he was gay. She was among those who stood to applaud him. It was courageous, she said; he didn’t say it with anger or as a way to bash the church.
Yes how brave and courageous in the middle of the Bay Area to announce that your "gay." Not exactly something that will lead to martyrdom.
|Don’t just sit there – pray for Father Rich Danyluk.|